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SAM-e is short for S-adenosylmethionine, a substance that occurs naturally in the cells of plants, animals, and humans. SAM-e is not an herb. Because the body produces less SAM-e with age, some people think that SAM-e may be a helpful supplement for certain diseases. In the United States, it is sold as a dietary supplement.
In the United States, people use SAM-e to treat depression or to preserve emotional well-being. SAM-e may help with symptoms of depression in the short term, but more studies are needed to compare SAM-e with no treatment and with conventional treatment.
SAM-e may also help to relieve pain in osteoarthritis and symptoms of some liver diseases.
Side effects may include:
People diagnosed with bipolar disorder should not take SAM-e.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate dietary supplements in the same way it regulates medicines. A dietary supplement can be sold with limited or no research on how well it works.
Always tell your doctor if you are using a dietary supplement or if you are thinking about combining a dietary supplement with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on a dietary supplement. This is especially important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
When using dietary supplements, keep in mind the following:
Other Works Consulted
Murray MT (2013). SAMe (S-adenoslymethionine). In JE Pizzorno, MT Murray, eds., Textbook of Natural Medicine, 4th ed., pp. 1012–1017. St. Louis: Mosby.
SAMe (2008). In A DerMarderosian et al., eds., Review of Natural Products. St. Louis: Wolters Kluwer Health.
Current as ofMay 28, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Current as of:
May 28, 2019
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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