(NaturalNews) A recent study found that niacin, a form of vitamin B, is far more beneficial to heart patients with high cholesterol than is the popular cholesterol drug Zetia. Dr. Anthony DeMaria, a leading cardiologist and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology stated that the findings will eliminate Zetia from the preferred treatment options list.
Though Zetia is touted as being highly effective at reducing the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), often called "bad cholesterol", niacin is much more effective at boosting the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), commonly termed "good cholesterol".
Evidence reveals that niacin significantly reduces plaque buildup on arterial walls, improving blood supply to the brain, while Zetia, also known generically as ezetimibe, can slightly increase arterial plaque buildup. For this reasons, doctors and experts agree that niacin is the preferred choice in maintaining proper cholesterol levels and a healthy heart.
In addition to being more effective, niacin is also a much more affordable option. Though the trial utilized a time-released prescription form of niacin, quality niacin supplements are available over the counter that work equally as well if not better than the prescription form.
Zetia is often prescribed to lower bad cholesterol and maintain heart health, yet its track record seems to indicate the opposite effect for some. Out of the 208 participants who engaged in the study, nine of the patients on Zetia experienced heart attacks, stroke, or they died from heart disease. Only two on niacin bore such an outcome.
Dr. Jim Stein of the University of Wisconsin was one of several who emphasized over-prescription of Zetia, stating that doctors fail to practice evidence-based medicine when using the drug. He recommends utilizing safer, more effective alternatives like niacin that are proven to reduce incidences of heart attack, stroke, and death.
Studies consistently show that therapeutic doses of niacin alone can raise HDL levels by up to 35 percent and lower LDL levels by 20 percent. When incorporated into a well-balanced diet with regular exercise, the benefits increase even more. Proper diet and exercise will actually cause arterial plaque to dissipate over time, unlike statin drugs which have never been proven to break up arterial plaque.
Niacin is naturally found in dairy products, lean meats, fish and poultry, nuts, eggs, and whole-grain or sprouted breads. Diets rich in plant-based sterols, soluble fiber, and balanced sources of omega-3 and omega-6 oils will also contribute significantly to maintaining proper cholesterol levels and a healthy heart.