Niacin may sound like an easy and natural way to lower cholesterol. It’s a B vitamin — vitamin B3 — found in food and over-the-counter tablets. And several studies have shown that it can lower “bad” cholesterol and raise “good” cholesterol.
But two reports published Wednesday show niacin may cause some severe side effects, and in the end it doesn’t seem to reduce rates of stroke, heart attack or chest pain. Cardiologists have been shying away from it for a few years and experts said it may be time to seriously consider dropping it.