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SAM-e (say “Sammy”) is a naturally-occurring compound in the body. It has been used in supplement form in Europe for more than 20 years to treat depression and pain. In the United States, doctors have studied SAM-e as a treatment for depression, liver disease and osteoarthritis. SAM-e appears to affect some physical processes, including the regulation of hormones and the neurotransmitters serotonin, melatonin, dopamine, and adrenaline -- all key regulators of mood.
SAM-e (short for S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine) occurs naturally in the body, appearing most abundantly in the liver and brain. SAM-e impacts mood-regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. European doctors prescribe it for arthritis as well as depression.
SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is found in most living cells. It is thought to be necessary for carrying out a number of important intracellular chemical reactions. SAM-e has been used in Europe for more than twenty years as a treatment for depression. A number of studies have shown it to be equally effective when compared to prescription antidepressants. Most notable is the virtual lack of side effects. However, it has not been well supported in studies of the treatment of bipolar disorder. Additionally, it is not useful for treating mania and has, in fact, been found to switch people with bipolar depression into states of mania. Doses for the treatment of depression range from 400 to 1600 mg per day, although recent investigations indicate that often higher doses (1200 to 1600 mg per day) may be necessary for effectively reducing depressive symptoms. In general, SAM-e poses risks in treating bipolar disorder (e.g., provoking manic episodes). It is strongly recommended that for bipolar disorder SAM-e be taken only with close observation by your treating prescriber.
Naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist Pina LoGiudice explains what SAM-e is. Watch Dr. LoGiudice's video for information on natural remedies.
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