Niacin can be obtained through a balanced diet, but it is also available in some supplements and cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Thousands of people take prescription niacin in a bid to prevent heart disease, but a 2019 study published in JAMA suggested this regimen offered little benefit.
Harvard Health explained: “The initial interest in niacin stemmed from the drug’s ability to raise HDL cholesterol, once through to protect against cardiovascular disease.
“But HDL is now considered more of a bystander than a helper when it comes to heart disease risk, according to current thinking.”
Data shows that a deficiency in niacin is exceedingly rare, given how readily available it is in common foods, but outbreaks can occur in areas where food is scarce.