SAMe (S-Adenosyl Methionine): Benefits, Sources, Deficiency

S-Adenosyl Methionine, commonly referred to as SAMe, is a chemical that is found in our body – and can be manufactured externally in a laboratory. It was first discovered in 1952, by G. L. Cantoni. It is formed as a result of a reaction between methionine and ATP (Adenosine triphosphate), which gives it the name. 

Thus, it is a derivative of an amino acid. The liver and the brain are the regions of the body where SAMe is present in the highest amounts. Its use as a dietary supplement emerged around the mid-1980s – and has since become very versatile in its area of use.

Benefits of SAMe (S-Adenosyl Methionine)

Research has shown that consumption of SAMe reduces the symptoms associated with depression, and this has been proven in many studies. 

Some even go as far as stating that it is as good as a prescription drug (i.e. an antidepressant) – thus, it is a good option for those who do not respond well to antidepressants.

However, you must note that this should be done only post approval from a medical health professional.

Research involving the effects of SAMe on osteoarthritis took place by accident – while the chemical was being used to treat the symptoms of depression, some individuals pointed out that they were feeling pain relief regarding their condition too. 

While it is as effective as other medications for osteoarthritis, the chemical takes longer to act and show its benefits.

The chemical also seems to improve the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia – which can cause a lot of discomforts and chronic pain that is not localized to a certain part of the body.

SAMe can have several benefits to provide with regard to PMS, migraines, ADHD and many other disorders – but more research is required before this can be confirmed.


Sources of SAMe (S-Adenosyl Methionine)

There are no natural food sources of SAMe. While your body is capable of producing normal amounts, in some cases, there is a possibility of the occurrence of a deficiency. 

In this case, you must go for either the supplement form of SAMe, or the prescription drug form (upon the advice of a physician) – both of which are artificially synthesized.

Deficiencies of SAMe (S-Adenosyl Methionine)

Certain studies have hinted at the fact that deficiency in the amount of SAMe in the body may lead to demyelination in the central nervous system (CNS).

However, more studies are required in order to be able to prove the same. Deficiency of SAMe also impacts the liver – as was observed in the case of individuals with liver cirrhosis (who also showed impairment in the functioning of the chemical) – this serves as an indicator that abnormal metabolism may be taking place.

There are other possible effects that may arise from the deficiency of methionine.

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