What is SAMe?
Can it help your joint pain?

A lesser known supplement, called SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine), has been gaining more attention in helping relieve joint pain. Although less popular than glucosamine and chondroitin , this compound has had positive research results. It is produced naturally in the liver and appears to help improve cartilage thickness and decrease cartilage damage. This supplement has been used to treat osteoarthritis symptoms , as well as other unrelated conditions including depression and liver disease.


Based on the research, this is what we do know about SAMe:

• It has been shown to be comparable to taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDS). When taken for a two month period, research found no difference between taking this supplement and Celebrex (a common COX-2 inhibitor anti-inflammatory medication).

• It is generally more tolerated than NSAIDS.

• In addition to its affects on cartilage, it also affects several neurotransmitters. It may increase norepinephrine and dopamine levels; therefore, it has the potential to cause central nervous system side effects such as anxiety, headache, insomnia, and nervousness. It also has the potential to interact with other serotoninergic drugs, such as antidepressants, tramadol (Ultram), and meperidine (Demerol).

• Typical dosage is 1200mg per day.

• Typical cost per month is between $60 and $120, making it more expensive than some other supplement options.

• It is an unstable compound making product quality a potential issue. It is unclear what the shelf life is, making it a less reliable choice.

• If people are interested in using this supplement, the butanedisulfonate salt formulation should be recommended because it is more stable and is more easily absorbed by the body.


This newer supplement does have some evidence in being helpful in relieving joint related pain. Consider this supplement as part of your regime and keep an eye on new research as it comes forth.




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