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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
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
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 breast-feeding.
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.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofMarch 25, 2015
Current as of:
March 25, 2015
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
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