From the period 1984 to 2015 there were a number of articles about SAM-e benefits where the test groups with different stages of disease and deviations tried this supplement in an attempt to see any positive results.
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Since that time, when SAM-e was discovered, a few studies reported its efficiency in treating depression, mood-boosting, and stress relief.
Users’ reviews on the benefits and side effects of SAM-e bring significant value due to the lack of research papers and studies on that matter.
SAM-e supplement is developed to help people with depression, neurologic disorders, ADHD, anxiety, liver disease, cholestasis, fibromyalgia, schizophrenia, sexual function disorders, and others.
But in fact, not only can SAM-e be helpful for people who experience these particular diseases. A majority of reviews say that SAM-e really helps with mood boost and related feelings of elation, energy, motivation, and mental activity.
Commonly SAM-e is used as an antidepressant and was recognized by users as a highly effective treatment minifying symptoms of depression on the seventh day of intake.
In some cases, SAM-e was considered to be even more effective than some popular prescription antidepressants.
Many studies on the efficiency of SAM-e in the role of antidepressants were performed amongst women who experienced postpartum depression (Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America, Journal of Neuropsychiatric Disease, Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, and many others).
Surprisingly, there’re not a lot of trials that are focused on the performance of SAM-e for anxiety.
But this may probably be due to the fact that not only anxiety is a symptom of depression but also an independent syndrome.
Minor positive reviews on Amazon.com in this respect will not radically change the whole picture.
Some users successfully treated anxiety and stress by SAM-e.
Some studies expose SAM-e as an appropriate choice for people suffering from cognitive and nervous disorders and as a support therapy against cardiovascular and immune problems.
How it Works
SAM-e is produced in the body from methionine. It modifies molecules within cell membranes which are responsible for the communication process between and within the neurons. It improves nerve cell membrane uptake of phospholipids and enhances the transmission of impulses.
Since SAM-e is one of the most important substances for building acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, and melatonin, it can boost the level of dopamine in the brain which is a significant factor in treating depression.
Note: We gather data from social media sources
Note: The data is based on users’ feedbacks across different social media sources.
Note: The data is based on users’ feedbacks across different social media sources.
A number of resources provide guidelines with valuable recommendations on the right dosage of nootropics, but not for SAM-e.
You will not find any official recommendations on SAM-e dosage since FDA has not included this supplement in the approved list of medications and SAM-e has no official prescribed use.
But indication “not included in FDA list” does not necessarily mean something bad and in no case means that a drug is not safe or prohibited.
There is an opinion that such failure of getting an FDA approval can be explained by infeasibility to obtain a patent for SAM-e, because of its purely natural compounds in chemical structure.
And for the reason that neither pharmaceutical company would make any big profit from this natural supplement.
It means that SAM-e will always reside in a niche of natural supplements.
Therefore the only source to get proper information about dosage is online resources.
Previous studies published in the Natural Medicines Database, recommendations of the American Psychiatric Association, and the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments along with users’ reviews are summarized in this section.
It is worth mentioning that all sources adhere to basic principles of SAM-e safe usage, which include:
- To define intended use;
- Right dose to be determined with the assistance of your therapist especially in case if you take other supplements, drugs or stacks;
- A permanent monitoring of your body states for timely detecting any changes which could be probably related to side effects or overdosage;
- Irregular and occasional usage of nootropics in order to avoid tolerance problems;
- If any negative effects from nootropics showed up to immediately reduce your daily dosage and see your doctor.
Before taking nootropics you should have a general understanding and awareness of the following red flags which are the reason to consult a doctor:
- are you started to experience side effects when increasing a dose?
- if you do not feel the effect and benefits from taking nootropics in a dose that was sufficient enough earlier.
What is especially important when you self-administer SAM-e?
Depending on the purpose, an average dose of SAM-e is required to deal with minor disorders like
smoking cessations (400-800 mg twice daily), liver disease (400-1200 mg daily), fibromyalgia (400 mg twice daily), and some neurological disorders – neurologic disorders (maximum 800 mg daily) and schizophrenia (maximum 80 mg daily in divided doses).
But for other serious cases, a dose of SAM-e is required to be much higher: like depression (800-1600 mg daily), ADHD (maximum 2400 mg daily), cholestasis (1600 mg daily), osteoarthritis (600-1200 mg daily), sexual function disorders (maximum 1600 mg daily).
These figures are considered as large doses and should be taken very carefully since the large doses are known to cause mania or abnormally elevated mood.
Duration of taking SAM-e also depends on the dosage you take and the severity of a disease.
Some disorders (neurologic disorders, anxiety, liver disease including liver cirrhosis, etc.) do not have guidelines for the duration of use since it is very individual and may take a long time to improve your condition hence it is recommended to take SAM-e under the care of your therapist.
For the following diseases it’s normal to take SAM-e for:
2 weeks for cholestasis;
4 weeks for ADHD;
6 weeks for depression, fibromyalgia, and sexual function disorders;
7 weeks for schizophrenia;
8 weeks is required to treat smoking cessations;
12 weeks for osteoarthritis;
a liver disease requires 24 weeks of taking SAM-e.
The best way to take this nootropic is in several administrations starting from 200-400 mg by gradually increasing a dose and it’s better to exclude taking SAM-e at night.
Users quite often provide feedbacks on SAM-e performance saying that there is a great effect when you take it for depression, but it could be less effective for anxiety.
SAM-e is likely safe if taken orally.
But sometimes it can cause diarrhea, constipation, dry mouth, headache, mild insomnia, anorexia, and sweating especially at higher doses.
Interactions And Contraindications
SAM-e should be taken in moderation with the following types of medications (please consult your health care provider prior to usage):
- Antidepressants. Users should be careful when taking antidepressants affecting serotonin levels along with SAM-e (in most cases it’s not recommended whatsoever), mainly because of the risk of serotonin syndrome. When the level of serotonin goes too high a user may face heart problems, shivering, and anxiety.
- Dextromethorphan also interacts with SAM-e in the same way as SSRI antidepressants.
- Levodopa. SAM-e may decrease the effectiveness of levodopa in patients taking it for Parkinson’s symptoms treatment.
Note: People with bipolar disorder should not take SAM-e as it may increase the risk of manic episodes.
There are a few forms you can find SAM-e available for purchase in the market:
The common stacks for SAM-e are:
- SAM-e + Vitamin B6,B12
- SAM-e + Fish Oil
- SAM-e + Magnesium
SAM-e is not approved by FDA and supplied as a dietary supplement and can be easily bought over the counter in the US and most of the countries.
Where To Buy
We strongly recommend buying SAM-e only from reliable online retailers.
An active component of any branded SAM-e supplement is S-adenosylmethionine tosylate disulfate – which is a very brittle ingredient.
It needs to be packed very delicately. So most of the producers follow very strict technological standards to maintain the quality of their products. This is the main aspect of why SAM-e is not cheap!
An average price for a pack of SAM-e if buying online starts with $20 depending on the brand name, amount of active components, and capsules per bottle.
As for the offline retailers, you may expect a bit higher pricing in the range of $25 to $65.
Supplements and drugs with similar effects are listed below:
- Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
- Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
- Vitamin D
- Fish Oil
Q: Does SAMam-e help with depression?
A: Yes, clinical trials demonstrate the abilities of SAM-e to lighten symptoms of depression. Many patients reported a significant reduction in depression symptoms after taking SAM-e on a regular basis within a few weeks. The fact that SAM-e leverages the level of serotonin and dopamine makes it efficient for such a scenario.
Q: Does SAM-e make you tired?
A: There is no official evidence for such a thesis.
Q: How long does it take for SAM-e to work?
A: It depends on a patient’s condition and individual biochemistry, sometimes it takes an effect almost instantaneously, sometimes it needs some time. But on average it takes around 1-2 weeks to start working. A recommended period of the intake is a month in order to see the beneficial action of this supplement.
Q: Can I take other drugs or supplements with SAM-e?
A: Please take a look at the “Interactions & Contraindications” section of our website. In short: you should not use SAM-e with any drugs that stimulate the development of serotonin as it may result in serotonin syndrome. And of course, you always should consult your therapist prior to using any of the drugs, especially when you’re planning to take a stack.
SAM-e showed obvious benefits and effectiveness in mood-boosting, treating depression and stress relief, but, in fact, it also demonstrates very good potential applicable to many other medical cases such as:
- Alcohol-related liver disease
- Migraine headache
and so on.
The lack of toxicity and negligible adverse effects give SAM-e even more credits.
Despite a bit higher pricing (compared with other nootropics), SAM-e is worth trying taking into consideration so many positive users’ reviews and the reports from the official clinical trials.