When people think of their most important organs, they often think of their heart or lungs. What many people forget is how important brain health is. If our brain is not functioning properly, our whole body will suffer. Thankfully, there are supplements on the market that can improve brain function, most notably SAMe.
What is SAMe?
SAMe stands for S-adenosylmethionine, which is an artificial form of the amino acid methionine and ATP. SAMe helps facilitate dozens of internal body functions and it is present in every cell of the body. When taken as a supplement, it has several benefits on the body.
Benefits of SAMe
SAMe has been used as a natural antidepressant for several years in Europe and the United States. It has been available over the counter for over twenty years, making it one of the longest-selling antidepressant products on the market.
According to several research studies, SAMe is involved in the production of the neurotransmitters melatonin and epinephrine. Both of these neurotransmitters have a direct impact on mood and SAMe is believed to mitigate the symptoms of depression because of this.
Among all of the benefits of SAMe, depression seems to be the most evident benefit. Several studies have confirmed the effect of SAMe on adults with depression and it is one of the most effective alternatives to antidepressants on the market.
Detoxification is becoming increasingly popular as more people are realizing how important it is to cleanse the body from toxins. In a recent study, SAMe was found to improve the efficiency of the body’s major detoxifier – glutathione. SAMe also protected the liver when it was exposed to a significant amount of chemical toxins.
Besides depression, SAMe is widely used as a natural arthritis treatment. Some studies suggest that SAMe has natural anti-inflammatory and tissue healing properties that can ease joint pain and protect the joints from future damage. In a 2004 study, arthritis patients given SAMe described a significant reduction in pain after only one month of use.
SAMe doesn’t just improve mood and alleviate the symptoms of depression. There’s a growing amount of evidence that suggests that SAMe can enhance brain functions like mental clarity, focus, concentration, and memory. Although depression is the main benefit, users of SAMe still report benefits like the other benefits mentioned above.
SAMe Side Effects
SAMe is a great supplement, although it does come with its’ fair share of side effects. High doses of SAMe are associated with headaches, insomnia, and restlessness. Gastrointestinal problems have also been reported in users taking over 400mg doses at a time. Stomach bleeding, upset stomach, and bloating are common in users taking these high doses.
Obviously, the easy answer is to avoid these high doses. A simple dose of 50-100mg is enough for most adults to reap the benefits of SAMe without the side effects. Plus, it is recommended most users start at a lower dosage anyways.
Adults with bi-polar syndrome should not take SAMe because it may cause mania. Pregnant or nursing mothers should also avoid SAMe simply because it has not been tested for safety in this group.
However, for the average adult, there should be no concern about any major side effects. If you do feel any side effects, you should discontinue use and see if your symptoms reside.
SAMe is a great supplement that has a variety of benefits. However, it’s still a supplement that you need to watch your dosage on to prevent the side effects. Most people feel the benefits in the first few weeks of use. If you want a natural alternative to an antidepressant drug, give SAMe a try.