The Wonder Nutrient You Never Heard Of
Back in 1997, the Life Extension Foundation said that SAMe (pronounced “Sammy”) “promises to be the most potent, multipurpose anti-aging, anti-disease therapy we have ever introduced”.
SAMe stands for the S-Adenosyl L- methionine (you can see why it’s easier to call it SAMe). The secret to its effectiveness is a process called methylation.
Passing the Flame an a Relay Race
Remember relay races where the stick was passed from runner to runner?
Well, chains of molecules in your body perform that kind of activity every minute, and the “stick” that they pass from one another that keeps the chain running effectively is something called a methyl group (a specific arrangement of hydrogen and carbon atoms).
A methyl group is a kind of “spark plug” that keeps the engines of the body firing cleanly and quickly. This constant transfer is called methylation.
When methylation is compromised it’s like having sticky sludgy spark plugs. Everything slows down, energy is compromised and things just don’t work right.
SAMe is the ultimate “methyl donor”. It literally donates a methyl group wherever it’s needed, keeping the relay races running smoothly. It passes a torch to whoever needs it so that the race never has to slow down or get derailed while someone goes looking for a torch.
Since the methylation process is so critical to a number of pathways in the body—including brain activity and joint activity- SAMe is able to act as “natural support” for a whole range of different problems that have, as a component, impaired methylation.
Mood, for example. Or joint problems. Or liver problems.
SAMe as a “Desert Island Supplement”
SAMe is arguably the most effective “natural” mood elevators around. And one of the best things about it is that you’ll know if it’s working within a week. (Actually this is true for the majority of people, but in some less common cases it may take up to five weeks to work.)
It’s also one of the most liver-friendly molecules on earth. The liver contains a very high amount of SAMe, and one of the body’s most important antioxidants—glutathione—is synthesized from it.
Glutathione is absolutely central to keeping the liver healthy and helping it to do it’s many jobs including detoxification.
SAMe may also reduce homocysteine, a potent risk factor for heart disease and stroke. High homocysteine levels are usually treated with extra B vitamins (folate, B6 and B12), but SAMe can help as well because it plays a critical role in helping to turn homocysteine back into the benign amino acid methionine so that large amounts don’t build up in the system.
According to natural products expert Ray Sahalien, MD, dozens of clinical studies have shown that SAMe helps support a positive outlook.
“It is able to cross the blood-brain barrier where it affects the synthesis and activation of various brain chemicals, such as neurotransmitters”, he says. “SAM-e also supports joint function and mobility in the spine, hips, and knees. It is important to the joints because of its critical role in cartilage formation”
We only recommend SAMe products that are enteric coated and blister packed, which helps prevent breakdown and inactivation of the delicate ingredients. Both of the following meet our exacting requirements for quality:
This product provides 200mg per tablet, which allows maximum flexibility in dosage. You can start with 200 and work up as needed.
For those who need a higher dosage, DFH’s SAMe is the way to go, with 400 mg per tablet. You can take one to two a day.
SAMe is best taken on an empty stomach, though it can be taken with meals for a more natural increase in SAMe concentrations. Note: This product is not recommended for individuals with bipolar depression.
Used properly, SAMe can work wonders for your health. The dose, however, is very important. Because the ideal dose of SAMe depends on your individual situation. Consider having a consult with our resident nutritionist, Julie Haugen, to determine the right dose for you.
Wishing You Health and Wellness,
The Rockwell Nutrition Team