SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine) is a molecule that was discovered in the 1950s. It is a substance normally synthesized by the human body, but also an amino acid found naturally in foods. In healthy individuals, there is normal SAMe production, but over the years and when there is a disease, its levels are significantly reduced.
What is SAMe?
It is a derivative of the amino acid L-methionine, which is synthesized in the body and stored in brain, liver and adrenal glands. It is a methyl donor molecule and participates in enzymatic processes of methylation in the body. In addition, it participates in the production of hormones, in the maintenance and growth of the cell membranes, in nerve function, in genes expression, while participates in the synthesis of cysteine, glutathione and sulphide compounds.
It was initially found that abnormal SAMe levels are associated with conditions such as depression and liver disease. However, as SAMe was administered in order to examine any benefit in the above situations, many other benefits have been also discovered.
Actions – Properties
It is a molecule that participates in many biochemical processes and has a synergistic action with vitamin B12 and folic acid to reduce serum homocysteine levels. Although synthesized in the body, SAMe is also available in nutritional supplements. Studies have shown that SAMe has been shown to benefit various pathological conditions because of its actions:
- anti-inflammatory action
- antidepressant action
- helps good nerve function
- production of antioxidant molecules (glutathione)
Several studies have shown that supplemental administration of SAMe can be used to treat depression, especially in those who do not respond to antidepressant medication. In particular, a review of studies showed that daily intake of 1600mg SAMe in two doses showed similar effect with tricyclic antidepressants. The precise way of action of SAMe has not yet been established but is believed to affect neurotransmitter production and action.
There are many studies showing that supplementation of SAMe can help in liver health even in cases of chronic liver disease, cholestasis, alcoholic cirrhosis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. However, the precise way of action has not yet been established.
Studies that compared the effect of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with SAMe showed that they had similar effects in relieving joint pain and improving joint mobility, with SAMe having much less side effects. Based on the above data, SAMe is used for the treatment of osteoarthritis, improving the mobility and flexibility of the joints while having a strong anti-inflammatory action, relieving arthritic pain.
Supplemental administration of SAMe appears to benefit also other conditions such as fibromyalgia, migraine, attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, even Alzheimer’s disease. However, studies are pending to ascertain the benefits of taking it in the afore mentioned diseases.
SAMe dose ranges from 600 to 1600mg, divided into 2-3 doses per day. The benefit in cases of osteoarthritis takes a few weeks to become obvious, while in cases of depression the results are more quickly obvious.
Contraindications – interactions
Supplementation of SAMe is safe even when taken for a long time. Rarely have been reported undesirable effect like nausea or gastrointestinal disturbances.
People with bipolar disorder, people taking antidepressants, antiplatelet and anticoagulant drugs, dietary supplements with St. John’s Wort. John’s wort, have a weak immune, are pregnant or breastfeed should not take SAMe supplements.
In Vita4you you can supplement with SAMe.