If you’re looking for the best SAM-e supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our SAM-e Supplements Guide.
Top 10 SAM-e Supplements
|#1||Doctor’s Best SAM-e 400||More Info|
|#2||Nature Made SAM-e Complete||More Info|
|#3||Now Foods SAM-e||More Info|
|#4||Jarrow Formulas SAM-e||More Info|
|#5||Source Naturals Double Strength SAM-e||More Info|
|#6||Natrol SAM-e||More Info|
|#7||Pure Encapsulations – SAM-e||More Info|
|#8||We Like Vitamins Best Value SAM-e||More Info|
|#9||Mental Refreshment Nutrition SAM-e||More Info|
|#10||Piping Rock Health Products SAM-e||More Info|
Since 1999, many Americans have tried using a supplement commonly known by its acronym, SAMe. It was introduced as a prescription drug in Italy in 1979 and made the circuit through Europe before coming to America just before the end of the twentieth century.
This orally ingested supplement has gained popularity over the past few decades for its seeming abilities to reduce symptoms common among those who are diagnosed with liver diseases, osteoarthritis, depression, and multiple other diseases and disorders. While more high-quality scientific studies are required in order to more fully comprehend what SAMe does and how it might benefit or harm certain people, it appears to be relatively safe for many people to take.
As always, a doctor should be consulted before a new supplement is added to a dietary and medication regimen. SAMe does seem to negatively interact with some medications, including MAOI antidepressants.
What is SAMe?
S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (also referred to by the acronym SAMe) is a synthetic form of the naturally-occurring chemical found in the human body as a result of the amino acid methionine interacting with an energy-carrying molecule called adenosine triphosphate. Additionally, methionine is found in certain foods, such as cheese, pork, and fish. Methionine has been shown to help in developing stronger nails and hair.
Depression and impaired liver functions are reported in those with abnormal levels of methionine made naturally in their bodies. SAMe has been used to treat these conditions as well as osteoarthritis since it works as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent. This also makes it potentially helpful for treating other types of autoimmune disorders (such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which causes symptoms like liver impairment, inflammation, and depression to manifest) and thyroid diseases like hypothyroidism.
SAMe works by donating a methyl group during a chemical reaction, which causes it to be converted to the amino acid S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine (SAH), which is used in metabolic pathways and as an intermediary in the synthesis of adenosine and cysteine.
Benefits of SAMe Supplements
SAMe supplements have been shown to benefit those who are diagnosed with depression, liver diseases, and osteoarthritis. Studies are beginning to look more critically at how SAMe interacts with those who have severe migraines, Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and those who are attempting to quit smoking.
40 human subject studies show that SAMe trials positively impacted those with depression. SAMe appears to work quickly, while antidepressants can take days or even weeks to kick in. However, scientists do not yet know exactly how SAMe works. It could potentially change levels of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers in the nervous system), which get slowed by chemical imbalances inherent in those with depression. It has been shown to affect the neurotransmitter dopamine. It can also help the body maintain appropriately balanced levels of glutathione, an antioxidant that protects the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals taken in through the inhalation of oxygen.
SAMe has been studied in comparison with NSAIDs taken by osteoarthritis patients. While NSAIDs and SAMe both treat pain and inflammation symptoms, SAMe appears to have fewer side-effects as evidenced in some studies, but further studies are needed to determine if SAMe is truly more effective at treating multiple, complex osteoarthritis symptoms.
Are There any Side Effects?
First and foremost, it is imperative that anyone interested in taking a supplement speaks with their doctor to find out if it is the right supplement for them and, if so, what dosage they should take. SAMe is currently up-for-debate as a method to treat some diseases and disorders. For example, many doctors disagree over whether SAMe should be used to treat Parkinson’s patients. Since more high-quality studies need to be conducted before a verdict can be reached, it is important to note the side-effects that are generally reported by those who take SAMe supplements.
It is not really known is SAMe is safe or dangerous for women who are pregnant, lactating, or looking to become pregnant. Small dosages might be okay for women who are pregnant, but there is not enough evidence to show that larger dosages would also be safe to take if pregnant or looking to become pregnant. It is also unknown just how safe SAMe supplements are for children.
SAMe is generally considered to be safe for most people, although there is concern that it might worsen symptoms of mania in those with bipolar disorder. Those with bipolar disorder are usually encouraged to not take SAMe due to these negative side-effects. SAMe supplements are also seemingly unsafe for those diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (which is caused by hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT) enzyme deficiency), as it might make some of the syndrome’s symptoms even worse. Additionally, since SAMe supplements seem to impact the Central Nervous System (CNS), it is advisable that anyone having surgery stop taking SAMe supplements at least two weeks prior to their operation date.
How to Take SAMe Supplements
SAMe should always be taken prior to ingesting any food. Drinking water with SAMe is encouraged if symptoms like heartburn or nausea occur, and SAMe should be taken earlier in the day since it is a stimulant and can contribute to sleep disruption and even potentially insomnia if taken in the evening or at night.
SAMe is usually taken in daily dosages ranging between 400 mg on the low end and 1,600 mg on the high end. Lower dosages (which range from 400 to 800 mg) should ideally be taken once per day, about half an hour prior to a full meal. Anyone who plans on taking higher dosages should consider splitting them up, taking the first dosage half an hour before eating breakfast and taking the second dosage about half an hour before consuming their lunch.
SAMe may not be safe to take with antidepressants (specifically MAOIs) but might be okay to take with some SSRIs (like Zoloft, Paxil, and Prozac), and those who are taking other medications at the same time should consult with their doctor to see if it is safe to take those medications in conjunction with SAMe. SAMe that is marketed toward adult humans should only be taken by adult humans. Do not attempt to give SAMe to people under the age of 18 or to animals. (There are SAMe supplements specifically designed for pets.)
What to Look for in a Good SAMe Supplement
It is imperative that individuals looking into taking SAMe supplements know what to look for in a high-quality SAMe supplement. One of the most important things to look for is SAMe supplements that have an enteric coating. Enteric coating protects SAMe from stomach acid destruction as it passes through the small intestine and stomach. SAMe should be released after it passes through the stomach, but food blocks the absorption of SAMe, so make sure to take enteric coated SAMe prior to eating anything.
There are many brands of SAMe supplements available on the market, so it is important to be aware of which brands are more reputable and reliable with their products. Some brands use talc as one of their ingredients, and talc should ideally be avoided. Talc is a carcinogen containing asbestos fibers (asbestos can become lethal if it gets into the lungs, where it will incubate, causing a person to drown in their own lung fluid), and it is not considered food grade by the FDA. However, it is still present in many supplements.
Good SAMe supplements should also be soy-free. Soy (sometimes presented as soybean oil) is an allergen that causes negative side-effects like indigestion. Also, 90% of soy products grown in the United States are sprayed with a deadly herbicide called Roundup and tend to be genetically-modified since they are mass-produced in order to be affordably priced.