SAMEe (S-Adenosyl-Methionine) is a natural chemical found in all living cells. It is the result of the union between the amino acid methionine and the energy chemical ATP. SAMe plays a serious part in promoting healthy methylation, as well as helping the body to produce sufficient quantities of the antioxidant glutathione and hence the overall concentration of homocysteine.
Many doctors practising alternative medicine agree that SAMe is one of the most effective and safe antidepressants available. Clinical trials have found that SAMe is as effective in relieving depression as commonly prescribed antidepressant such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (eg Zoloft) and it does not have any side effects.
SAMe is also suitable for treating depression resulting from illnesses such as alcoholism, fibromyalgia and chronic arthritis. It is useful not only in curing the actual condition but also the resulting depression. SAMe helps to increase the brain chemical serotonin which is responsible for improving the symptoms of depression.
Serotonin helps to keep you awake and active, and it is more efficient during the day. It can be considered the opposite to melatonin which is useful for inducing sleep and which works during the night. SAMe is needed to adjust this balance between serotonin and melatonin and therefore it helps to maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
The way SAMe works is by helping serotonin bind easily to the cell receptor. It also improves the function of the cell membrane by increasing production of phosphatidyl choline, one of its essential constituents. SAMe is one of the most important methylating agents in the brain. Loss of brain methylation has not only been blamed for depression but is also associated with ageing in general.