B Vitamin for Heart Health
A Good Cholesterol Balance
Niacin is vitamin B3, a precursor of the coenzymes NAD and NADP which are required in many essential biological pathways including energy production and DNA repair. Niacin is well known to support healthy cholesterol balance. It raises levels of "good" HDL cholesterol while lowering triglycerides, and it changes the composition of "bad" LDL cholesterol to make it less likely to contribute to atherosclerosis. Studies have shown that niacin reduces the incidence of heart attacks and stroke, and lowers their death rates.
The Downsides of Regular Niacin
Regular niacin, while extremely beneficial for heart health, is associated with unpleasant effects. It can cause blood vessels to expand and release molecules that cause the skin to warm and itch in a symptom known as "flushing". Sustained release niacin avoids the flushing effect, but comes with the even worse side effect of potential liver damage.
A Better Solution
Inositol hexanicotinate is a form of niacin that is bound to inositol. This formation allows it to deliver niacin to the bloodstream slowly and in a controlled fashion, avoiding both the unpleasantness of flushing and the danger of liver damage.