Do you take SAM-e supplements? Have you bought or taken one of the following brands:
Unfortunately, the amounts of SAM-e found in these supplements may not always be as much as the label says. We’re investigating.
SAM-e, or S-adenosyl methionine, is a substance that’s found naturally in the human body. Mental Health America calls it “essential in more than 200 metabolic pathways.”
Because higher amounts were found in people with depression and liver disease, scientists began researching to see if it might be useful for treating people with these conditions.
WebMD says evidence exists that SAM-e is a treatment for osteoarthritis pain, and that it may be as effective as a painkiller as NSAIDs like ibuprophen and Celebrex. While the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and the Mayo Clinic say that the evidence is still inconclusive, many people use SAM-e to treat depression, osteoarthritis pain, or even for fibromyalgia pain and spinal cord damage due to HIV.
In Europe, SAM-e is a prescription drug. In the US, it’s a supplement. This means that it is not a tightly regulated as drugs are, to ensure that what’s in the container has uniform dosage, identity, purity, or consistency. The problem is that some sources claim that the brands listed above contain less SAM-e than promised on the label—sometimes as little as 12 to 18%.
This matters because doctors, naturopaths, and other health practitioners sometimes recommend that a patient take a certain amount of SAM-e on a regular basis to treat a condition.
People with depression may be told to take 800 to 1600 mg. per day; a common dosage for osteoarthritis patients is 600 to 1200 mg. per day, divided into three doses. If the brand the patient buys has far less SAM-e per pill than the label says, the patient will not get the proper dosage and will not get the health gains they’re looking for. And patients cannot simply increase the dosage, because they have no way of knowing how much SAM-e is in the product without lab testing.
We’re investigating to see if a class action is needed to encourage the consistency of SAM-e supplements.
If you’ve taken any of the brands of SAM-e listed above, fill out the form on this page. We’d like to know what your experience was.