AM-e, short for S-adenosylmethionine, is present in every cell of the body, but its levels decrease with age. Clinically SAM-e is known for a helping a variety of illnesses—depression, fibromyalgia, liver disorders, migraine headaches, and osteoarthritis—but in this article we’re just concerned with the benefits associated with osteoarthritis because it has shown impressive results. Results include:
- Increased manufacture of cartilage
- Increased anti-inflammatory effects
- Reduced pain
Another advantage of SAM-e for osteoarthritis sufferers is that it behaves similar to NSAIDS, such as naproxen, ibuprofen, and piroxicam but has significant advantages in that it doesn’t carry the same toxicity risks associated with NSAIDS. It also increases serotonin and dopamine levels, which can improve moods, and, according to Dr. Ray Sahelian, author of Mind Boosters: A Guide to Natural Supplements that Enhance Your Mind, Memory, and Mood,it “supports joint comfort, function and mobility in the spine, hips and knees.”
Typical dosage recommendations are between 400 to 1,600 mg of SAM-e daily. However, it is best to start with the lower dose of 400 mg. Effects of taking SAM-e seem cumulative. Additionally, certain individuals have reported minor gastrointestinal problems, but overall it appears safe for long-term use. Despite its safety record, however, it can significantly interfere with certain medications, such as MAO-inhibitor antidepressants, and it should not be taken by people with bi-polar disorders or pregnant or nursing women. So, get your doctor’s approval before you start taking it.
If you do purchase it, make sure you purchase high quality SAM-e. It is an unstable compound and can disintegrate if exposed to light so it is vital that your SAM-e come in individual blister packs to protect it. You should also purchase it from a reliable pharmacy or store, such as a CVS pharmacy or Costco. Additionally, double check the expiration date, ensure it has a USP or GMP quality seal, and make sure it has a salt stabilizer.