SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine), a nutritional supplement, is the synthetic version of a naturally occurring compound found in the body. SAM-e was discovered in Italy in 1952, and since the 1970’s has been extensively tested and widely used in Europe. For more than two decades SAM-e has been prescribed in Europe as an alternative treatment of depression, arthritis, and anxiety. Studies of the effects of SAM-e have found it to be as good if not better than conventional drugs. In the United States SAM-e is only available as a nutritional supplement and not an approved drug. This is only because it has not been sufficiently tested by the Food and Drug Administration. Although it is generally prescribed in Europe for depression, anxiety and arthritis, SAM-e has also been found to be helpful in the treatment of many other health problems and ailments. Here is a list of the known benefits of SAM-e supplements.
SAM-e Benefits for Depression:
SAM-e appears to boost levels of important brain compounds like the neurotransmitter dopamine and the mood-enhancer serotonin. In addition, SAM-e enhances serotonin and dopamine as it facilitates their binding to the proper receptor sites in the brain. Serotonin and dopamine are two very important compounds that are responsible for controlling mood. Results from tests, research and trials since the 1970’s, have shown SAM-e to be equal, if not superior, to tricyclic antidepressants in treating depression. Not only is it as effective, it works faster (people see positive results within 7 days with SAM-e as opposed to up to 6-8 weeks with prescription antidepressants), and without significant side effects. My wife and I both noticed a positive change in mood, energy level and focus after about a week on 200 mg of SAM-e, and a more significant change after the second week on 400 mg of SAM-e for treating depression and mood swings. I am not saying this will be the case for everyone, I am just sharing our personal experiences.
SAM-e Benefits for Osteoarthritis:
While being used to treat patients with mood disorder, SAM-e was found to have a beneficial effect on Osteoarthritis. Today there is a significant amount of research that supports the use of SAM-e in treating Osteoarthritis. Research has shown that SAM-e may provide pain relief and improve body function if you suffer from Osteoarthritis. SAM-e may also decrease morning stiffness, improve range of motion, increase walking pace and promote cartilage repair. SAM-e has been shown to be at least as effective as NSAIDs, if not more so, without causing the side effects associated with NSAID use.
SAM-e Benefits for Fibromyalgia:
According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), SAM-e may help improve some symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Such symptoms include pain, fatigue, morning stiffness and mood.
SAM-e Benefits for Liver Disease:
According to research, studies and clinical trials it is suggested that SAM-e can detoxify the liver and help protect against liver damage. Research and studies suggest that taking a SAM-e supplement may detoxify the liver, aid a damaged liver, fight off liver disease, improve survival or delay liver transplantation in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis, and reduce biochemical parameters of intrahepatic cholestasis, such as bile salts. SAM-e is naturally produced by the liver as a result of the interaction between adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and methionine and is highly concentrated in liver tissue. The liver largely uses its SAM-e for the synthesis of glutathione, which is vital to a healthy liver. The liver can produces around eight milligrams of SAM-e a day when it is healthy. The majority of SAM-e produced by the liver is then consumed by the liver as well. When the liver is not healthy, SAM-e production can be very low. If the liver isn’t producing enough SAM-e, then it’s not getting enough glutathione. Though research suggest that taking a SAM-e supplement may aid a damaged liver and fight off liver disease, a SAM-e supplement will not transform a diseased liver into a healthy one. However, it can possibly help sustain a liver long enough for a person to get a liver transplant.
SAM-e Benefits for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD):
In a small study of adult men with ADD, 75% experienced less anxiety, felt more confident and an increase in focus. It is also thought that SAM-e may be helpful in the treatment of ADD/ADHD due to its calming and anti-stress effects. Maggie Greenwood-Robinson, Author of “20/20 Thinking: 1,000 Powerful Strategies to Sharpen Your Mind, Brighten Your Mood, and Boost Your Memory,” says in her book that SAM-e has been tested for adult ADD/ADHD and showed “impressive” results. More studies are currently being done on the benefits of SAM-e in treating Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD). I personally noticed positive benefits of SAM-e in treating ADD. As I mentioned on the home page, I have tried just about every prescription medication for treating ADD and none of them really worked for me, and I experienced severe side effects with all of them. After taking 400 mg of SAM-e for about 2 weeks I noticed an increase in focus and alertness with no side effects. Again, I am not saying this will be the case for everyone, I am just sharing my personal experience.
Studies are still being conducted on the possible SAM-e benefits in the treatment of the following:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Anxiety – I have personally experienced less anxiety since I started taking SAM-e
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Intrahepatic Cholestasis
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
- Spinal Cord Injury