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SAMe for Depression

Updated on April 3, 2012

Benefits & Warnings for SAMe

Several remedies are available that have shown to help alleviate depression. However, depression can be caused by illness and diseases such as diabetes, liver disorders, hypothyroidism, and obesity... SAM-e is probably the best remedy in the treatment of depression, arthritis, and liver disease.

The scientific names are S-adenosyl-L-methionine, ademetionine (as toluenedisulfate or1,4-butanedisulfonate), S-adenosylmethionine ADE-SD4 (Drugs). SAM-e naturally occurs in the body and is found in almost all body tissues. It is necessary to create the amino acids taurine, glutathione, and cysteine (Drugs).

SAM-e was discovered in 1952 and has been available by prescription since 1975, in Europe, primarily to treat arthritis and depression. SAMe is manufactured with yeast cell cultures and is not considered an herb or botanical. It does have side effects like nausea, dizziness, sweating, constipation, diarrhea, and insomnia. SAM-e increases serotonin production which is the precursor to melatonin, the hormone that regulates the sleep cycle.

There are some stringent precautions to using SAM-e. If you have bipolar disorder, are on SSRI antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and similar medications, do not take SAM-e. Do not stop taking medication to use SAM-e. At least not without first discussing it with your doctor.

Because SAM-e increases serotonin production, taking an SSRI with it can cause adverse side effects. There is a risk of serotonin syndrome (information available at Mayo Clinic, see the resources). The other adverse effect to an increase in serotonin is an increase in depression. It may feel like your anti-depressants are not working.

The dosage recommendation for depression is begins at 200 to 800 mg per day. Treatment for liver disease has proven beneficial with SAMe, the suggested dosage is 800 to 1,000 mg per day. To treat osteoarthritis begin with 1200 mg per day for the first week to three weeks and reduce to 400 mg per day as a maintenance treatment. If any of the side effects occur, you should stop using SAMe and check with your doctor.

Research into its efficacy with HIV, aging, Alzheimer's, migraines, sleeping modulation, and fibromyalgia were conducted, but results are not clear. Research continues.

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    • Olde Cashmere profile image

      Olde Cashmere 5 years ago from Michigan, United States

      Sam-E sounds interesting. I've read up on it a bit in the past and this article is very informative. It sounds amazing and you wrote a great and helpful hub around it. Nice work, voted up and useful (:

    • MAEDayOrganizing profile image

      MAEDayOrganizing 5 years ago from Santa Cruz, California

      Dr. Oz had a show on sleep disorders related to various causes, depression being one of them (I believe). The guest on the show advocated eating plain yogurt. He stated that seratonin is constructed in the gut and crosses in the system via the gut. B12, which helps to heal the CNS, can also be very useful in combating depression.