Learn About SAMe
S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is a naturally occurring compound that is found in almost every tissue and fluid in the body. SAMe is involved in many essential processes. SAMe plays a role in maintaining the cell membranes, the immune system, and helps produce and break down brain chemicals, such as serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine. SAMe works with vitamin B12 and folate (vitamin B9). Being deficient in either vitamin B12 or folate may reduce SAMe levels in your body.
Approved in Italy in 1979, Spain in 1985 and Germany in 1989, SAMe has been available in the US dietary supplement market since 1999. Researchers accidentally discovered the potential usefulness of SAMe therapy for joint health while studying the effect of SAMe on mood. Patients reported an unexpected improvement in their joints.
The following is a high-level chronological sequence of SAMe events:
SAMe is used to support mood, joint, tendon, muscle, brain, and heart health. SAMe may help alleviate occasional stress. SAMe helps promote a proper inflammatory response
Some women use SAMe for premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
SAMe is not found in food. SAMe is produced by the body from ATP and the amino acid methionine. (ATP serves as the major energy source for cells throughout the body).
SAMe is available in both tablets and capsule forms. The enteric coated tablets are more stable and may be more dependable in terms of the amount of SAMe. Some of the SAMe in capsule forms may have questionable stability and proper disintegration bioavailability in the small intestine.
SAMe should be stored in a cool and dry place. Tablets should be kept in the blister pack until you take them.
How to Take It
For best bioavailabity and absorption, it is recommended to take SAMe on an empty stomach.
Taking oral SAMe with vitamin B12, folic acid, methionine and trimethylglycine may enhance absorption.
SAMe should not be given to a child without your doctor’s supervision.
Recommended doses of SAMe vary depending on the its intended use. The following list provides information on the dosages used in studies for each condition:
- Mood: 800 – 1,600 mg of SAMe per day, in 2 divided doses (morning and afternoon)
- Joint: 600 – 1,200 mg per day in 2 – 3 divided doses
- Liver: 600 – 1,200 mg per day by mouth in divided doses for 6 months to support healthy liver function.
- If you have a liver conditions, please consult your physician before using.
Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, you should take dietary supplements only under the supervision of a knowledgeable and certified health care provider.
Side effects may include dry mouth, nausea, gas, diarrhea, headache, anxiety, a feeling of elation, restlessness, and insomnia. Sweating, dizziness, and palpitations have also been reported. SAMe is recommended to be consumed in the morning with a B-complex vitamin, SAMe is not recommended to be taken at night.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult your healthcare provider prior to taking SAMe.
SAMe might affect the central nervous system. This could interfere with surgery. Stop taking SAMe at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
SAMe should not be combined with other antidepressants without first consulting your doctor.
People taking SAMe may want to take a multivitamin that contains folic acid and vitamins B12 and B6.
If you are being treated with medications, you should not use SAMe without first talking to your health care provider.
Herbs and supplements with serotonergic properties — Taking SAMe along with other herbs and supplements that increase serotonin might lead to too much serotonin and cause serious side effects including heart problems, shivering and anxiety. Herbs and supplements that increase serotonin levels include 5-HTP, Hawaiian baby woodrose, L-tryptophan, and St. John’s wort should be avoided while taking SAMe.
Food Interactions — There are no known interactions with foods.
- S-Adenosyl Methionine
- S-Adénosyl Méthionine
- S-Adenosylmethionine Butanedisulfonate
- S-Adenosylmethionine Tosylate
- S-Adenosylmethionine Tosylate Disulfate