I began to take SAM-e several years ago. I read about it in a magazine and thought I would give it a try. I started taking it, because I was having back issues at the time. I made a trip to my pharmacy.
I remember the first time I read the box, because I noticed something interesting. The box said that it was “clinically proven for healthy mood and joint comfort”. Healthy mood? That was certainly unexpected.
I began taking it daily right away.
I’ve noticed that my joints are better, but I also got a side effect–a very good side effect. Before I began taking SAM-e, I noticed that I was beginning to have these brief feelings of dread–like something bad was going to happen. This had been happening for about six months. Thankfully, they were fleeting; but I have never been one to worry about things like that so it did give me pause.
SAM-e took away those feelings. My husband Harold started taking it, and he noticed that his mood lightened as well.
So what is SAM-e?
SAM-e is short for S-adenosylmethionine. It is a naturally occurring compound made from an amino acid. Your body uses SAM-e to produce neurotransmitters. They say that it may boost the brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine, and that low levels of both of these chemicals have been implicated in causes of depression. SAM-e has been used as a treatment for depression in Europe for the last 25 years and is becoming increasingly popular in America.
Your body makes SAM-e on its own. You can’t get it from food; that you can only get it from a supplement. It is available in capsules and tablets. I take it in tablets.
It’s best to take it on an empty stomach between meals for better absorption into your bloodstream. I take it with a glass of water, as soon as I rise. I take my synthroid at the same time.
They say that there is no standard dosage. Supplements range from 400 to 1,600 mg. Experts, though, recommend starting with 800 mg twice a day, but I only take 400 mg a day. As usual, though, you may want to talk to your doctor first.
I’m told that SAM-e can cause some minor side effects, such as stomach upset, anxiety, and trouble sleeping; but I have had none of these side effects. It can interact with certain antidepressant meds, so always talk with your doctor if you’re thinking about taking it and are using other drugs. They say that you shouldn’t take SAM-e for bipolar disorder.
One report from the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, which analyzed the results of 28 studies, found that SAM-e was about as effective as standard antidepressant meds. It can be pricey, though–up to $200 a month for the recommended dosages. I take half the dosage and buy mine at Cosco when it is on sale.
Doctors aren’t entirely sure why it tamps down pain, but they know that it reduces inflammation. Studies by the University of Maryland School of Nursing and the University of California, Irvine, showed that SAM-e was as effective as some NSAIDs in easing osteoarthritis aches.
The researchers in California found that SAM-e quashed pain by 50% after 2 months, though it took a few weeks to kick in. SAM-e produced no cardiovascular risks and fewer stomach problems than the conventional meds.
Harold and I are believers. We take it every day now, and we have for over a year.
Note: No one paid me for this. I just felt that it has helped us, and I wanted to spread the word.