SAM-e supplement (S-Adenosyl methionine), pronounced as “Sammy”, is a synthetic form of a naturally-occurring amino acid derived from an essential sulfur-containing amino acid known as methionine, an integral component of most of the proteins in the body and the energy boosting compound adenosine triphosphate (ATP) the primary source of energy found in the cells.
First discovered in 1952, by research scientists in Italy, SAM-e specifically targets nerve production, cell maintenance and has proven analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. SAM-e is believed to be involved in more than 35 complex biochemical processes in the body including increasing natural antioxidant levels helping to support liver health. Since its discovery, the effectiveness of SAM-e has been evaluated for a diverse array of disorders in more than 75 clinical trial studies.
While SAM-e has been available as a dietary supplement in the United States since 1999, it has found wide prescription use in Italy since 1979 and gain governmental approval in Spain in 1985 and Germany in 1989. It is interesting to note that the potential usefulness of SAM-e for relieving pain came about by accident. Researchers studying SAM-e’s effect on depression noted patient they were following reported an unexpected improvement in the osteoarthritis symptoms.
Although SAM-e is naturally present in every cell of the body, it declines with age, causing moodiness, irritability, anger control issues and depression. SAM-e also plays an important role in a process known as methylation that is involved in the way the body protects itself heart disease, cancer, and neurological disorders. SAM-e also impacts the regulation of neurotransmitters and hormones like dopamine, melatonin, and serotonin as well as the potent anti-oxidant glutathione and multiple cartilage components.
SAM-e is believed to relieve swelling, pain, and inflammation associated with arthritis by increasing production of cartilage make cells to regulate protein-sugar complexes called “proteo-glycan” that provide a protective shock absorbing benefit for joints.
Stabilizing levels of SAM-e in the body can help relieve the symptoms of depression and swollen joints while it improves mobility, builds cartilage and collagen, and provides relief from discomfort of fibromyalgia, low back pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease and osteoarthritis.
Because of its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, SAM-e is commonly used as a nutritional supplement to treat a broad array of health issues including musculoskeletal disorders, infertility, heart disease and mental health conditions such as premenstrual disorders (PMS) And a more severe form of PMS known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), anxiety and depression. WebMD.com reports that SAM-e has also proved useful in improving intellectual performance, and exhibits benefits for patients with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ACHD), spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, seizures, lead poisoning, migraine headaches,
A large body of research data provides support of SAM-e as a powerful painkiller with studies indicating that oral supplementation of SAM-e is as effective as NSAID painkillers. Although SAM-e takes somewhat longer to act, it exhibits fewer side effects than NSAIDS. SAM-e also boosts natural antioxidant levels and may provide benefits for liver health. In the liver, SAM-e helps supports the improved flow of bile and replenishes important antioxidants.
Available as a non-prescription dietary supplement, SAM-e is sold in tablet form in several varying strengths. Many are enteric coated which allows passage directly into the intestines rather than release in the stomach. This helps ensure getting the full benefit of the supplement. Medical research studies indicate SAM-e may work effectively at 800 mg. If after a 10-day period, a larger dosage is indicated 1200mg is recommended with that amount stepped up to 1600mg if appropriate.
SAM-e is often recommended as a single agent or to augment other therapies. It is frequently used to treat combinations of conditions such as depression and fibromyalgia or osteoarthritis and depression. The dosage and length of therapy are dependent on the patient’s depression history, associated conditions, genetic history and lifestyle. Your clinician can help you establish the optimum dosage and a treatment time frame. The minimum is usually six to twelve months.
SAM-e is absorbed best when taken on an empty stomach with a full glass of water. Some people experience headaches or stomach distress when they first start taking SAM-e. Side effects are typically mild and normally disappear within the first two weeks of taking the supplement. High dosages, which are not recommended, may cause diarrhea.
SAM-e is an unstable compound and must be stored at room temperature. Do not put in the refrigerator as moisture can denature it. High temperatures should be avoided. SAM-e is typically packaged in moisture-proof bubble packs with each table wrapped individually. SAM-e butanedisulphonate and SAM-e tosylate are formulations found to be more stable than other varieties of SAM-e.
SAM-e appears as an effective treatment for depression. It is well tolerated by most people and has fewer side effects than many prescription antidepressants and does not promote weight gain, sedation, sexual dysfunction or cognitive interferences.