Supplements: daily niacin may increase blood sugar and diabetes risk


Not all supplements are made the same, and as such, their benefits also differ significantly. Side effects and other increased health risks are not always apparent. Could your cholesterol-lowering medicine increase your risk of diabetes?

Niacin supplementation has been shown to have benefits when it comes to lowering total cholesterol and increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL).

However, more recent studies have shown no cardiovascular benefit from adding niacin to statin therapy.

Additionally, niacin has been shown to raise blood sugar levels.

Therefore, it has been inferred that it may contribute to new onset diabetes.

READ MORE: Supplement Warning: Vitamin Linked to 22% Increased Risk of Bleeding in Brain

One meta-analysis of 11 randomized trials have investigated whether or not there is a link between niacin treatment and new-onset diabetes.

The trials were found by searching the Cochrane and EMBASE database between the years 1975-2014.

13,121 participants were assigned to the niacin treatment group and 13,219 were assigned to the control group.


Niacin, or vitamin B3, is a water-soluble B vitamin found naturally in certain foods, added to foods and sold as a supplement.

The two most common forms of niacin in foods and supplements are nicotinic acid and nicotinamide.

Niacin is often part of a daily multivitamin, but most people get enough niacin from the food they eat.


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