Request Clinical Starter Kits for Your Patients Today! Request Now

Are you a clinician?

This is a clinician-only website.
By entering, you acknowledge that you're a clinician.

Niacin supplementation improves endothelial dysfunction, meta-analysis shows


  • Meta-analysis of 7 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials with 441 subjects
  • Changes in endothelial function measured by brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD)
  • Niacin treatment significantly improves endothelial function


This systematic review and meta-analysis was designed to investigate the effect of niacin on endothelial function, as measured by brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD).

Eligible for inclusion were randomized controlled trials investigating the impact of niacin therapy on brachial artery FMD. Meta-analysis of eligible studies was conducted using a random-effects model. Pooled effects were measured by weighted mean difference (WMD) and 95% confidence intervals. Quality assessment, and subgroup, meta-regression and sensitivity analyses were conducted using standard methods. Seven studies with a combined total of 441 subjects met the inclusion criteria and were included in the analysis.

In an overall pooled estimate, niacin therapy significantly improved FMD (WMD: 1.98%; 95% CI: 0.91-3.05%; P=.0003) and this effect was robust in the sensitivity analysis. The effect size was greater in the subgroup of studies administering higher doses of niacin (≥ 2,000 mg/day) as well as those studies administering niacin for primary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

Meta-regression indicated no association between niacin-induced changes in FMD and changes in plasma HDL-cholesterol, LDL cholesterol or triglycerides. None of the included studies reported any significant effect of niacin on nitroglycerin-mediated dilation.

These findings indicate treatment with niacin supplementation improves endothelial function.


Sahebkar A. Effect of niacin on endothelial function: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Vasc Med. 2014;19(1):54-66. Review.

PMID: 24391126