SAMe in the treatment of depression.




Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology

Related Monographs

Consumer Data: S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) Depression
Professional Data: S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) Depression


SAMe is an amino acid that is produced in the body from the essential amino acid, methionine. It is important for the proper function of a number of chemical interactions in the body. Researchers think SAMe supplementation can benefit a wide range of conditions. SAMe does not occur in foods to any appreciable degree.

SAMe is involved in many interactions in the body. It contributes to the production of DNA, proteins neurotransmitters, and an important antioxidant, glutathione. What's more, SAMe is important for liver detoxification and health of cellular membranes. It also supports the health of nerve structures in the brain. SAMe has become well known as a safe and effective natural anti-depressant agent. Although it's been found ineffective for treating manic depression, SAMe's effectiveness for other types of depression in people of all ages may rival some prescription anti-depressant drugs.1

A recent small study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology used SAMe as an addition to anti-depressant treatments. Researchers recruited 30 participants who were using anti-depressants and were not showing great improvement. These individuals with persisting major depressive disorders were assigned to receive 800-1600 mg of SAMe along with their regular anti-depressants. This study was conducted for 6 weeks. The results showed that according to the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, participants had a 50% response rate to the SAMe. In addition, there was a 43% remission rate following augmentation with SAMe. The researchers stated that future studies are warranted with the use of SAMe and anti-depressants in those who are not showing improvement with the anti-depressants alone.2


1. Bressa GM, et al. S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAMe) as Antidepressant: Meta-analysis of Clinical Studies. Acta Neurol Scand Suppl. 1994;154:7-14.
2. Alpert J, et al. S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe) as an Adjunct for Resistant Major Depressive Disorder: An Open Trial Following Partial or Nonresponse to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or Venlafaxine. J Clin Psychopharmacol. Dec 2004;24(6):661-4.