Influence of nicotinic acid on metabolism of cholesterol and triglycerides in man

Scott M Grundy, H. Y I Mok, L. Zech, M. Berman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

224 Scopus citations

Abstract

The mechanisms for the hypolipidemic action of nicotinic acid were examined in 12 patients with hyperlipidemia. Most patients were studied in the hospital on a metabolic ward. The first month was a control period followed by 1 month on nicotinic acid. During treatment with nicotinic acid, the triglycerides (TG) decreased in total plasma by an average of 52% and in very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) by 36%. Transport rates of VLDL-TG were determined by multicompartmental analysis following injection of [3H]glycerol as a precursor. Nicotinic acid decreased transport (synthesis) of VLDL-TG by an average of 21%. Kinetic modeling of the VLDL-TG data suggested that the TG reduction was due to a decrease in TG content of VLDL and hence a reduction in lipoprotein size more than number. For the whole group, plasma cholesterol fell during nicotinic acid therapy by a mean of 22%. The drug produced no detectable changes in fecal excretions of cholesterol (neutral steroids) or bile acids. However, it induced a small but significant increment in hepatic secretion of biliary cholesterol that might have led to a net loss of cholesterol from the body even though this loss could not be detected by sterol balance. Despite this increase in outputs of biliary cholesterol, there was not a significant increase in molar % cholesterol or in % saturation of gallbladder bile. Therefore, it is doubtful that nicotinic acid enhances the risk for cholesterol gallstones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-36
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of lipid research
Volume22
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology

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