Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

'Fountain of youth' steroids could protect against heart disease

Date:
May 23, 2010
Source:
University of Leeds
Summary:
A natural defense mechanism against heart disease could be switched on by steroids sold as health supplements, according to researchers.

A natural defence mechanism against heart disease could be switched on by steroids sold as health supplements, according to researchers at the University of Leeds.

Related Articles


The University of Leeds biologists have identified a previously-unknown ion channel in human blood vessels that can limit the production of inflammatory cytokines -- proteins that drive the early stages of heart disease.

They found that this protective effect can be triggered by pregnenolone sulphate -- a molecule that is part of a family of 'fountain-of-youth' steroids. These steroids are so-called because of their apparent ability to improve energy, vision and memory.

Importantly, collaborative studies with surgeons at Leeds General infirmary have shown that this defence mechanism can be switched on in diseased blood vessels as well as in healthy vessels.

So-called 'fountain of youth' steroids are made naturally in the body, but levels decline rapidly with age. This has led to a market in synthetically made steroids that are promoted for their health benefits, such as pregnenolone and DHEA. Pregnenolone sulphate is in the same family of steroids but it is not sold as a health supplement.

"The effect that we have seen is really quite exciting and also unexpected," said Professor David Beech, who led the study. "However, we are absolutely not endorsing any claims made by manufacturers of any health supplements. Evidence from human trials is needed first."

A chemical profiling study indicated that the protective effect was not as strong when cholesterol was present too. This suggests that the expected benefits of 'fountain of youth' steroids will be much greater if they are used in combination with cholesterol-lowering drugs and/or other healthy lifestyle strategies such as diet and exercise.

"These 'fountain of youth' steroids are relatively cheap to make and some of them are already available as commercial products. So if we can show that this effect works in people as well as in lab-based studies, then it could be a cost-effective approach to addressing cardiovascular health problems that are becoming epidemic in our society and world-wide," Professor Beech added.

The paper is published in Circulation Research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leeds. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Naylor, J. Li, C. J. Milligan, F. Zeng, P. Sukumar, B. Hou, A. Sedo, N. Yuldasheva, Y. Majeed, D. Beri, S. Jiang, V. A. L. Seymour, L. McKeown, B. Kumar, C. Harteneck, D. O'Regan, S. B. Wheatcroft, M. T. Kearney, C. Jones, K. E. Porter, D. J. Beech. Pregnenolone Sulphate- and Cholesterol-Regulated TRPM3 Channels Coupled to Vascular Smooth Muscle Secretion and Contraction. Circulation Research, 2010; 106 (9): 1507 DOI: 10.1161/circresaha.110.219329

Cite This Page:

University of Leeds. "'Fountain of youth' steroids could protect against heart disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517111912.htm>.
University of Leeds. (2010, May 23). 'Fountain of youth' steroids could protect against heart disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517111912.htm
University of Leeds. "'Fountain of youth' steroids could protect against heart disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517111912.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

AP (Oct. 31, 2014) Officials in the Washington area showed off Ebola response measures being taken at Dulles International Airport and the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins