S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAMe) is a derivative of methionine and a cofactor for multiple synthetic pathways. It is produced naturally in the body and is manufactured synthetically in supplement form.
SAMe is said to be effective for treatment of depression, osteoarthritis, and liver disorders, but scientific studies so far do not confirm this claim. More research is needed to verify its efficacy. It is a platelet inhibitor in vitro.
No serious adverse effects have been reported. SAMe is contraindicated in patients with bipolar disorder because SAMe can precipitate manic episodes.
Last full review/revision May 2009 by Ara DerMarderosian, PhD