A recent review of S-adenosyl-methionine (SAMe), published at the end of 2017, has provided a broad perspective on the role, efficacy and safety of SAMe in the treatment of depression, neuropsychiatric disorders and co-morbid medical conditions
Sharma et al. has taken into consideration 132 studies — 115 clinical and 17 preclinical studies – and has provided evidence that oral doses of SAMe between 200 mg and 3200 mg have similar efficacy to tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
They were found to be superior to the placebo in ameliorating depressive symptoms, depression and quality of life, rating scales.
SAMe may also be effective in combination with other antidepressants, both TCAs (Tricyclic antidepressants) and SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), in case of inadequate response to drug therapy and patients with depression associated to other medical conditions ie HIV, Parkinson’s disease, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.
In these two latter diseases, SAMe exerts anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity by enhancing proteoglycan bioactivity.
SAMe antidepressant activity has been associated with a greater speed of onset in comparison with TCAs, which can take up to two weeks to improve symptoms. This supplement can also be successfully used in addition to standard antipsychotic drugs to improve quality of life and reduce aggressive behaviour in a subset of schizophrenic patients with low-active catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) activity.
The highlights reported on SAMe may represent a promising alternative to the treatment of depression, neuropsychiatric disorders and co-morbid medical conditions.
In fact, the risks of SAMe compare quite favourably with prescription antidepressants, particularly in that it does not cause sexual dysfunction or weight gain (two of the most common causes for antidepressant discontinuation) and it is less likely to be life-threatening in patients who are at risk of overdosing, during suicide attempts.
Knowing that evidence generally supports the safety and efficacy of SAMe in both psychiatric and medical illnesses could impact clinical decision making.
As a complementary, alternative, and integrative medicine (CAIM) therapy, SAMe has been utilised for treatment of psychiatric and medical conditions in Europe for more than 30 years. In the US, it became better known after 1999 as an over-the-counter dietary supplement under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).
Silvia Pisoni, Marketing Manager of Gnosis, said: “SAMe has been discovered as early as in 1952 by Italian scientist Giulio Cantoni and after decades of use in several countries it still moves the interest of researchers and scientists. The exploration of the full range of potential benefits of SAMe through controlled clinical studies needs to go ahead considering the broad range of reactions where this human biochemical methyl donor is involved — including multiple crucial biochemical pathways, such as the biosynthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters — and the new aspects that are recently emerging.”
“Abnormal levels of SAMe in the body have been reported in several disease states and SAMe applications in human health are still underestimated. SAMe is the most active methyl donor produced in the human body and it is essential to sustain the normal function of the one carbon metabolism pathway.
It has role in the methylation of DNA and may take part in the control of stress stimuli and in the mechanisms of ageing physiology and physiopathology, providing a natural help to sustain biological functions, integrate possible nutritional deficiencies caused by the modern way of life, ensuring healthy ageing, supporting the body and mental wellness.”
Gnosis has more than 30 years of experience in SAMe production from a selected highly productive yeast using fermentation technologies and boasts more than 10 patents about proprietary stabilisation of salts and the production of innovative forms of oral dosage covered by several granted patents and patent pending applications. SAMe produced by Gnosis is commercialised under the brand name of Adonat.