Gateway Health News



Niacin/Inositol hexanicotinate
It has been confirmed in numerous clinical trials that both niacin and inositol
hexanicotinate (a non-flushing, inositol-bound form of niacin) are remarkably effective
for lowering total blood cholesterol levels, essentially by reducing cholesterol
production in the liver. An added advantage is that these supplements have also been
shown to increase levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Niacin and inositol hexanicotinate
also lower levels of lipoprotein A (which carries and deposits cholesterol into damaged
areas in the arteries and impedes the breakdown of clots), triglycerides and fibrinogen
(a protein involved in the formation of blood clots). Take with B-complex to ensure B
vitamin balance.

Oxidised LDL cholesterol is a risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis. As a
potent fat-soluble antioxidant, astaxanthin has been shown in studies to prevent
oxidation and has therefore been proposed as a protective factor in cardiovascular
disease. Preliminary studies also suggest that astaxanthin may be helpful in increasing
levels of HDL (good) cholesterol while reducing potentially harmful LDL cholesterol. A
high ratio of HDL to LDL is associated with a lower risk of heart disease. A blood
pressure lowering effect has also been noted in research, possibly due to an influence
on nitric oxide – which relaxes the smooth muscle around arteries.

Numerous studies have identified the potential cholesterol lowering effects of soluble
fibres such as psyllium, apple pectin and oat bran. In one study researchers noted an 11
to 15 percent reduction in serum cholesterol in 140 men eating 75 grams of oat bran
per day for six weeks. Soluble fibres appear to increase the level of faecal excretion of

Disturbances in the balance of intestinal ecology can lead to problems of detoxification
and studies have recently revealed the positive impact of probiotic supplements on
cholesterol levels. In one study total cholesterol was reduced by 20% following a
period of supplementation with a combination of organisms including Lactobacillus
acidophilus and bifidobacterium lactis.

PMFs are extremely bioactive and potent bioflavonoids found in citrus fruits. Specific
PMFs, including nobiletin and tangeretin, have been found to help control LDL
cholesterol by inhibiting the creation of its building blocks: apolipoprotein B and
triglycerides. Apolipoprotein B is considered the primary building block, making up
almost 90 percent of the LDL cholesterol complex. Interestingly, triglycerides are one
of the key contributors to the formation of apolipoprotein B.
Tocotrienols, along with tocopherols, are members of the vitamin E family and are
extracted from the fruit of the palm tree. Like vitamin E, palm tocotrienols are potent
antioxidants, but they can also help to normalise levels of the enzyme HMG-CoA
reductase, which is necessary for cholesterol synthesis in the liver and other tissues. The
tocotrienols in Sytrinol appear to reduce the levels of this important enzyme by
increasing the rate at which the enzyme molecules degrade rather than simply blocking
the action of the enzyme – as is the case with certain types of cholesterol lowering

Cholesterol Summary

Nutrient/Herb Typical intake range
Niacin (as inositol hexanicotinate)1 500 – 1000mg per day (plus B-Complex)
Astaxanthin 4 – 8mg per day
Psyllium husk fibre 2 – 6g per day with glass of water
Probiotics 1 – 10 billion organisms per day
Sytrinol 2 150 - 300mg per day
Purple Corn3 500-1500mg per day dried extract

Saturated fat
Trans fat
Refined carbohydrates
Animal proteins
Fried foods


Vegetarian proteins
Oily fish
Nuts and seeds
Whole grains

Lifestyle Factors
Vegetarian diets are associated with lower incidence of cardiovascular disease
Achieve ideal body weight
Take regular exercise
Stop smoking

1. High-dose niacin in any form should be avoided in those with pre-existing liver disease (or
elevated liver enzymes) or gall bladder disease, unless under medical supervision. Long-term,
high-dose niacin or inositol hexanicotinate should be avoided in diabetics unless medically
supervised. High-dose niacin should be avoided in cases of pregnancy, peptic ulcers or gout
unless under medical supervision. Taking high-dose niacin with alcohol, beta-blockers,
mecamylamine or pargyline may cause severe hypotension (low blood pressure).
2. Do not use during pregnancy or lactation. Concurrent use with cholesterol lowering drugs under
medical supervision only.