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Link discovered between vitamin B3 and the risk of stroke and heart attack

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Link discovered between vitamin B3 and the risk of stroke and heart attack

Recent Study Reveals High Niacin Levels Linked to Cardiovascular Risks

A recent study published in Nature Medicine has shed light on the potential dangers of having high concentrations of niacin, also known as vitamin B3, in the body. The investigation, led by Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, found that elevated levels of a degradation product of niacin were associated with a higher risk of major adverse cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes.

This discovery is particularly ironic given the history of niacin deficiency in the United States. In the early 20th century, pellagra, a disease caused by a lack of niacin and tryptophan, led to a devastating epidemic that killed nearly 100 thousand Americans between 1906 and 1940. The fortification of foods with niacin helped eradicate pellagra, but now, with processed foods containing high levels of the vitamin, Americans are at risk of consuming too much niacin.

Hazen and his team made their findings after analyzing the blood plasma of over 1,100 patients. They discovered a metabolite, known as C7H9O2N2, that was significantly correlated with cardiovascular events. Further studies revealed that this metabolite was actually two end products of niacin degradation, known as 2PY and 4PY. Genetic analysis also linked elevated levels of these metabolites to a gene related to tryptophan metabolism.

The implications of these findings are significant as they suggest a potential new avenue for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Hazen’s research could pave the way for a better understanding of the role of niacin in heart health and help identify individuals at higher risk of cardiovascular events.

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As the study continues to evolve, it will be crucial for healthcare providers to consider the risks of high niacin levels in patients and explore new strategies for mitigating these risks. The impact of this research could lead to a paradigm shift in how we view niacin and its role in cardiovascular health.

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