Sam-E for Anxiety and Depression

Sam-E is a substance which is composed of the amino acid methionine and ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Sam-E is very important for the methylation process inside the brain and the whole body. Methylation is the donation of methyl molecules to another molecule. Methylation is needed for the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, melatonin, dopamine and adrenaline (needed for proper regulation of mood). Studies show that depressed people have lower levels of Sam-E compared to normal people. It is therefore essential to take oral supplementation of Sam-E to boost the methylation process in the brain. Once Sam-E donates its methyl group, it becomes homocysteine which is not good for the heart. Homocysteine can be converted to Glutathione with the aid of Vitamin B6 or it can also be converted to Methionine with the aid of Vitamin B12 and Folic acid.

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Effectivenes:

“All of the studies reviewed were short term, making translation to the clinical setting difficult. However, there appears to be a role for SAMe in the treatment of major depression in adults. Questions remain about mechanism of action, bioavailability, and absorption of oral SAMe. Further study of SAMe as independent and adjuvant therapy for major depression in adults is indicated”. (Williams AL, Girard C, Jui D, Sabina A, Katz DL.Yale Prevention Research Center, Derby, CT 06418, USA. anna-leila.williams@yalegriffinprc.org)

Dosages and Sources:

Sam-E is an over the counter food supplement. 400 mgs daily (2 x 200 mgs) is the typical starting dose. Most studies about Sam-E used 1,600 mgs per day.

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References:

I. Neuroendocrine effects of SAMe, a novel putative antidepressant J Psychiatr Res, 1990, 24:2.
2. Stramentinoli G. Pharmacological aspects of SAMe, Am J Mod, 1987, 83(5A): 35-42.
3. Cohen BM, Stramentinoli G et al. effects of the novel antidepressant SAMe on alpha-I and beta adrenoceptors in rat brain. Eur J Pharmacol, 1989, 170(3):210-207.
4. De La Cruz JP et al. Effects of chronic administration of SAMe on brain oxidative stress in rats. NaunynSchmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol, 2000, 361(l);47-52.
5. De Vanna M, Rigamonti R, Oral SAMe in depression Curr Ther Res 1992, 52: 478-485.
6. SAMe as an antidepressant. New Trends Clin Neuropharmacol 1992, 6:1-4.
7. Baldessarini R. Neuropharmacology of SAMe. Am J Med, 1987, 83(5A):95-103.

Last update:  January 17, 2009

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