Supplements

Niacin supplements spiking blood glucose

stevehecht Community Member August 23, 2009
  • hi,

     

    This is my first post on this site, and I'm excited to be exposed to all the accumulated experience and knowledge here. I'm wondering if others have tried using niacin to improve their lipid profile and found that it greatly increased their glucose level. Studies indicate that glucose levels are not supposed to rise much (8-10%) but mine were spiking to >200 2 hour postprandial (<160 previous) and >150 fasting (<125 previous). This is not acceptable to me. I tried Niaspan and Endur-Acin, both sustained release formulations. I've heard that glucose levels normailize over time but I'm not willing to stress my arterial walls and myself long enough to find out. There are numerous other natural alternatives to niacin that I am taking anyway to improve my lipid profie. I'm Type 2.

12 Comments
  • Ann Bartlett
    Health Guide
    Aug. 23, 2009

    Hi Steve!

     

    I'm wondering why you are taking doses of just niacin?  Vitamin B usually does better as a total B when you take it.  Niacin alone in large doses is known to raise BG levels. Need a bit more info, to help I think!

     

     

     

    • stevehecht
      Aug. 24, 2009

      I tried taking 2000mg of niacin because that is recommended to help decrease small, dense LDL particles and help improve HDL levels. I am not taking this to improve BG but to improve my blood lipid profile. Of course many with diabetes also have disturbed lipid ratios (part of "metabolic syndrome").

    • Ann Bartlett
      Health Guide
      Aug. 24, 2009

      Ahhh, better picture thank you for sharing!  I am also a fan of trying to naturally lower your cholesterol!  My family history is that everyone has high cholesterol!  All my brothers are on cholesterol lowering meds and my mother has been on two for many years! And we are all very active fit people, so this really relates back to genetics.  ...

      RHMLucky777

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      Ahhh, better picture thank you for sharing!  I am also a fan of trying to naturally lower your cholesterol!  My family history is that everyone has high cholesterol!  All my brothers are on cholesterol lowering meds and my mother has been on two for many years! And we are all very active fit people, so this really relates back to genetics.  

       

      On the other hand, I am a different story!  A couple of years ago, my endo said "Well your cholesterol is a little high, 206, but I'm not going to touch it.  It appears that your HDL is 90, so your body is doing what it needs to do!"  When I went back 4 months later, my HDL 106!  So what was the difference?  Not sure and slowly over the past year my LDL has started to creep up.  Largely, I think that is my relaxing on my diet, I am a lover of real cheese! LOL!  When my diet is clean and simple, my LDL goes down and my HDL seems to stay somewhere between 86 and 106.

       

      What concerns me about these niacin studies is that they don't tell you that too much of one vitamin B nearly wipes out the rest of the Bs that you need.  Which was why I suggested a complete B vitamin.  But I do understand your angle for niacin only!  It's a catch 22.  Too much of any one supplement can be problematic for your body to maintain a healthy balance.

       

      While I can not tell you the secret recipe, I can share with you this: I take anti-oxidants only, no multi.  I take a liquid vitamin B called total B, and I take metamusil at night.  I have been using acupuncture to boost my immune system for 15 years and just added a chinese herb called clear vessel, to help lower my overall cholesterol number(and I have had no BG spikes).  Have been using it only 2 months, so I can't give you the end result yet! Another possibility is Red Rice Yeast.  My brother uses it instead of a pharmaceutical statin and has had good results.  For people with diabetes, I don't know if the "rice" factor would raise BG, but I have a safer feeling about this then large doses of niacin.

       

      I would consult with your doc and see what he/she suggests and talk with them about the niacin and blood glucose. If you are really wanting to look at alternative measures see if you can find a naturopathic physician.

    • Gretchen Becker
      Health Guide
      Aug. 24, 2009

      I don't understand the logic of trying to avoid prescription drugs by taking supplements filled with obscure Chinese herbs that we don't know much about. Just because something is "natural" doesn't mean that it's free from side effects like prescription drugs.

    • Ann Bartlett
      Health Guide
      Aug. 24, 2009

      Hi Gretchen!

       

      The reason I give pause to jumping to pharmaceuticals is hypersensitivity, which I don't seem to have with chinese herbs or homeopathics.  It is not the natural aspect that I choose alternative help, for me many times they are equally as effective and I don't seem to have the sensitivity I have with pharma.  I think if someone...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hi Gretchen!

       

      The reason I give pause to jumping to pharmaceuticals is hypersensitivity, which I don't seem to have with chinese herbs or homeopathics.  It is not the natural aspect that I choose alternative help, for me many times they are equally as effective and I don't seem to have the sensitivity I have with pharma.  I think if someone feels they want to try alternative methods for lowering cholestrol, where's the problem? It only becomes a problem if a chosen direction is not working and they don't press for more aggressive action, like switching to pharma.

       

      I use the term integrated a lot, because I fully believe in conventional medicine! There is so much good that comes from it!  There are many great reasons to use both, but for so long it's been a fight over validity. Now, many medical schools are following Dr. Weil's example and opening advanced degrees in natural medicine.  

       

      Your comment sounds as though pharma is without side effects. Then why does a 32 year old diabetic women suffer a stroke when the research reads "strokes are only theoretical?"  Personally, I'd rather have the runs from some herb, then a stroke! Smile

       

      Thanks for your comment!  It's a great discussion to have!

    • Gretchen Becker
      Health Guide
      Aug. 24, 2009

      I agree that if you find you're hypersensitive to a drug, you should try something else. Have you ever tried to find out what it is that causes the hypersensitivity? It's possible they all use similar fillers or preservatives or something.

       

      "I think if someone feels they want to try alternative methods for lowering cholestrol, where's the problem?"

       ...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      I agree that if you find you're hypersensitive to a drug, you should try something else. Have you ever tried to find out what it is that causes the hypersensitivity? It's possible they all use similar fillers or preservatives or something.

       

      "I think if someone feels they want to try alternative methods for lowering cholestrol, where's the problem?"

       

      The problem is that although we all know there are a lot of problems with FDA control of our prescription medications, and there are now fake prescription medications coming from Asia, we have no control at all over Chinese herbs, and they've found that some herbs from Asia contain high levels of toxic metals. Some diabetes "blood-sugar lowering" herbs were found to contain cheap sulfonylureas.

       

      I never suggested that Big Pharma meds don't have side effects. Of course they do. Sometimes fatal side effects. But at least they are required to list those side effects in the package insert, so you have an idea what to look out for. Doesn't mean there aren't other side effects that may surface with longer-term experience with the drugs. But the same is true of herbal treatments. People have died from taking supplements too.

       

      I would worry about any multi-ingredient supplement like the one you cited because it's impossible to know which ingredient is doing what. Have you googled those ingredients?

       

       

    • frankenduf
      Aug. 25, 2009

      good call about avoiding Chinese manufactured rx- their regulation system is like the wild west- you get antifreeze in your dogfood, dogfood in your toothpaste, and toothpaste in your heparin?!- all kidding aside, we should all be vigilant about what we put in our bodies- cutting corners for cheaper/lower quality rx isn't wise

    • Anonymous
      FDNH (firstdono...
      Sep. 13, 2009

      I totally agree with the philosophy of try naturals first or instead of; most, if not all, pharmacology is based on what has been extracted from/learned from naturals.  Additionally, I would urge anyone with ANY health issue to research every aspect of your condition online and from available printed information and to insist that your doctor give you...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      I totally agree with the philosophy of try naturals first or instead of; most, if not all, pharmacology is based on what has been extracted from/learned from naturals.  Additionally, I would urge anyone with ANY health issue to research every aspect of your condition online and from available printed information and to insist that your doctor give you TRUE "standard of care" based on what YOU are learning on your own.  As an example, after stenting in 2004 and triple-bypass in 2006 -- even with knowledge out in the cardiovascular field already available to all cardiologists of all persuasions re: my specific dyslipidemia -- I was denied standing labs to get my triglycerides into line even IF/WHILE on THEIR pharmaceuticals (including a statin), so my (disgusted) internist gave me standing labs and I got my lipid panel into line with four weekly standing labs within the month using my approach including diet.  That didn't totally solve my problem, but the retired (research) cardiologist on whose practice I was dumped after bypass (and who didn't have cardiovascular exercise referring authority for me to use/be covered for use of the CV program equipment at the hospital, but they didn't tell me that detail) also hasn't since informed me of the EECP (Enhanced External Counterpulsation Therapy) unit he began supervising in this locality, which would have helped me develop new ARTERIAL collaterals in my heart as the two vein grafts were doomed to rapidly fail due to my Type III dyslipidemia (apoE dyslipidemia, type III, rare and familial).  I returned the favor by taking my individual business away from him and from all the cardio docs/hospitals in my area and got my second stenting (post-bypass) at a hospital in a nearby area, one directly in competition with our area docs/hospitals -- and I'll let them know that down the line just for fun.  Statins are NOT helpful for my condition, as mine is an IDL (intermediate phase) lipid disorder; I learned about the test that will reveal this through a book, Track Your Plaque, which recommends a course for plaque reversal for which I was no longer a candidate after my first stenting.  However, the VAP panel recommended in that book did reveal my true disorder, which is HIGHLY carbohydrate-dependent, and the head lab tech of the company that did the test is the person who indicated that I appeared to be a Type III and he would be fascinated to learn my lipid results after trying a high saturated fat diet -- which lowered my two outstanding values, hs-CRP and triglycerides right into normal range, and my HDL spiked beautifully, to give me a safe ratio of lipids, within ONE week.  I learned about the high sat-fat diet from the internet: livinlavidalowcarb (check the spelling) linked to a Swedish woman (plus a link?) off that site.  On 80% sat-fat and virtually no carbs, she has lost 90 lbs in 15 months and now has blood sugars that range constantly around 108.  She's no dummy: she even visited the Masai tribe in Africa and tasted their warrior's brew for her own education -- it turns out the Masai during that phase of their manhood experience NO cardiovascular events because of their diet as well as their activity.  That diet is only used during that phase of their lives and only by the males, apparently.  (The diet consists mainly of fresh raw cow's blood; getting past that, it's important to understand what the metabolics of protein vs. carbohydrates is, and the low-carb website goes into blood sugar issues relative to low-carbing, etc., as well.)  Get educated on your own and DON'T depend on your doc knowing more than you do: he doesn't have the time OR the motivation in most cases.  And be sure to find a doc who is open-minded enough to both look out for you from what his typical standard of care is AND allow you to explore alternatives within those parameters.  Remember: only 18% of "American" doctors are AMA, so it's meaningless to think they're as powerful or important as would-be totalitarian politicians would have us believe.  That's what their "endorsement" of the proposed government-controlled healthcare plan actually implies.  To be fair, our local Mended Hearts group based out of the original hospitals I dealth with had a local cardio speaker give us some really valuable information, esp. the difference between veins and arteries -- an important distinction -- and gave me a great lead to a researcher into my issue at a local university hospital that I wouldn't have necessarily found easily on my own, and I thanked him profusely. - fdnh (firstdonoharm) 

    • stevehecht
      Aug. 24, 2009

      Thanks, Ann, for your feedback. Oh yes, I am taking a plethora of supplements for my lipids, but mostly I'm oriented towards improving the health of my arterial walls (the endolthelium) to prevent degradation from high BG and other factors that cause oxidizing damage. Cholesterol is not the cause of cardiovascular disease, it is there to try to repair the damage...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Thanks, Ann, for your feedback. Oh yes, I am taking a plethora of supplements for my lipids, but mostly I'm oriented towards improving the health of my arterial walls (the endolthelium) to prevent degradation from high BG and other factors that cause oxidizing damage. Cholesterol is not the cause of cardiovascular disease, it is there to try to repair the damage to arterial walls caused by other factors. Cholesterol is like fireman at a fire: whenever you see a fire you'll see fire trucks, but that doesn't mean the fire department causes fires. Controlling BG is central to preserving the health of the endothelium, but having high levels of anti-oxidants in your diet is central also. I take sustained release L-Arginine, red yeast rice, lycopene, delta tocotrienol, 3-4gr. of vitamin C with lysine, proline, nattokinase, pycnogenol, and grape seed extract (among others) to help prevent cardiovascular disease. I am at particularly high risk for CV disease because of Type 2 and because I have been taking immunosuppressive medications like prednisonse for the past 25 years for (three) kidney transplants.

       

      But I am encouraged today because my BG has been within normal limits even with 500mg of sustained release niacin for the past week. If my BG can stay stable at 500mg before bed I will introduce another 500mg at breakfast and see how I do.

    • frankenduf
      Aug. 25, 2009

      i was gonna ask if you tapered up the dose, which is worth trying- don't forget that booze raises HDL as well- although one of the side effects is that you might dance inappropriately at a party!?- cheers-  duf

       

       

    • stevehecht
      Aug. 25, 2009

      Oh yeah, I tapered up the dose for the Niaspan per directions: +500mg per each week up to 2000. Still a disaster for the BG. But I'm bumping my Endur-Acin up to 1000mg tomorrow because my sugar has been so good the last few days...I'm very excited because the Endurance Co. (manufacturer) recommends 1000-1500mg dosage (less than Niaspan because it's more evenly...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Oh yeah, I tapered up the dose for the Niaspan per directions: +500mg per each week up to 2000. Still a disaster for the BG. But I'm bumping my Endur-Acin up to 1000mg tomorrow because my sugar has been so good the last few days...I'm very excited because the Endurance Co. (manufacturer) recommends 1000-1500mg dosage (less than Niaspan because it's more evenly broken down and better absorbed).

    • Anonymous
      Peter
      Oct. 15, 2009

      I used to be on prescription drugs to lower my cholesterol until my partner's mother (God bless her) recommended Lecithin granules.  Since then my 'bad' cholesterol is off the scale according to my doctor. I take just one desert spoon each day with my morning cereal