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.
Benefits for Healthy Joints
saMe has also demonstrated impressive results in improving joint health in double-blind studies. a
deficiency of saMe in the joint tissue, just like a deficiency of glucosamine, leads to loss of the
gel-like nature and shock-absorbing qualities of cartilage. as a result, cartilage can degenerate
leading to pain and inflammation.
In double-blind trials, saMe has demonstrated similar reductions in pain scores and clinical
symptoms to those produced by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NsaIDs) like ibuprofen,
indomethacin, naproxen, nabumetone, celecoxib and piroxicam. Unlike the drugs which are exerting
pharmacological effects, saMe appears to produce its benefits simply by delivering nutritional
support to cartilage cells thereby helping them to function more effectively.
two new studies compared saMe (1200 mg/d) to the drugs nabumetone (Relafen, 1000 mg/d) and
celecoxib (Celebrex®, 200 mg/d) in patients showing signs and symptoms of cartilage degeneration of
the knees. In the first study, saMe was shown to be equal to nabumetone in effectively reducing
pain intensity from baseline as well as in patient and physician assessment; and index scores of
joint function. In the study comparing saMe to Celebrex, saMe showed a slower onset of action but
was judged as effective as celecoxib, without the side effects.
Given the known risks for significant side effects with the use of NsaIDs, the results from these
new studies provide additional evidence that a natural approach focused on delivering improved
nutrition to joint tissues is a more