This health video will focus on a dietary supplement that's been around for years, that doctors now believe it could hold great promise for the people with liver disease.
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Jennifer Matthews: Sandy Shaw likes to stay informed about ways to improve her health. So when she heard about a supplement that might help treat her liver disease, she was intrigued. Sandy Shaw: I had previously heard from my husband, who had heard some news reports, and my daughter, who works in a health food store, that SAM-e had been shown to have good effects on the liver. Jennifer Matthews: SAM-e is a dietary supplement used in the United States to treat depression and arthritis. European researchers now say the compound may slow liver disease. Dr. Shelly Lu found good results in the lab. She is looking for its benefits in treating patients with the liver disease cirrhosis. Dr. Shelly Lu: SAM-e is present in every single cell. It is generated by every cell, and it participates in a whole variety of different cellular processes. Jennifer Matthews: SAM-e is both generated by, and essential to, the liver. So when the liver becomes diseased, SAM-e production declines, and a vicious cycle is started. It is too early to tell if the supplement will help Sandy but she is optimistic. Sandy Shaw: If it helps me a little bit, if it gives me a few more years, if it does anything good for me at all, I think it's well worth it. Jennifer Matthews: There is no cure for right now for cirrhosis, so Shaw may ultimately need a liver transplant. But if the SAM-e works, her story may have a happier ending. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.

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