Life Extension Magazine April 2014
Beyond Depression... SAMe Broad-Spectrum Protection Against Disorders Of Aging
By Michael Downey
7. Liver Disease And Gallstones
Because the liver has over 500 critical functions, from synthesizing compounds to removing contaminants, diseases that impair the liver’s ability to carry out these functions can be life-threatening.40 Without SAMe, liver cells are less efficient at performing vital detoxification reactions—but scientists found that cirrhosis patients have alterations in the pathway that produces SAMe.41
Insufficient SAMe levels are linked to various liver diseases, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.42,43 In multiple studies, patients with various liver problems (including drug toxicity) responded well when administered SAMe, showing signs of improvement in liver function and in some cases restoration of normal liver function.5,44-46 In a trial of patients taking 1,600 milligrams of SAMe daily, scientists found that evidence of liver damage was greatly reduced, including decreased blood bilirubin levels.47
SAMe was shown to treat alcoholic liver disease by at least four mechanisms: increasing glutathione levels, repairing glutathione transport into mitochondria, reducing toxicity of inflammatory cytokines, and increasing DNA methylation.48 Furthermore, SAMe may help prevent liver disease by increasing gene expression within liver cells involved in alcohol metabolism, boosting alcohol elimination rate after binge drinking.49
SAMe could also help prevent gallstones in women. In a controlled study of women taking oral estrogen contraceptives, 600 milligrams of SAMe daily reduced bile cholesterol, suggesting SAMe may also prevent gallstones in women with increased estrogen levels.50
Since Life Extension® introduced SAMe to American consumers 17 years ago, it has become well-known for its potent antidepressant effects.1
However, decades of accumulating studies indicate that this remarkable natural compound promotes the synthesis and reactions of chemicals throughout the body that are critical to key functions such as gene expression and DNA repair.4,5
As a result, scientists have now demonstrated that SAMe is effective in safely preventing, treating, and/or reversing numerous diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, insomnia, osteoarthritis, liver disease—and even the root causes of aging itself!5,12,16,20,23,24-27,29-31,34,37-39,44-47
Although SAMe was a relatively expensive nutrient when first introduced to the US market, the cost of synthesizing pharmaceutical-quality SAMe has now been greatly reduced—making SAMe a more affordable addition to a well-rounded supplement regimen.
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.
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