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SAMe

SAMe

Description

(S-adenosyl-L-methionine)

Produced in the liver from the amino acid methionine, SAMe is an important nutrient participating in numerous biochemical reactions such as detoxification and contributes to the levels of dopamine. Since folic acid and vitamin B12 are necessary for the synthesis of SAMe, deficiencies of these vitamins results in low concentrations of SAMe.

A deficiency of SAMe in the joints can result in the loss of integrity of cartilage and therefore SAMe is important in normal joint function. Supplements of SAMe have been found be helpful in osteoarthritis , depression and certain liver disorders.

SAMe encourages bile flow for the digestion of fat and also functions in the liver to inactivate estrogens from causing liver damage.

SAMe is also required in the manufacture of all sulfur-containing compounds in the human body, including glutathione and various sulfur-containing cartilage components. The beneficial effects of SAMe supplementation are far-reaching because of its central role in so many metabolic processes.

Method of Action

SAMe functions closely with folic acid and vitamin B12 in "methylation" reactions-the process of adding a single carbon unit to another molecule. SAMe is many times more effective in transferring methyl groups than other methyl donors. Methylation reactions are critical in the manufacture of many body components, especially brain chemicals and in detoxification reactions.

SAMe increases the fluidity of brain cell membranes and can affect the way in which brain cells receive and transmit neurotransmitters. It is also known to increase levels of serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine and phosphatidylserine.

Further, it is thought that increased levels of SAMe can augment the body's ability to detoxify old neurotransmitters and enhance the rate at which new neurotransmitters bind to cell receptors

Therapeutic Approaches

A number of recent studies suggest that SAMe supplementation can be a moderately effective treatment for depression.

Several studies have demonstrated that SAMe is helpful for people with osteoarthritis, as it not only helps retard loss of integrity of cartilage but also due to its anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties.

In one particular study, SAMe supplementation had some beneficial actions, such as reduced stiffness, pain and fatigue.

Toxicity Factors

While use of SAMe in trials involving thousands of subjects over two years shows that this nutrient is very well tolerated, some people may experience occasional gastrointestinal problems.

There have been some reports that SAMe could cause people with manic-depression to switch from depression to a manic episode.

Abstracts

References

Angelico M et al. Oral S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) administration enhances bile salt conjugation with taurine in patients with liver cirrhosis. Scand J Clin Lab Invest 1994;54:459-64.

Bell KM et al. S-adenosylmethionine blood levels in major depression: Changes with drug treatment. Acta Neurol Scand 1994;154(suppl):15-8.

Bombardieri G et al. Effects of S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) in the treatment of Gilbert's syndrome. Curr Ther Res 1985;37:580-85.

Bottiglieri T, Hyland K, Reynolds EH. The clinical potential of ademetionine (S-adenosylmethionine) in neurological disorders. Drugs 1994;48:137-52 [review].

Bottiglieri T et al. Cerebrospinal fluid S-adenosylmethionine in depression and dementia: Effects of treatment with parenteral and oral S-adenosylmethionine. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiat 1990;53:1096-98.

Bressa GM. S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAMe) as antidepressant: Meta-analysis of clinical studies. Acta Neurol Scand 1994;154(suppl):7-14.

Caruso I, Pietrogrande V., Italian double-blind multicenter study comparing S-adenosylmethionine naproxen and placebo in the treatment of degenerative joint disease. Am J Med 1987;83(suppl 5A):66-71.

Cerutti R et al. Psychological distress during peurperium: A novel therapeutic approach using S-adenosyl-methionine. Curr Ther Res 1993;53:707-17.

Di Padova C. S-adenosyl-methionine in the treatment of osteoarthritis: Review of the clinical studies. Am J Med 1987;83(suppl 5A):60-64.

Domljan Z et al. A double-blind trial of ademetionine vs naproxen in activated gonarthrosis. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 1989;27:329-33.

Fava M et al. Neuroendocrine effects of S-adenosyl-L-methionine a novel putative antidepressant. J Psychiatr Res 1990;24:177-84.

Frezza M et al. Oral S-adenosyl-methionine in the symptomatic treatment of intrahepatic cholestasis: A double-blind placebo-controlled study. Gastroenterology 1990;99:211-15.

Glorioso S, Todesco S, Mazzi A et al. Double-blind multicentre study of the activity of S-adenosylmethionine in hip and knee osteoarthritis. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 1985;5:39-49.

Kagan BL et al. Oral S-adenosyl-methionine in depression: A randomized
double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Am J Psychiatr 1990;147:591-95.
Konig H et al. Magnetic resonance tomography of finger polyarthritis: Morphology and cartilage signals after ademetionine therapy. Aktuelle Radiol 1995;5:36-40.

Maccagno A. Double-blind controlled clinical trial of oral S-adenosylmethionine versus piroxicam in knee osteoarthritis. Am J Med 1987;83(suppl 5A):72-77.

Marcolongo R et al. Double-blind multicentre study of the activity of s-adenosyl-methionine in hip and knee osteoarthritis. Curr Ther Res 1985;37:82-94.

Montrone F et al. Double-blind study of S-adenosyl-methionine versus placebo in hip and knee arthrosis. Clin Rheumatol 1985;4:484-85.

Muller-Fassbender H. Double-blind clinical trial of S-adenosylmethionine in versus ibuprofen in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Am J Med 1987;83(suppl 5A):81-83.

Schumacher HR. Osteoarthritis: The clinical picture
Pathogenesis and management with studies on a new therapeutic agent
S-adenosylmethionine. Am J Med 1987;83(suppl 5A):1-4 [review].

Vetter G. Double-blind comparative clinical trial with S-adenosylmethionine and indomethacin in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Am J Med 1987;83(suppl 5A):78-80.

Volkmann H, Norregaard J, Jacobsen S et al. Double-blind placebo-controlled cross-over study of intravenous S-adenosyl-L-methionine in patients with fibromyalgia. Scand J Rheumatol 1997;26:206-11.

 


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