A high level of good HDL cholesterol is great for heart health, but a hard goal to reach. One of the few products that raises HDL is niacin. Its inexpensive, available over-the-counter (OTC) and also lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. But most people wont tolerate its side effects, which they describe as similar to hot flashes. No-flush niacin is available OTC, but has no effect on cholesterol and may be toxic to the liver. Thats why most doctors recommend prescription niacin, which tends to cause fewer undesirable side effects. However, its value is being questioned.