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SAM-e is short for
S-adenosylmethionine, a substance that occurs naturally in the cells of plants,
animals, and humans. SAM-e is not an herb. Because the body produces less SAM-e
with age, some people think that SAM-e may be a helpful supplement for certain
diseases. In the United States, it is sold as a dietary supplement.
In the United States,
people use SAM-e to treat depression or to preserve emotional well-being.
Studies show that SAM-e may help with symptoms of depression in the short term,
but more studies are needed to compare SAM-e with no treatment and with
SAM-e may also
help to relieve pain in
osteoarthritis and itching in intrahepatic
cholestasis, a liver disease.1
SAM-e can have many side effects,
People diagnosed with bipolar disorder should not take
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not
regulate dietary supplements in the same way it regulates medicines. A dietary
supplement can be sold with limited or no research on how well it works.
Always tell your doctor if you are using a dietary supplement or
if you are thinking about combining a dietary supplement with your conventional
medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical
treatment and rely only on a dietary supplement. This is especially important
for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
When using dietary
supplements, keep in mind the following:
Williams A, et al. (2005).
S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) as treatment for depression: A systematic review.
Clinical and Investigative Medicine, 28(3):
Other Works Consulted
Murray MT, Pizzorno JE Jr (2006). SAMe
(S-adenosylmethionine). In JE Pizzorno Jr, MT Murray, eds., Textbook of Natural Medicine, 3rd ed., vol. 1, pp. 1235–1239.
St. Louis: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
SAMe (2008). In A DerMarderosian et al., eds., Review of Natural Products. St. Louis: Wolters Kluwer Health.
June 29, 2011
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Marc S. Micozzi, MD, PhD - Complementary and Alternative Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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