First Time User? Sign Up Now
First Time User? Enroll now.
Home > Health Library > SAM-e
SAM-e is short for S-adenosylmethionine, a substance that occurs naturally in the cells of plants, animals, and humans. SAM-e is not an herb. Because the body produces less SAM-e with age, some people think that SAM-e may be a helpful supplement for certain diseases. In the United States, it is sold as a dietary supplement.
In the United States, people use SAM-e to treat depression or to preserve emotional well-being. SAM-e may help with symptoms of depression in the short term, but more studies are needed to compare SAM-e with no treatment and with conventional treatment.
SAM-e may also help to relieve pain in osteoarthritis and symptoms of some liver diseases.
Side effects may include:
People diagnosed with bipolar disorder should not take SAM-e.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate dietary supplements in the same way it regulates medicines. A dietary supplement can be sold with limited or no research on how well it works.
Always tell your doctor if you are using a dietary supplement or if you are thinking about combining a dietary supplement with your conventional medical treatment. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on a dietary supplement. This is especially important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
When using dietary supplements, keep in mind the following:
Other Works Consulted
Murray MT (2013). SAMe (S-adenoslymethionine). In JE Pizzorno, MT Murray, eds., Textbook of Natural Medicine, 4th ed., pp. 1012–1017. St. Louis: Mosby.
SAMe (2008). In A DerMarderosian et al., eds., Review of Natural Products. St. Louis: Wolters Kluwer Health.
Current as of: May 28, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Current as of:
May 28, 2019
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
UNC Medical Center
101 Manning Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
UNC Health Care Citrix
UNC Medical Center Intranet
Copyright 2019 UNC Health Care. All rights reserved.