SAMe, also known as S-Adenosyl Methionine, is a supplement made from Adenosine Triphosphate and Methionine and is used as a treatment for mild depression, boosting mood and nergy levels. Nootropic benefit is thought to be derived from the fact that SAMe may reduce brain inflammation, which preserves optimal brain functioning. This substance is believed to help the brain to produce and break down Serotonin, Melatonin, and Dopamine. Moreover, some studies show that it has the ability to inhibit the growth and development of cancer tumor cells and may be helpful in improving mood for patients with Parkinson's disease.
It is also known as S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine.
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Benefits and Effectiveness
What is SAMe?
S-Adenosyl Methionine or SAMe has been available as a dietary supplement in the United States since 1999, however, this drug has been widely prescribed in Germany since 1989, in Spain since 1985, and in Italy since 1979.
S-Adenosyl Methionine plays an important role in the activation, formation, or breakdown of different chemicals inside our body, including proteins, phospholipids, hormones, and certain medications. S-Adenosyl Methionine is a molecule that is naturally formed by our body. However, it can also be created in the laboratory.
This dietary supplement is administered by mouth to treat conditions like anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, heart problems, gastrointestinal upset, bursitis, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, chronic low back pain, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), liver problems, Parkinson’s disease, as well as slowing down the process of aging and enhancing mental performance. Some women take S-Adenosyl Methionine orally to treat premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and a more severe form of it known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). It has also been used to treat other conditions like multiple sclerosis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD, seizures, spinal cord injury, lead poisoning, and migraine headache.
S-Adenosyl Methionine can be administered intravenously (by IV) to treat conditions like AIDS-related nervous system disorders, osteoarthritis, depression, liver disease, fibromyalgia, cirrhosis, and intrahepatic cholestasis, which is a liver disorder that occurs in pregnant women. It is injected as a shot for depression, fibromyalgia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
S-Adenosyl Methionine could also help some disorders related to the buildup of a chemical known as porphyrin or its precursors, and breakdown a chemical inside the body known as bilirubin, which is the yellow breakdown product of normal heme catabolism, caused by the body's clearance of aged red blood cells which contain hemoglobin; it is also responsible for the brown color of feces, via its conversion to stercobilin, and the background straw-yellow color of urine via its breakdown product, urobilin.
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Why do people use it? What are the benefits of S-Adenosyl Methionine?
- S-Adenosyl Methionine for Osteoarthritis: Taking S-Adenosyl Methionine through oral administration was known to function in the same process as aspirin and similar drugs in decreasing the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis. However, it takes twice as long before the effects can be noticed. Majority of the individuals who are suffering from osteoarthritis should take S-Adenosyl Methionine for about a month before they feel better.
- S-Adenosyl Methionine for Depression: Taking S-Adenosyl Methionine through oral administration, as a shot, or as an injection was thought to decrease the symptoms associated with major depression. Numerous research studies demonstrate that taking S-Adenosyl Methionine orally could be beneficial and may be as effective as some prescription drugs (tricyclic antidepressants) that are used to treat depression. Some studies suggest that taking S-Adenosyl Methionine via oral administration could be beneficial for individuals who demonstrate poor response to some prescription antidepressants. Administering S-Adenosyl Methionine as a shot or as an injection also seem to improve symptoms associated with depression as effectively as other prescription drugs that are used to treat depression. However, small doses of S-Adenosyl Methionine (100 to 200 milligrams) was found to not improve depression scores in individuals with minimal to moderate depression when given as a shot or as an injection. It is recommended by some experts that S-Adenosyl Methionine should not be taken in combination with a prescription antidepressant without the guidance of a doctor or a qualified medical practitioner.
- S-Adenosyl Methionine for Fibromyalgia: Some experts suggest that taking S-Adenosyl Methionine via oral administration could be beneficial for patients with fibromyalgia. On the other hand, there are inconsistent finding regarding the effects of S-Adenosyl Methionine in fibromyalgia when administered intravenously. Some studies show that it can also decrease the symptoms of fibromyalgia such as the number of tender points and pain. However, some research studies suggest that it does not.
- S-Adenosyl Methionine for Intrahepatic Cholestasis (a condition which the flow of bile from the liver has been blocked): It was found out that short-term effects of administering S-Adenosyl Methionine orally or intravenously could decrease the symptoms associated with intrahepatic cholestasis. This condition was known to be caused by pregnancy or by acute and chronic liver disease. S-Adenosyl Methionine can be beneficial for people who have this condition since it reduces tiredness, markers of liver damage, and itching. In pregnant women who have intrahepatic cholestasis, S-Adenosyl Methionine was known to decrease the possibility of preterm birth more effectively than prescription drugs known as beta-mimetics. However, S-Adenosyl Methionine is not as effective as ursodeoxycholic acid in treating the symptoms associated with intrahepatic cholestasis.
Is it safe? What are the side effects of S-Adenosyl Methionine?
S-Adenosyl Methionine was thought to be safe when administered by mouth, when injected as a shot, or given intravenously (by IV). However, some of the reported side effects of this medication include vomiting, gas, diarrhea, dry mouth, constipation, mild insomnia, headache, sweating, anorexia, nervousness, and dizziness, especially when given at high dosages. Some users who are suffering from depression reported that it could also make them feel anxious.
What is the appropriate dose for S-Adenosyl Methionine?
The following are the suggested dose for S-Adenosyl Methionine:
- For Osteoarthritis: 600 to 1,200 mg of S-Adenosyl Methionine per day, taken up to 3 divided dosages, taken up to eighty-four days.
- For Depression: 1,600 mg of S-Adenosyl Methionine per day, divided into 2 equally divided dosages, taken up to 8 weeks.
- For Fibromyalgia: 800 mg of S-Adenosyl Methionine per day in 2 equally divided dosages, taken up to 6 weeks.
- For Intrahepatic Cholestasis (a condition which the flow of bile from the liver has been blocked): 1,600 mg of S-Adenosyl Methionine per day in 2 equally divided dosages, taken up to 2 weeks or 500 mg taken twice a day until delivery.
- For Cirrhosis: 600 mg of S-Adenosyl Methionine a day for 30 days.
- For Sexual Dysfunction: 400 mg of S-Adenosyl Methionine 2 times per day for 2 weeks, gradually increased up to 800 mg 2 times per day for another six weeks.
- For Osteoarthritis: 400 mg of S-Adenosyl Methionine per day for 5 days. 60 mg of S-Adenosyl Methionine injected as a shot for 1 week.
- For Depression: 400 to 800 mg of S-Adenosyl Methionine for 2 to 4 weeks. 45 to 400 mg of S-Adenosyl Methionine has been injected as a shot per day for 1 to 4 weeks, with or without combining antidepressant medications.
- For Fibromyalgia: 400 mg of S-Adenosyl Methionine per day for 15 days. 200 mg of S-Adenosyl Methionine given as a shot per day for 3 weeks.
- For Cirrhosis: 800 mg of S-Adenosyl Methionine once a day for 14 days, or 250 mg two times per day for 1 month.
Reviewer: Kathleen R. RN, PT
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Wiki Last Updated: 2016-02-16
Some side effects associated with SAMe usage include headaches, nausea, diarrhea, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and heart palpitations.
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