Numerous reports have verified reduction of serum cholesterol levels in human hypercholesterolemia by large doses of nicotinic acid (3 to 6 gm. daily). In fact, it has become increasingly apparent that this is the most effective chemotherapeutic agent presently available for this purpose, as indicated by its prominent mention by several participants in the recent symposium on The Significance of Lowered Cholesterol Levels published by the AMA Council of Foods and Nutrition.1 The program's apparent safety has been mentioned by most investigators, but almost without exception the statements have been based on observations covering periods of one year or less.
Our first 2 years of experience (1956-1958) failed to show any significant alterations in hematologic studies, routine urinalyses, blood glucose, or nonprotein nitrogen levels, or in a battery of liver function tests. Needle biopsies of the liver in 17 patients after more than one year of treatment were reviewed
PARSONS WB. Studies of Nicotinic Acid Use in Hypercholesteremia: Changes in Hepatic Function, Carbohydrate Tolerance, and Uric Acid Metabolism. Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(5):653–667. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620050019003
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