Meet SAM-e, your friend for hurting joints


By pH health care professionals

SAM-e (pronounced Sammy) just might be your new best friend. He’s a great friend to have around because he doesn’t like to see you in pain. He tries to ease those inflamed joints so you can do more of the things you love like playing an instrument, cooking, woodworking, crafts -- whatever it may be. And when you’re feeling down, he does his best to give you a boost. SAM-e is very helpful, so let us introduce you to him right now!

Who is SAM-e?

OK, so SAM-e isn’t really a person, but nevertheless, it’s pretty cool! SAM-e is made naturally in the body. The scientific name is S-adenosylmethionine and it is formed when an essential  amino acid, methionine, combines with ATP (remember ATP from science class back in the day? It’s that energy molecule found in all living cells).

So how can SAM-e help with your joints?

Enough molecular science for now. Let’s talk about how SAM-e can help you with that joint pain.

  • Clinical trials have shown that SAM-e may be effective at decreasing inflammation and pain in the joints. Some researchers think that it may also promote cartilage repair, too!
  • Multiple studies have shown that SAM-e may be just as powerful as prescription drugs including naproxencelecoxib and nabumetone.
  • SAM-e may be just as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) for pain relief and improving joint function, but with fewer side effects.
  • In a German study, over 20,000 patients taking SAM-e for osteoarthritis reported “very good” or “good” improvement in joint discomfort. They needed to wait at least two weeks before noticing any improvement.

Are there any concerns to be aware of?

SAM-e converts to homocysteine in the body, and having high levels of homocysteine may raise your risk for heart problems. So it’s important to be proactive and eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables to help lower homocysteine, and work with a health care professional who can help you keep your homocysteine levels in check.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, high doses of SAM-e can cause flatulence, vomiting, diarrhea, headache and nausea, may interact with antidepressant mediations and should be avoided if you have bipolar disorder or are taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors. It may worsen Parkinson’s.

Be proactive!

SAM-e may be a great option for joint health. Studies have also shown SAM-e to be effective for depression. Did you know chronic joint pain can actually be a symptom of depression?

It is possible SAM-e may be able to help you with both of these issues so you can get out there and enjoy your life fully. But if you are interested in using SAM-e, you should talk to a doctor and make sure that it is a safe option for your health condition and does not interfere with current treatments or medications.

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.