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SAMe improves depression

Life Extension Update

Tuesday, June 16, 2015. Research described in the April 2015 issue of Advances in Integrative Medicine revealed that the addition of the nutritional supplement S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)-therapy improved symptoms in adults who failed to optimally respond to drugs.

"Pharmacotherapy achieves acceptable results for about 30% of patients, mixed results for 40% and poor results for 30% of patients," write authors Matthew Bambling of Australia's University of Queensland and colleagues in their introduction to the article. "As a result of poor or variable response to treatment, a significant proportion of depressed patients may not experience complete clinical remission of their depression. Treatment response is complicated further by poor patient tolerability of medications due to unwanted side effects."

Acting on the positive findings of a clinical trial that involved the use of high dose SAMe in depressed serotonin-reuptake inhibitor non-responders, Dr Bambling and associates compared the effects of adding fifteen weeks of high dose (1600 mg) and low dose (800 mg) SAMe supplementation to the regimens of 36 SSRI-treated men and women who had suboptimal treatment response. Tests administered before and after treatment evaluated depressive symptoms.

Thirty-five percent of those who completed the first study experienced improvement in mood and symptoms by the end of the trial in comparison with pretreatment measures. The researchers found that the low and high doses of SAMe were equally effective.

In their discussion of the findings, the authors note "We consider it likely that 800 mg a day of SAMe is the required therapeutic dose for treatment response". The researchers also reported that treatment with SAMe "…resulted in significant and meaningful improvements in mood and quality of life for the majority of participants."

The authors acknowledged the Life Extension Foundation® for donating the SAMe product used in the study.


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