What you might not know about the benefits of SAM-e:
SAM-e is the acronym for S-adenosylmethionine and also known as SAMe. No wonder we call it SAMe (pronounced Sammy). It is approved by the FDA and used as a prescription in Europe for over 30 years in the treatment of various psychiatric and medical conditions. In the US, it’s been used as a supplement since 1999 and is available over the counter.
I’m going to just call it SAMe for the purpose of this article.
SAMe is actually made in the body usingand vitamin B12. Those low on folate and/or vitamin B12 often are running low on SAMe too, especially in people with depression or dementia (Sharma, et al., 2017). SAMe is not found in foods so our bodies have to manufacture it or we can take a supplement if we are low.
SAMe is involved in over 100 methyl reactions in the body and is key in helping maintain cell-membrane integrity. It also is important for disease prevention and delaying disease progression. According to Mischoulon (2018) of the Psychopharmacology Institute and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, SAMe is also important forsynthesis. In particular, serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine, among others. It does cross the blood-brain barrier so is required by our brains.
Serotonin and dopamine are the ‘feel-good’ or happyin the brain. Serotonin and dopamine being the main happy chemicals. The brain releases more dopamine when we do something pleasurable or eat something we crave. Low levels of dopamine can prompt addiction to drugs or alcohol to try to increase it. Some stimulants increase levels of dopamine in the brain.
SAMe increases the levels of these feel-good hormones and is probably the reason it works for depression. To be honest, the research results are mixed in regard to SAMe for depression, but David Mischoulon M.D. (2018) felt there are enough positive results to say that, yes, it does indeed work for depression. The studies that did the best had people taking higher levels of SAMe, from 400-3200 mg a day.
For the Liver:
Common strengths available in SAMe supplements is about 400 mg per capsule. Check with your doctor for the proper dosing for you, but here are some general guidelines I found from the research.
For Depression: 800-1600 mg per day of oral supplement. Better results seen with 1600 mg per day.
For Osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia: 600-1200 mg per day.
For Neurocognitive Disorders: 1600 mg per day.
Who Shouldn’t Take:
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Related Article: Best Natural Treatments: Depression
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