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Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol
B vitamins have long been thought to improve heart health. Niacin has been shown to improve homocystein test scores, which may reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Now, a new study indicates that a related vitamin may boost a person's cardiovascular condition in a different way.
Researchers from the University of Florida reported in the journal Metabolism, Clinical and Experimental that nicotinic acid, a type of B vitamin, may support the ability of cells to produce HDL cholesterol. Higher levels of this lipid have been shown to reduce heart attack and stroke risk.
The team told the Sun-Sentinel that the findings are not entirely surprising. Previous investigations have shown that nicotinic acid may prevent the destruction of HDL cholesterol molecules. However, their investigation is among the first to show that the nutrient actually boosts cells' production of HDL.
HDL is believed to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by sweeping the arteries of plaque buildups and carrying the debris to the liver for processing. Higher levels may contribute to healthier cholesterol tests.
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