Galveston County Daily News (Internet / Print) 05/31/06 A major international cardiovascular study to be announced today will try to flush out one of the major stumbling blocks in the use of a common vitamin to raise “good” cholesterol levels. Some 20,000 people from the United Kingdom, China and Scandinavia will be recruited for the study. They will be the subjects in a British-based university research team’s effort to test a new drug that raises the level of “good” HDL cholesterol. The hope is that the new drug, dubbed MK-0524A, can minimize the main side effect that has thus far prevented the widespread use of niacin — also known as vitamin B3 — which has proven effective in raising HDL cholesterol. “The reason we haven’t seen substantial testing of niacin is that it’s hard to tolerate at high doses over the long term, with the uncomfortable side effect of facial flushing,” said Barry Uretsky, director of the cardiology division at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.