I am a member of the National Lipid Association (Yes, exciting I know!). This morning I received an email about the newest Niacin study HPS2-THRIVE. The study (using EXTENDED RELEASE Niacin) found that:
"The primary composite endpoint of major vascular events (MVE) was not significantly reduced (risk ratio 0.96, 95% CI: 0.90-1.03, p =0.3) in the active arm. "Serious adverse events" were found in 3% more subjects in the active arm, although most were "minor hyperglycemic problems." Myopathy generally was uncommon (0.34%/yr), but was 4-fold higher overall in the active arm, and 10-fold higher among Chinese subjects."
Regardless, the NLA believes that, "Meanwhile, we believe that niacin remains a valuable adjunct to statin treatment for LDL-C lowering, and a valuable statin alternative in statin intolerant patients."
The bottom line is that for years we have known that Extended Release Niacin increases your risk for liver toxicity and shows little of the cardiovascular benefit that (real, Immediate Release) Niacin shows. If you are intolerant (like most people) of Niacin (Immediate Release), do not expect to get the same health benefits from the extended release preparations.
This illustrates the foundation of the Paleo/Primal movement: If you take real, healthy, natural food and manipulate it in a lab, do not expect to get the same health benefits!