What you need to know about SAMe supplements

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If you live with a medical condition such as osteoarthritis or depression, you may already know how it can affect other aspects of your health, contributing to problems like weight gain, trouble sleeping, and chronic pain.

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One remedy to alleviate depression , arthritis, and other conditions is supplementation with SAMe, also known as ademethionine or S-adenosylmethionine. SAMe is a synthetic form of a compound that occurs naturally in the body from methionine (an essential amino acid) and adenosine triphosphate (an energy-producing compound) .

Commonly known as

  • Same
  • Same
  • ademethionine
  • S-adenosylmethionine

SAMe is not found in food. The body generally produces what it needs for good health, however certain medical conditions and low levels of methionine, folate, or vitamin B12 are believed to contribute to lower levels of SAMe.

SAMe is believed to promote the production of chemicals known to play key roles in various processes in the body.

SAMe is commonly used for the following health problems:

SAMe is also believed to improve mental performance, improve liver health , slow down the aging process, and help people quit smoking .

Health benefits

These are some of the studies on the possible benefits of SAMe.

Osteoarthritis

SAMe shows promise in treating osteoarthritis of the knee or hip joint. It is said to relieve pain and have anti-inflammatory properties, and some research suggests that it can help repair cartilage .

Depression

In a review of studies published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2016, scientists analyzed eight previously published clinical trials comparing SAMe with the antidepressants imipramine, desipramine, escitalopram, or placebo .

SAMe was superior to placebo when used with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, but the evidence was judged of low quality. Compared with imipramine, fewer participants experienced side effects with injectable SAMe. SAMe did not differ from placebo or antidepressants such as imipramine or escitalopram when used alone.

In their conclusion, the review authors state that the use of SAMe for the treatment of depression warrants further study in larger, better-designed studies, "given the lack of high-quality evidence and the inability to draw firm conclusions from these data " .

Fibromyalgia

In a review of research published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2010, researchers reviewed 70 previously published clinical trials evaluating the use of various types of complementary therapies for chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia . Along with magnesium, L-carnitine, acupuncture, and various meditation practices, the reviewers named SAMe among the treatments with the greatest potential for further research on its effectiveness against these conditions .

Liver disease

SAMe may improve liver function in people with chronic liver disease, according to a 2015 review of the study published in the journal PLoS One . However, when evaluating 12 previously published clinical trials included in the review, the authors also found that SAMe may have limited benefits. in the treatment of certain liver diseases such as viral hepatitis and cholestasis .

Possible side effects.

The side effects of SAMe are minor, but include nausea and digestive problems. Large amounts of SAMe can cause mania (abnormally high mood). There is also a concern that the use of SAMe may cause an allergic reaction in some people .

Interactions

If you have bipolar disorder, Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, Parkinson's disease, or other health conditions, you should only use SAMe under the supervision of a doctor, as it can make your symptoms worse.

It is important to note that there may be risks when combining SAMe with medications or other supplements. You should not take SAMe in combination with antidepressants, cough medications, diabetes medications, levodopa (L-dopa), L-tryptophan, medications that affect serotonin levels, St. John's wort, or other medications unless it is low the supervision of a doctor. . professional. SAMe should be stopped at least two weeks before planned surgery.

The safety of SAMe in children, pregnant or nursing women, and people with kidney or liver disease has not been established. Please note that SAMe should not be used as a substitute for standard treatment.

Dosage and preparation

SAMe supplements are sold in capsule, tablet, and powder form. Doses of 200 mg to 800 mg and up to 1600 mg are commonly used, depending on the condition.

What to look for

When choosing a supplement brand , look for products that are certified by Consumer Labs, USP, or NSF International.

Look for enteric-coated SAMe supplements to help prevent the supplement from entering the stomach, where stomach acid and enzymes can break down the main ingredients. This allows the supplement to remain unchanged until it reaches the small intestine.

Other questions

Can you get SAMe naturally from food?

SAMe is not found in food and is produced naturally by the body. However, people with low levels of methionine, folic acid, or vitamin B12 may have a hard time making enough SAMe.

Get the word of drug information

Living with any chronic illness is not easy. While some research suggests that SAMe may offer some benefits, we can't be so firm on this link until well-designed, large-scale clinical trials have been done (the kind of research you'd like to see to get a complete picture of the treatment). …

It is also important to remember that SAMe should not be used in conjunction with or in place of the treatment recommended by your healthcare professional. If you are considering trying a SAMe supplement, be sure to speak with your doctor to weigh the pros and cons and discuss whether it is right for you.

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