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Study indicates a link between increased levels of niacin and heart disease

Cleveland Clinic researchers have discovered a new pathway linked to cardiovascular disease arising from excessive niacin, a commonly recommended B vitamin for lowering cholesterol. Led by Stanley Hazen, M.D., Ph.D., the team found a connection between 4PY, a niacin breakdown product, and heart disease. High levels of circulating 4PY were strongly associated with increased risks of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiac events in large-scale clinical studies.

Preclinical research revealed that 4PY directly induces vascular inflammation, potentially leading to atherosclerosis. Published in Nature Medicine, the study also identifies genetic links between 4PY and vascular inflammation, laying the groundwork for new interventions to mitigate inflammation-related cardiovascular risks.

These findings underscore the significance of reevaluating niacin's role in cholesterol management, especially as its overconsumption is prevalent. Further investigations are needed to understand the long-term effects of elevated 4PY levels on cardiovascular health, informing preventive strategies against residual cardiovascular risk.