The body is miraculous in its ability to manufacture many different substances that are involved in maintaining good health. SAM-e (S-adenosyl-methionine), which the body makes from the amino acid methionine, is one example of a molecule that is important to the moods we experience. SAM-e helps form, activate, or breakdown hormones, fats, proteins, neurotransmitters, and medications. The brain and the liver usually make the necessary amount of SAM-e, but for people experiencing depression, this process may be impaired. Low levels of SAM-e results in decreased levels of serotonin, dopamine and other neurotransmitter activity commonly seen in clinical depression. SAM-e can help boost neurotransmitter activity, bringing about improvement in mood and relief from depression.
Since the 1980s, European countries, including Italy, Spain, and Germany, have been testing and using SAM-e (pill form or injection) to treat depression anxiety, chronic pain, and other health conditions. SAM-e is available in the United States as a dietary supplement, but it can interact with other medications. In research and in clinical practice, SAM-e is well tolerated by most adults, but is not recommended for children, or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Therefore, it is best to use SAM-e while in the care of a licensed holistic health practitioner.
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