Daily Dose of SAMe: 200-1600mg
SAMe or S-adenosylmethionine is a chemical that is found naturally in the body but is also made synthetically in a lab. It is made from the essential amino acid methionine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the energy-producing compound found in all cells in the body. SAMe works by donating the methyl group to many reactions in the body. After giving the methyl group, it is then converted to a compound called S-adenosyl-homocysteine. It has been used as a dietary supplement in the US since 1999 but as a prescription drug in other countries much earlier. There are 3 main reasons why people use SAMe. The first use for SAMe is for treating symptoms of stress and depression. Studies say that it increases the availability of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. The second is for treating osteoarthritis, which was discovered accidentally while doing research on its effectiveness in treating depression. A number of studies have shown that it is able to reduce pain as effectively as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication. Lastly, there is evidence that it may help people with liver disease. Research is still in the preliminary stages but it may help to normalize liver enzyme levels and help with cholestasis.
Some common side effects of SAMe include nausea and other digestive complaints. Other less common side effects are skin rashes, lowered blood sugar, dry mouth, blood in the stool, thirst, increased urination, headache, hyperactivity, anxiety, and insomnia. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid SAMe because of safety reasons. It has been associated with hypermania and mania so people with bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and other psychiatric conditions should only use it under professional supervision. The recommended dosage studied in scientific research for depression is 400-1600mg a day and for osteoarthritis it is 600mg.