- Supports healthy moods.
- Encourages healthy joints and muscle comfort.
- Supports healthy menopause.
- Detoxifies potentially dangerous substances.
- Supports healthy liver function.
SAM-e (pronounced "Sammy") is the commonly used name for S-Adenosyl-Methionine. SAM-e occurs in every living cell and takes part in several biological reactions in the human body. It is considered effective for healthy moods and joint comfort and health.
The interest in SAM-e as a support for healthy moods stems from the fact that it seems to have fewer side effects than some other mood supporters and works relatively quickly. It is considered the best clinically-documented, non-prescription healthy mood supporting compound available today. SAM-e readily crosses the blood-brain barrier in humans and even helps people who have not responded to conventional methods.
Interestingly, SAM-e consistently outperforms a placebo by a substantial margin. When matched against a placebo, SAM-e wins hands down.
SAM-e is also considered a good supplement for supporting healthy menopause as well. SAM-e is considered safe for those taking hormone replacement therapies. If not on estrogen replacement, SAM-e acts quickly to balance moods—faster, in fact, than most other approaches, and, again, with minimal or no side effects.
SAM-e also supports muscle and soft tissue health and comfort. Europe (Italy & Denmark, in particular) has been the primary source of research into the use of SAM-e and soft tissue comfort.
Despite being available (by prescription) in Europe for twenty years, it was only introduced to the U.S. in February 1999, when it became one of the top-selling dietary supplements in the United States.
SAM-e takes part in the chemical process called "methylation," which is the way the body synthesizes the chemical components of cartilage and brain chemicals, and detoxifies potentially dangerous substances. Methylation relies on the presence of nutrients that supply the building blocks of methyl groups.
Methyl groups, along with appropriate enzymes, are best known for their role in converting homocysteine, a toxic acid, into methionine, an amino acid that is beneficial to the body. As levels of SAM-e decrease, so does methylation and the body's ability to detoxify itself.
SAM-e supplies the majority of the body's methyl groups and is made from methionine, which interacts with nutrients such as vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, and choline to produce SAM-e. However, the benefits of SAM-e on metabolism can be blocked when vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid are deficient.
Thus, SAM-e and the less-than-glamorous B vitamins work synergistically to maintain joint comfort.
Under normal circumstances, the liver regenerates itself and produces new cells as old ones wear out. In cases of poor liver, portions of the liver may become hardened and inactive. Studies have shown that patients with liver challenges have abnormally low levels of SAM-e.
SAM-e, as it turns out, acts as the precursor compound for both cysteine and taurine, and a tripeptide called glutathione, which is one of the most important detoxifiers and free radical scavengers in the body. Glutathione is what gives the liver the ability to rid the body of poisons and also inhibits the inflammatory response.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve pain and inflammation, but may wear down cartilage. In contrast, SAM-e supports cartilage health without further destruction. SAM-e also helps maintain joint fluidity and flexibility.
- SAM-e is unstable so it is important not to take it out of the foil blister pack until you are about to use it.
- It's also important to be careful with the foil packs, because small nicks to the foil can allow air to penetrate the tablets and damage tablets. If unprotected, SAM-e oxidizes and loses its effectiveness.
- Also, SAM-e pills must be "enteric coated" to be effective. This allows them to pass through the stomach and be absorbed in the intestine.
- Despite the fact that you can purchase SAM-e over-the-counter, professional help is highly recommended for (among other things): determining dosage levels, information on the types and forms of SAM-e, and judging the severity of a mood challenges.
- Like all mood support supplements, SAM-e may trigger mania, especially in those with bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder taking SAM-e should be under close medical supervision.
- While no serious adverse reports are associated with taking SAM-e in amounts up to 1,600 mg per day over long periods of time, some mild side effects can be experienced, which usually diminish with time or resolve with lower doses.