A first of its kind study from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital shows that the supplement that S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe), can be an effective support for patients with major depressive disorders who do not respond to their antidepressant medication. According to the investigators, led by George I. Papakostas, MD, of the Center for Treatment-Resistant Depression at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, SAM-e treats depression. During the study, significantly more SAMe-treated than placebo-treated patients experienced a clinical response on the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), which was the primary study outcome. Remission rates were also higher with SAMe than with placebo.
“With each study we continue to gain a better understanding of SAM-e’s role in treating depression. This new finding, albeit preliminary and in urgent need of replication, suggests significant, clinically meaningful differences in outcome among patients who had SAM-e added to their antidepressant medication treatment compared to those taking a placebo with their medication.”
Classified as a prescription drug in Germany, Russia, Italy, and Spain, SAMe has been the subject of studies on depression at Harvard Medical School, the University of California, and King’s College Hospital in London. What these studies have shown is that SAMe influences brain chemicals by helping to convert the feel-good neurotransmitters norepinephrine into epinephrine, and serotonin into melatonin. It is also involved in the formation of myelin, the white sheath that surrounds nerve cells. It can improve brain-cell membrane fluidity.
Not an herb, or even a vitamin, SAMe is a substance produced in every living organism on the planet. In fact, our bodies produce about eight grams of SAMe per day. More than half of that amount is produced in the liver. For this reason it has been used effectively as support for liver disease, especially alcohol-induced damage. (See the anti-alcohol antioxidant).
But there is so much more to know about SAMe than its mood enhancing effects. Click on the links below and read all about what it does for osteoarthritis and liver disease as well.
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