Niacin Won’t Help, May Harm, Heart Patients

For 50 years we’ve been told that taking high doses of the B vitamin niacin was one way to lower cholesterol and improve heart health. Now some prominent physicians have had an abrupt change of heart: New research shows that niacin not only doesn’t help but could be very risky for patients. Two large studies, published July 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that taking niacin didn’t reduce deaths from heart disease and it put patients at …

Skip Fasting Before a Cholesterol Test, Study Says

We’re supposed to fast for eight to 12 hours before having our blood tested for cholesterol, but wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to forgo breakfast and that first cup of coffee? Well, maybe we can. A new study suggests that most of us can skip fasting and still get accurate cholesterol measurements. The study, published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine, says fasting before the test has little impact on the results. Lipid, or fat, levels …