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E. Can DHEA Protect Your Heart?

Narrator: This is Science Today. A hormone widely sold in health food stores as a nutritional supplement to stave off aging, cancer and heart disease, has been found to support cardiovascular health. Christian Zellner, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco says in their study, DHEA reduced the constriction of arteries in a way similar to nitroglycerin, a current treatment for a variety of heart disease.

Zellner: We also showed that it enhances the function of the inner lining of arteries called the endothelial cell. They protect the arteries from deposit of lipids in the vessel wall. So the endothelial cell function is very important for keeping up good health and protecting your heart from heart disease or the arteries from coronary artery disease.

Narrator: Zellner emphasizes more studies need to be conducted.

Zellner: It appears that there are no serious side effects at present, but it's very important that a substance that's available as a nutritional supplement is scientifically investigated for it's side effects and for it's beneficial effects.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.