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What is SAM-e?

Updated on May 29, 2013

SAM-e Dietary Supplement

SAM-e is a dietary supplement which is said to help in the treatment of osteoarthritis, depression and liver disease.

A substance which occurs naturally, SAM-e is produced mainly in the liver but can be found in every cell of the human body.

The dietary supplement pronounced Sammy, SAM-e is produced in a laboratory and made into a capsule that is taken by mouth.

SAM-e is said to work as a donor in the parts of the body where not enough SAM-e is being produced.

SAM-e is sold as a dietary supplement in the USA but is widely available as a prescription drug in some European countries such as Russia, Italy, and Germany.

SAM-e has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Arthritis and SAM-e

Arthritis of the left Knee
Arthritis of the left Knee | Source

SAM-e For Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is caused when cartilage from the joints such as the knee wear away which causes the bones on either side of the joint to rub together, this causes swelling pain and a reduction in mobility and it can occur in any part of the body where two bones are connected by cartilage.

SAM-e is said to help by rebuilding cartilage, reducing swelling, easing pain, reducing stiffness and increasing Mobility.

SAM-e is also said to help in the production of tendons and muscle fibres which also help to reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis should always be treated by a medical professional and you should seek the advice of your doctor before taking the supplement.

Anti Depressants and SAM-e

Anti depressants in conjunction with SAM-e in studies 40% of patients showed a significant improvement.
Anti depressants in conjunction with SAM-e in studies 40% of patients showed a significant improvement. | Source

SAM-e Supplement For Depression

There have been many studies carried out on SAM-e and its positive effect on people who suffer from depression, the studies compare the effects of SAM-e with a placebo or sugar pill and although results vary from each of the studies the average results show around forty percent of patients who took the supplement had a significant improvement compared to around fifteen percent of those on the placebo.

Although it is not known why SAM-e works for patients suffering depression it is thought that SAM-e produces neurotransmitters which help to curb depression.

Often anti depressants don't work on patients who suffer from depression but the studies have shown significant improvement in patients who take both SAM-e and antidepressants.

If you are suffering from depression and the anti depressants that you are taking don't seem to have any effect ask your doctors advice on using a SAM-e supplement.

Depression is a serious illness and sufferers should not self treat with SAM-e always consult your doctor before taking.

Liver Disease

Cut section of the liver showing cirrhosis
Cut section of the liver showing cirrhosis | Source

SAM-e For Liver Disease

SAM-e is also said to be effective in treating liver disease and in Europe it is used as a prescription drug for Chronic liver disease.

Research has shown that patients with liver disease and other liver disorders have abnormal methionine metabolism, which depletes SAM-e.

By giving the sufferer synthetic SAM-e this effect was reversed.

Liver disease is often caused by an excess of alcohol over a long period of time and there are very few effective treatments for the disorder. SAM-e according to studies reduced the need for patients to undergo a liver transplant and lowered the risk of death by thirty percent.

Although SAM-e is widely used in Europe on prescription for liver disease it is only available as a dietary supplement in the USA because of " Lack of research"

Liver Disease is a serious illness and sufferers should not self treat with SAM-e always consult your doctor before taking.

SAM-e Supplement Side Effects

SAM-e may react with other medication please consult your doctor if you are on any prescription drugs.
SAM-e may react with other medication please consult your doctor if you are on any prescription drugs. | Source

Side Effects of SAM-e

Although Same is relatively safe to take a minority of users can suffer from side effects from taking it

gas, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, dry mouth, headache, mild insomnia, anorexia, sweating, dizziness, and nervousness and It can make some people with depression feel anxious.

Do not use SAM-e if you have:

  • Bipolar disorder, SAM-e can cause people with bipolar disorder to change from depression to mania.
  • Parkinson’s disease, SAM-e might make Parkinson’s symptoms worse.
  • If you are going into Surgery, SAM-e might affect the central nervous system. This could interfere with surgery. Stop taking SAM-e at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  • Pregnant or Breast Feeding the effects to the unborn baby or breast feeding baby's are unknown please consult your doctor or midwife before using.

Other uses for SAM-e

SAM-e is also said to be effective in the treatment of chronic lower back pain, dementia, Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, seizures, migraine headache, and lead poisoning.

SAM-e is also said to help in slowing down the aging process by reducing wrinkles and rejuvenating the skin. and it is also said to boost intelligence.


SAM-e is a dietary supplement and if you suffer with any of the ailments above you should always consult your doctor before taking the supplement. Reviews have been good about it as a product but there have also been reviews with negative feelings towards it.


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    • profile image

      Deb Welch 4 years ago

      Glad I found this Hub as I was always curious about this supplement but never took it. Here I find out that I could really use it for all my health problems. I will give it a try at least. Thanks - Useful and Interesting Information. Up.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Hadacol was popular in my youth in Louisiana. It was said to cure ciatica, lumbago and the piles:

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for the interesting information, jimmy. I've heard of this supplement before, but until now I haven't known much about it. I'm glad that I read your hub!

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 5 years ago from Rome, Italy

      I wonder if my doctor will prescribe it for me - I have no more cartilage between knee bones. I suppose I better wait till I seer the specialist next month and ask him about it, but thanks for the great information. Seems amazing.

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 5 years ago from United States

      You know, I had not heard about this nutrient before. Thanks for educating me. I'm curious if it does the same for anxiety as it does for depression. I don't usually have trouble with the depression, but I do with anxiety.

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Why, this is scary at the same time very interesting and people could really make use of this information you have shared here, Jim. Thanks for your efforts to putting this together.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      This is a supplement I'd heard of but didn't know much about. A friend of mine has been taking SAM-e for years and wouldn't be without it, but oddly, I never asked her why and she never said, except that she's crabby without it. Guess she and I might have something new to talk about. :) Thanks for this factual overview. Up, interesting, useful.