Research Update on SAMe (S-Adenosylmethionine)

s-adenosylmethionine (saMe) is an important physiologic agent that is involved in more than 40 biochemical reactions in the body.  It functions closely with folic acid and  vitamin B12 in “methylation” reactions. Methylation is the process of adding a single carbon  unit (a methyl group) 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, as well as in detoxification reactions. Not surprisingly, the principal
uses  of saMe are in supporting brain and liver health as well as healthy joints.

Brain and Mood Effects
saMe is necessary in the manufacture of important brain compounds, such  as neurotransmitters and phospholipids like phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylserine. supplementing the diet with saMe in patients with low mood scores:
• Raises levels of serotonin, dopamine and phosphatidylserine.
• Improves binding of neurotransmitters to receptor sites, resulting in increased serotonin and
dopamine activity.
• leads to better brain cell membrane fluidity and function.
• Produces significant improvement in mood scores.
Numerous  double-blind studies have demonstrated a significant advantage of saMe over a placebo in
improving mood.

New Data
the latest study indicates that saMe can be used  with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (ssRIs) like Prozac®, Zoloft®, Paxil®, etc. In a double-blind, randomized clinical trial lasting six weeks,  73 depressed patients unresponsive to ssRI medications, were given 800 mg of saMe or placebo twice daily along with their ssRI. the Hamilton Depression scale response and remission rates were higher for patients treated with saMe (36.1% and 25.8%,  respectively) than the placebo (17.6% versus  11.7%,  respectively). the side effects were no different in the saMe than the placebo group. these results indicate that saMe can be used  safely with ssRIs and may have a synergistic effect.

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