Animal study shows that the supplement SAMe may decrease the risk of primary liver cancer

August 04, 2009

Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) found that the supplement S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) has a role in the prevention of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), or primary liver cancer. In their first experiment, Shelly Lu, MD, of USCs Keck School of Medicine and her associates injected rats with liver cancer cells, which resulted in tumor formation in 80% of the animals after two weeks.

Beginning 24 hours after the injection, half the rats received intravenous SAMe and the other received a control-placebo substance daily for 11 days. At the end of the treatment period, the animals were examined for tumor presence and size. One-third of the SAMe treated rats were found to have small tumors, much larger tumors were discovered in two-thirds of the animals not protected with SAMe. The results are published in the August, 2009 issue of the journal Hepatology.