Tested and True – Mood Booster: SAM-e

Supplement image courtesy of worradmu/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

SAM-e made Consumer Reports* “11 Supplements to Consider” in 2010.  SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is a synthetic form of a chemical produced naturally in the body.  It is essential to a many chemical processes, including maintaining cells, manufacturing substances used by the nerves, and influencing emotions and moods.


Claims and Purported Use

SAM-e is a “natural” treatment for depression, arthritis, and liver disease. SAM-e is said to be as effective as aspirin for pain relief, without the side effects. Consumer Reports* says that it is likely effective in reducing symptoms of major depression, reducing pain, and improving functioning in people with osteoarthritis.  Interestingly, Europe markets sell SAM-e as a prescription drug for depression, arthritis, and liver disease, but in the U.S. and Canada, SAM-e is unregulated.


Doctor’s Best – SAM-e

Doctor's Best SAMe 200, Enteric Coated Tablets

GNC Sam-e 400

GNC SAM-e 400mg 30 Tablets

Life Extension SAM-e

Life Extension SAM E 400 Mg, 20 tablets

Nature Made SAM-e

Nature Made SAM-e Complete, 400mg, Tablets

Selected Potential Side Effects

SAM-e may lead to GI symptoms, dry mouth, headache, mild insomnia, anorexia, sweating, dizziness, and nervousness, especially at higher doses.  It can cause some people with depression to feel anxious.

Selected Drug Interactions

SAM-e, when taken with the cough suppressant (dextromethorphan), certain antidepressants, or narcotic pain relievers, might lead to a toxic reaction.  When taken with the Parkinson’s drug levodopa, SAM-e might worsen symptoms.

Reference Guide for Tested and True Dietary Supplements

Tested and True: Fish Oil

Tested and True: Krill Oil

Tested and True: Multivitamins

Tested and True: Vitamin D

Tested and True: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ-10)

Tested and True: Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Tested and True: Probiotics

Tested and True: Muscle Enhancers – Creatine

Tested and True: Muscle Enhancers – Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

Tested and True: Nutrition Bars

Tested and True: Nutrition Drinks & Powders

Tested and True: Weight Loss Accelerators and Appetite Controllers

Tested and True: Mood Booster SAM-e

Tested and True: Mood Booster St. Johns’ Wort

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*reference: Consumer Reports Health




About Dave Barnas, M.S., CES, NASM-CPT

Dave is the true health guy. He is the founder and owner of True Health Unlimited, LLC, a personal health and fitness company in Tolland, CT & Wellness Writers, a subscription wellness newsletter service that incorporates live & virtual wellness workshops for companies across New England. Dave earned both a Bachelor's (1998) and Master's Degree (2000) in Nutritional Science from the University of Connecticut, and also holds certifications as a National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Personal Trainer, National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Aerobics and Fitness Association of America Group Instructor, and Nutrition Specialist. He's also the lead author for four published works. Dave has over 20 years of combined experience in nutrition counseling, dietary supplement advising, personal training, corrective exercise training, health coaching and public speaking. In addition, he's spent over 25 years studying spirituality, meditation, and personal growth strategies. Dave's clients are all ages: youth, college championship level athletes, folks in their retired years, and everywhere in between. He's worked with three of the nation's leading physicians as a dietary supplement advisor and been a guest lecturer at Harvard University, Yale University, UConn, St. Joseph College and various church groups, health clubs, and high schools. In 2013, he was invited to Whole Foods Market to share his Real Food Therapy Guide. And in 2015, Dave's funny "Snowga" (yoga in the snow) video caught the attention of The National Weather Channel, who aired it to shake off cabin fever and bring laughter. In 2016, Dave & Hollie (his wife) founded Wellness Writers and deliver evidence-based Wellness E-newsletters to spread a message of health and happiness to various businesses throughout the US. Dave currently serves as a personal trainer in Tolland as well as a wellness coach and writer for several businesses, gyms and wellness facilities throughout the US.

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