Posted on: 18.12.2022 Posted by: Drlark Comments: 0

April 8, 2004



SAMe — The Natural Antidepressant

In my experience, I’ve found that most depressed

women have low levels of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and

serotonin. Fortunately, nutritional therapies can be very helpful

for the millions of women with mild to moderate depression, and

I’d like to tell you about one of my favorites—SAMe.

SAMe is produced by combining the amino acid methionine

with adenosine triphosphate (ATP), your body’s active, readily available

form of energy. This conversion takes place within the brain in

the presence of vitamin B12 and folic acid. It works at the cellular

level to facilitate a variety of biochemical reactions that in turn

produce various substances that are crucial to body functions, such

as neurotransmitters and proteins.

SAMe has been shown to be a potent antidepressant,

increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine, improving binding of

neurotransmitters to receptor sites, and often leading to significant

clinical improvement in mood. In fact, in 7 of 8 studies since the

1980s, SAMe has proven more effective than placebo for the treatment

of depression. Even more impressive is how well SAMe works when

compared to prescription antidepressants. One study published in

2000 tested the benefits of SAMe in 11 depressed patients with Parkinson’s

disease who had either not benefited from antidepressants or endured

intolerable side effects. The patients were given 800 to 3,600 mg

of SAMe a day for 10 weeks. Ten of the patients experienced at least

50 percent improvement, while just one patient did not improve.

Plus, researchers found that SAMe was very well tolerated, with

only three patients experiencing either mild nausea mild diarrhea.

A similar study from a 2002 issue of the American

Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that SAMe was as effective

as the antidepressant imipramine, but was better tolerated. Researchers

conducted two multicenter studies with patients who had major depression.

In the first study, patients were given either 1,600 mg of SAMe

orally or 150 mg of the imipramine over a 6 week period of time.

In the second study, patients were either injected with 400 mg of

SAMe or received 150 mg of the imipramine over 4 weeks. In both

studies, the SAMe was shown to be as effective as the antidepressant

for treatment of depression. However, the SAMe had significantly

fewer adverse side effects.

If you are interested in using SAMe, I recommend

taking 1,600 mg a day, in four divided doses, along with 50 to 250

mcg of B12 and 400 to 800 mcg folic acid per day to ensure optimal

conversion. An added benefit is that the B vitamins themselves

have been shown to have powerful antidepressant effects on your

brain chemistry!

Note: SAMe is very expensive—ranging

from $1.00 to $2.00 for a 200 mg capsule. Luckily, as your depressive

symptoms decrease, you can begin to reduce your dosage accordingly,

moving to 1,200 mg, then to 800 mg, and so on to a maintenance dose

that works best for you.

While I recognize the price is a bit costly, I

believe that a safe, nutritional therapy that can actually help

to normalize your brain chemistry and reduce your tendency towards

depression is well-worth the investment.

Read More on Depression:

Getting Started

Depletion Equals Depression

Quiz: Are You Depressed?

Quiz: How Balanced are Your Neurotransmitters?

Keep it SIMPLE tip — Secret Weapon Against


Nutritional Therapies

Neurotransmitters Are Derived From Nutrients

in Your Diet

Replenishing the Pathways

SAMe – the Natural Antidepressant

Complementary Therapies

Depression Release Breathing Exercise

Yoga Pose for Depression Relief



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