Stunning hyperlink discovered between niacin and threat of coronary heart assault and stroke

A shopper looks at a meat display on June 20, 2022 at the Market 32 Supermarket in South Burlington, Vermont. Niacin can be found in foods such as red meat, poultry, fish, fortified cereals and breads, brown rice, nuts, legumes, and bananas.

Enlarge / A client seems to be at a meat show on June 20, 2022 on the Market 32 Grocery store in South Burlington, Vermont. Niacin will be present in meals resembling pink meat, poultry, fish, fortified cereals and breads, brown rice, nuts, legumes, and bananas. (credit score: Getty | Robert Nickelsberg)

Within the early 20th century, the deadliest nutrient-related illness in US historical past ravaged the American South. Pellagra, a illness brought on by a deficiency in niacin and/or tryptophan, is marked by the 4 “D’s”: diarrhea, dermatitis that results in ugly pores and skin plaques, dementia, and dying. At its peak throughout the Nice Melancholy, pellagra killed practically 7,000 Southerners a yr. Between 1906 and 1940, researchers estimate that the epidemic struck roughly three million People, killing round 100,000.

The lethal epidemic led to voluntary—and ultimately obligatory—fortification of wheat and different cereals with niacin (aka Vitamin B3). By the center of the century, pellagra practically vanished from the US. However, a long time later, the general public well being triumph could also be backfiring. With People’ diets extra reliant than ever on processed, niacin-fortified meals, the common niacin consumption within the US is now nearing what’s thought-about the tolerable higher restrict of the nutrient, in accordance with a federal well being survey. And an intensive examine just lately printed in Nature Drugs means that these extra quantities of niacin could also be exacerbating heart problems, rising dangers of coronary heart assaults, strokes, and dying.

The examine, led by Stanley Hazen, chair of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Sciences at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Analysis Institute, related excessive blood ranges of a breakdown product of niacin—and to a lesser extent, tryptophan—to an elevated threat of main adversarial cardiovascular occasions (MACE). And this elevated threat seems to be unbiased of identified threat components for these occasions, resembling excessive ldl cholesterol.

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