Re: [GIWorld-Hepatitis] SAMe
This is not a scientific study, but a product review. I thought you
might find it interesting. At least it's NOT from someone trying to sell
Product Review: SAMe
SAMe (also written as SAM-e, S-adenosyl-methionine, or
S-adenosyl-L-methionine) is used for many purposes, but primarily as an
anti-depressant and in treating osteoarthritis (and associated joint pain,
stiffness, and inflammation).
SAMe is a molecule the body normally produces from dietary proteins. SAMe
assists the body in the production of a wide range of compounds, including
neurotransmitters, such a dopamine and serotonin, and cartilage components,
such as glycosaminoglycans. It is believed that SAMe from dietary
supplements may facilitate the production of these compounds, particularly
when natural SAMe levels may be low.
SAMe is sold in many forms designed to stabilize the SAMe molecule and
prevent degradation. In all of these forms, an additional compound is
attached the SAMe molecule. The names of these stabilizing compounds include
tosylate, disulfate tosylate, disulfate ditosylate, and
1,4-butanedisulfonate (Actimet�) and are typically written immediately after
the chemical name of SAMe. It is important for consumers to know that these
stabilizing compounds can weigh at much as the SAMe molecule itself.
Consequently, a tablet containing 200 mg of S-adenosyl-methionine disulfate
tosylate will contain only 100 mg of SAMe. Most, but not all labels, make
Currently, SAMe is not considered a drug in the U.S. (although it is in
several other countries) and is not required to be tested for quality by any
governmental or other agency prior to sale. As part of its mission to
independently evaluate health, wellness, and nutrition products,
ConsumerLab.com purchased and tested many of the leading SAMe dietary
supplements sold in the U.S.
Testing & Results:
In January 2000 ConsumerLab.com purchased a total of 13 brands of SAMe
products (see How Products were Selected). These products were then tested
to determine whether they possessed the labeled amounts of SAMe. (see
Testing Method and Passing Score).
Overall, nearly half (6 out of 13) of the products did not pass testing.
Among those not passing, the amount of SAMe was, on average, less than half
of the amount declared on the labels. For one product, the amount of SAMe
was below detectable levels (less than 5% of the labeled amount). Three of
the products did not pass testing in part due to inaccurate labeling. For
example, while a product's label claimed 200 mg of SAMe per tablet, this
weight actually may have included the weight of the stabilizing compound, so
that a person using the product would only get about 100 mg of free SAMe
from each tablet.
Listed alphabetically below are the products that passed ConsumerLab.com's
independent testing of SAMe dietary supplements.
CONSUMERLAB.COM APPROVED QUALITY SAMe PRODUCTS
Product Name, Declared Concentration of Main Ingredient Per Pill (and form
Manufacturer or Distributor
GNC SAMe 100 mg (Actimet�)
Dist. By GNC
Natrol SAMe 200mg (disulfate ditosylate)
Dist. By Natrol
Nature Made SAM-e 200mg (1,4-butanedisulfonate)
Puritan's Pride Inspired by Nature SAM-e 200mg (form not indicated)
Man. For Puritan's Pride
Source Naturals SAMe, 200 mg (disulfate tosylate)
The Vitamin Shoppe SAMe, 200 mg (1,4-butanedisulfonate, disulphate [sic]
The Vitamin Shoppe
Twinlab SAM-e, 200 mg (tosylate)
Copyright ConsumerLab.com, LLC, 2000. All rights reserved. Not to be
reproduced, excerpted, or cited in any fashion without the express written
permission of ConsumerLab.com LLC.
It can not be assumed that other products from a manufacturer or distributor
listed above are of similar quality to those that passed testing. If a
specific product is not listed, it either has not passed testing or was not
tested. (Note to manufacturers: Testing of additional products may be
requested through ConsumerLab.com's s Ad Hoc Testing Program. Products that
pass this testing will be added to the list above.) A complete listing of
laboratory results for all products tested are available in a Technical
Report that may be purchased.
What to Consider when Buying and Using These Products:
Consumers should check product labels to make sure that they will provide an
appropriate dose of SAMe, excluding the stabilizing compound, as described
above. The labeled amount of SAMe in the products evaluated generally ranged
from 100 mg to 200 mg per tablet and this must be considered when comparing
the costs of products. Consumers should also look for products that are
enteric-coated so that they are less likely to breakdown in the stomach
before reaching the intestine where they are primarily absorbed.
As seen in this and other ConsumerLab.com Product Reviews, however, labels
may not be accurate. To further assist consumers, ConsumerLab.com is
licensing its flask-shaped CL Seal of Approved Quality for SAMe (see The CL
Seal) to manufacturers for use on labels of products that have passed
testing. ConsumerLab.com will periodically re-evaluate these products to
ensure their compliance with ConsumerLab.com's standards.
Generally recommended daily doses of SAMe can range from 200 to 800 mg,
depending upon the condition, severity, and course of treatment. It is often
recommended that one start with a dose of only 200 mg or 400 mg of SAMe for
the first day of therapy and increase thereafter. These daily amounts should
not be taken at once but in divided doses, such as 200 mg twice a day in the
case of a 400 mg total daily dose, or 200 mg four times a day in the case of
an 800 mg total daily dose. Noticeable improvements when taking SAMe can
take from a few days to four or five weeks.
Individuals with bipolar (manic/depressive) disorders should be aware that
SAMe could trigger a manic phase. These products are also not likely to be
helpful in severe osteoarthritis � when bones already rub bones. A reduction
in weight for overweight individuals and switching to low-impact rather than
high-impact sports are also recommended for people with osteoarthritis. SAMe
may occasionally cause nausea and stomach upset, which may be reduced by
taking enteric-coated products, reducing the dosage, and taking with meals.
In general, consumers should check with a healthcare professional for a
proper diagnosis before using dietary supplements and, due to potential drug
interactions, should inform their healthcare providers of the dietary
supplements they take.
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only. It is
not an endorsement of any product nor it is it meant to substitute for the
advice provided by physicians or other healthcare professionals. The
information contained herein should not be used for diagnosing or treating a
health problem or disease.
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com