Biochemically, the SAMe molecule donates methyl groups to create other important compounds in a process called methylation. Methyl groups are crucial for formation of cell components including proteins, nucleic acids found in DNA and RNA, and phospholipids that form nerve cell membranes. Creatine, involved in energy production, and melatonin are also formed from SAMe. The sulfur content of SAMe is used to support synthesis of cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and bones and to form substances such as glutathione, cysteine, and taurine that detoxify foreign substances in the liver.
Facts and Functions
SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine) is a natural compound made in the body from the essential amino acid L-methionine. It is involved in a number of body processes, including liver detoxification, bone and joint health, and brain function. Although SAMe can be synthesized in the body, deficiencies of methionine, folic acid, or vitamin B12 can reduce SAMe to unhealthy levels. It can also be depleted during liver dysfunction or other conditions. Replenishment of SAMe using dietary supplements has beneficial actions in patients with depression, osteoarthritis, liver disorders, and fibromyalgia.
SAMe can be taken to support joint function, mood regulation, and liver detoxification processes. Individuals being treated for neurological conditions, including those using prescribed medications such as antidepressants, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and MAO inhibitors, should consult their healthcare professional before using this product. Individuals with bipolar disorder or manic depression should not be take SAMe unless under medical supervision.