SAMe: What It Is and Who Can Benefit from It
SAMe is an abbreviation for S-Adenosylmethionine, which is a compound that can be found in almost every part of the body. SAMe is produced by the liver from amino acids found in certain foods. Researchers have found that SAMe is part of many processes and systems in the body.
SAMe has been noted to be involved in the immune system, as well as producing and managing chemicals in the brain. It has been noted to be a factor in levels of serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin, all of which help regulate mood and sleep.¹
We will go over the ways that SAMe supplements can be helpful for a number of issues.
What Is SAMe Used For?
SAMe is often taken to help alleviate depression, as well as reduce the pain associated with osteoarthritis. Some people have found it helpful for certain types of liver disease, as well as fibromyalgia and anxiety.²
SAMe for Depression
Doctors in Germany, Italy, Spain, and other countries have been prescribing SAMe as a medication for the treatment of depression for many years. Some research has shown SAMe to not only be a beneficial treatment for depression, but not have the common side effects of many anti-depression medications such as weight gain and sexual dysfunction. SAMe may also work more quickly than prescription medications for depression.³
SAMe for Arthritis
Some studies have shown that using SAMe reduced the pain of osteoarthritis just as well as NSAIDs, but without the side effects of stomach pain and ulcers. In some cases, it took almost a month to achieve satisfactory levels of pain relief.⁴ Researchers found that SAMe may even help with repairing the damage to the cartilage that is a component of osteoarthritis. Its use was also associated with improved range of motion and a reduction in morning stiffness.¹
SAMe for Liver Disease
Studies have shown that chronic liver conditions, such as those caused by certain medications or by alcoholism, may benefit from the use of SAMe. It was shown to increase lifespan and delay the need for a liver transplant in people with alcoholic liver cirrhosis.¹ It was also found to help in the treatment of Hepatitis C, in addition to reducing symptoms of liver disease such as jaundice and itching.⁵
Other Uses of SAMe
SAMe continues to be studied for the treatment of fibromyalgia, anxiety, ADHD, dementia, and even cancer.
How to Take SAMe
Starting with a low dose (about 200mg) and working up from there is generally a good idea when taking any new supplement. Since the most common side effect of SAMe is stomach upset, make sure to take it with food and a full glass of water. Increase the dosage slowly until you reach the desired dosing level.¹
Dosage levels vary depending on what SAMe is being used for:
- For depression: 400 to 800 mg taken twice a day (not at bedtime)
- For arthritis: 200 to 400 mg taken three times a day
- For liver disease: 300 to 600 mg taken twice a day under a doctor’s supervision¹
Side Effects and Precautions
The most common side effect of SAMe is stomach upset or nausea as stated above. There are other precautions to consider as well. SAMe may cause restlessness or a sense of elation, so you may not want to take it too close to bedtime.
If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder of any kind you should avoid taking SAMe, as it could lead to a manic episode.
Do not take SAMe with other antidepressants or with Demerol, Ultram, or Talwin or with any medication that contains dextromethorphan. Doing so can lead to a condition called serotonin syndrome, which can be very dangerous. Check with your doctor before taking SAMe if you are taking medications for Parkinson’s or diabetes, as there can be dangerous interactions.¹
Forrest Health Is a Leading Provider of SAMe Supplements
SAMe has many benefits for mental and physical health and could be a useful addition to your self-care regimen. Some forms of SAMe come with added B vitamins to help with absorption and synthesis.
Shop Forrest Health for your SAMe supplements today.