Herbal Medicine

Is inositol hexanicotinate effective in lowering cholesterol

In response to below, NO. The latest data we have shows that Inositol Hexanicotinate doe not affect HDL, LDL or TGs at all. It was “presumed” to work, but this has since been disproven. All the articles below are essentially speculation. The FDA should actually pull the drug off the market since the only thing it actually does help is vitamin B deficiency (which is rare). People take it to avoid flushing, but since it doesn’t help with lipids at all, it doesn’t matter that it avoids flushing – it does this because it’s not actually working.

If you want to lower your LDL and TG and raise your HDL, take immediate release niacin (OTC), slow-release niacin (Slo-Niacin – OTC) or extended-release niacin (Niaspan – Rx). Ask your pharmacist for more information.

-the most recent published information I could find upon cursory search is Meyers CD, Carr MC, Park S, Brunzell JD. Varying cost and free nicotinic acid content in over-the-counter niacin preparations for dyslipidemia. Ann Intern Med. 2003;139(12):996-1002.

Yes, based on the open scientific literature it lowers high cholesterol better than does plain Niacin. Basically triglycerides (VLDL) are reduced and HDL is increased (a very good thing). You can expect your total cholesterol to approach a more normal value.

The decrease expected (dTC) from your initial total cholesterol level (TC) varies according to ones’ body weight (Wgt) by the equation:

dTC = 0.95(TC) – 0.39(Wgt) – 90 (from Abram Hoffer M.D. Ph.D)

Dr Hoffer notes that total cholesterol levels will rise if the initial level was abnormally low for the patient’s body weight (here a negative dTC is an increase).

Supporting data:

“IHN is more effective than niacin in its hypocholesterolemic,
antihypertensive and lipotropic effects”
Welsh AL, Eade M. Inositol hexanicotinate for improved nicotinic acid therapy.
Int Record Med 1961;174:9-15.

“significant lipid-lowering effects of IHN at doses of 400 mg 3-4 times daily”
Dorner V, Fischer FW. The influence of m-inositol hexanicotinate ester on the serum lipids and lipoproteins. Arzneim-Forsch 1961;11:110-113.

Sommer H. Nicotinic acid levels in the blood and fibrinolysis under the influence of the hexanicotinic ester of m-inositol. Arzneim Forsch. 1975;15:1337

“IHN was found to be more effective than niacin in reducing hypercholesterolemia”
El-Enein AMA, Hafez YS, Salem H, Abdel M. The role of nicotinic acid and inositol hexaniacinate as anticholesterolemic and antilipemic agents.
Nutr Reports Int 1983;28:899-911.

“Derivatives of niacin have been examined for their ability to alter lipid levels as well as niacin. It would be advantageous if the niacin vasodilation (flush) were eliminated or removed. The main disadvantage of the niacin derivatives will be cost. Inositol hexanicotinate is an ester of inositol and niacin. In the body it is slowly hydrolyzed releasing both of these important nutrients. The ester is more effective than niacin in lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, Abou El-Enein, Hafez, Salem and Abdel (1983). I have used this compound, Linodil, available in Canada but not the U.S.A. (at the time this paper was written) for thirty years for patients who can not or will not tolerate the flush. It is very gentle, effective, and can be tolerated by almost every person who uses it.”
From: Niacin, Coronary Disease and Longevity by Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D.

BIAM (a database designed for health professionals) entry:
Alternate Names:
“inositol hexanicotinate”
“inositol hexaniacinate”
“hexanicotinoyl inositol”
“inositol hexanicotinate”
“mesoinositol hexanicotinate”

Trade Names:

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