Does SAM-e Work?
SAM-e is claimed to be useful for a number of conditions, but many people may wonder, "Does it really work?" There is currently strong evidence that suggests SAM-e is effective for treating depression, arthritis, and intrahepatic cholestasis. Some research also suggests that it may work for AIDS-related myelopathy and fibromyalgia, although more studies are necessary to confirm these early findings.
S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM-e) is a naturally occurring molecule found throughout the human body. Although the body can make its own SAM-e using amino acids, SAM-e is also available in dietary supplements. Such supplements are claimed to work for many different conditions. While some of these claims have quite a bit of scientific evidence in their favor, many have no scientific basis whatsoever.
SAM-e has been studied quite a bit for a few uses. There is enough evidence suggesting that SAM-e works for depression, arthritis, and intrahepatic cholestasis (a decreased ability of the liver to secrete bile, often caused by pregnancy or other conditions). There is also some evidence suggesting that SAM-e might work for AIDS-related myelopathy (a spine and nerve disorder associated with AIDS) and fibromyalgia, although more studies are necessary to confirm early findings.
There is not enough evidence to know if SAM-e is effective for any of the following uses:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Bursitis, a painful joint condition
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Chronic lead poisoning
- Chronic lower back pain
- Heart disease
- Liver disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Parkinson's disease
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
- Spinal cord injury