S-Adenosyl Methionine for Arthritis

What is S-Adenosyl Methionine or SAMe?

S-adenosyl methionine or SAMe, for short, is a common dietary supplement ingredient found in products with potential benefits for improving quality of mood, promoting liver health, in addition to potentially relieving symptoms of osteoarthritis or joint pain.  It also has potential benefits in relieving symptoms of fibromyalgia.

S-adenosyl methionine is a naturally occurring compound which is found in nearly every cell in the human body.  Levels of SAMe depend on both Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6, so deficiencies of either vitamin may affect your SAMe levels.

A recent research paper highlights the use of s-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) in osteoarthritis (Hosea et al, 2008).

Study Background:

“Osteoarthritis is a chronic joint disease characterized by pain and immobility due to a gradual loss of cartilage. Current treatments are palliative; there is no cure. With a growing interest in alternative therapies, due in part to safety issues regarding pharmacological treatments like Celebrex, safe dietary compounds that help the body regenerate cartilage tissue are of great clinical importance. The dietary supplement S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) shows such potential.

Study Conclusions:

“Clinical trials have shown reduced pain and stiffness while in vitro and animal studies have shown SAMe can stimulate the production of cartilage which is critical in reversing the disease process. The author examines many potential mechanisms of action including: reduction of inflammatory mediators; increasing levels of glutathione; direct or indirect signaling of cartilage synthesis or survival; maintenance of DNA methylation. Research into the mechanisms of supplemental SAMe in osteoarthritis is necessary to evaluate the clinical effectiveness and safety of this dietary supplement.”

Reference:

  1. Hosea Blewett HJ. Exploring the Mechanisms behind S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) in the Treatment of Osteoarthritis. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2008 May;48(5):458-63.

More Studies on SAMe for Osteoarthritis:

S-adenosyl methionine

  • In a double-blind crossover trial, the authors concluded that S-adenosyl methionine is as effective as celecoxib (Celebrex®) in the management of symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (Najm WI et al, 2004).
  • A meta-analysis concluded that S-adenosyl methionine appears to be as effective as NSAIDS in reducing pain and improving functional limitation in patients with osteoarthritis without the adverse effects often associated with NSAID therapies (Soeken et al, 2003).
  • S-adenosyl methionine plays an important role in the liver, acting as a protective agent for oxidative stress. Patients with liver disease often become deficient and may benefit from the administration of this supernutrient (Liber, 2002).