SAM-e: Natural Support for Brain Chemistry

SAM-e: Natural Support for Brain Chemistry 2Ever wonder how your brain chemistry wires the emotions and moods you experience? SAM-e (S-adenosyl-methionine) is one example of a molecule that is important to the moods we experience. SAM-e helps form, activate, or breakdown hormones, fats, proteins, neurotransmitters, and medications. The brain and the liver usually make the necessary amount of SAM-e, but for people experiencing depression, this process may be impaired. Low levels of SAM-e results in decreased levels of serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitter activity commonly seen in clinical depression. SAM-e can help boost neurotransmitter activity, bringing about improvement in mood and relief from depression.

Since the 1980s, European countries, including Italy, Spain, and Germany, have been testing and using SAM-e (pill form or injection) to treat depression anxiety, chronic pain, and other health conditions. SAM-e  is available in the United States as a dietary supplement, but it can interact with other medications. In research and in clinical practice, SAM-e is well tolerated by most adults, but is not recommended for children, or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Therefore, it is best to use SAM-e  while in the care of a licensed holistic health practitioner.

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Resources  SAMe

SAMe: Scientific Monograph. “S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe): In Depth” 

Murray, M.T. and Pizzorno, J. “Depression.” Cited in Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (3rd Ed.) 2012. New York, NY: Atria Paperback: Simon & Schuster, Inc.  p. 491.

S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe): In depth. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine. 

Bottiglieri, T. and Hyland, K. “S-adenosylmethionine levels in psychiatric and neurological disorders: a review.Acta Neurol Scand Suppl (1994) 154:19-26. 

Calandra, C., Roxas, M., and Rapisarda, V. “Antidepressant action of SAM in comparison to chlorimipramine. Hypotheses to interpret the mechanism of action.” Minerva Psichiatr. (1979) 20(2):147-152. 

Delle, C. R. and Boissard G., “Meta-analysis of 2 European multicenter controlled trials with ademetionine (SAMe) in major depression.” Biol Psychiatry (1997) 42:245S.