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Someone sent me a text message letting me know that CNN was reporting a new study that showed Vytorin and Zetia were ineffective in stopping or even slowing the build up of plaque in the arteries and that niacin a simple, inexpensive vitamin was better. I searched CNN and Fox and while I could find the headlines in search results, the stories had been pulled by both news reporting organizations. I found this re-reporting of the story on a radio station’s website. Here is the article:

Cholesterol Drug Study

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A new study has revealed that less is more when it comes to certain drugs used to lower cholesterol. The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds niacin, an inexpensive vitamin is more effective in helping to unclog arteries in people already taking statins than the widely prescribed drugs zetia and vytorin. These drugs are much more expensive than niacin and were prescribed more than 29 million times in the U.S. last year.

This is the third recent study that has called the effectiveness of zetia and vytorin into question. Doering says plaque buildup prevention was the main focus of the study. The study showed patients who took Zetia had more plaque in their arteries as well as more heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular problems than those using niacin.

However, those using Zetia had lower levels of “bad” cholesterol than those using niacin. Doering says we will probably see a change in what is prescribed for lowering cholesterol. Merck, which makes zetia and vytorin, plans to conduct their own large-scale trial with results expected in 2012.

We have been recommending True Omega 3 fish oil and Niacin for years, along with coQ10 and Healthy Cholesterol. Read the breakthrough study how Omega-3 in combination with extended release Niacin lowers cholesterol.

Garey Simmons, CHC,