“SAMe” A Better Choice In Treating Osteoarthritis!
S-adenosyl-methionine, otherwise known as “SAMe” appears to be as effective as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in reducing pain and improving functional limitation in patients with osteoarthritis without the adverse effects often associated with NSAID therapies! This was the findings of a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials in 2002 !!
It seems a long time to wait for this extremely important information to make it to mainstream medicine, considering how problematic NSAIDs are for people and how common osteoarthritis is, you would think that this is valuable information to pass on to the community. SAMe is better tolerated than NSAIDs and shows no adverse reactions.
What is SAMe?
SAMe is our body’s prinicpal mehtyl donor and is needed for reactions essential to the creation of many very important biochemicals. SAMe is mainly produced in the liver at around 5 to 8g per day, it has a role in mood regulation as the methyldonor for the making of neurotransmitters, as well as being involved in the making of creatine, phospholipids, proteins, DNA and RNA. SAMe is essential in liver detoxification and not only helps in the reduction of joint inflammation of arthritis, but also increases joint mobility, supports the liver, assists in the management of migrains, lowers homocysteine, may delay age related cognitive decline, may assit in morning stiffness in fibromyalgia and increases levels of dopamine and serotonin.
Whats the Problem with NASIDs?
NASIDs are a class of drugs that provide pain killing (analgesic), fever reducing (antipyretic) and anti-inflammatory effects. Common NASID’s include voltaren, nurofen, asprin and naprogesic to name a few. According to a review article by Ghosh, Alajbegovic and Gomes the undesirable side effects of NASIDs include ulcers, internal bleeding, kidney failure and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke!
Using supplemental SAMe increases our body’s own production (so supplementation does not need to be high in the long term) , it is desperately needed whenever our liver is in trouble – our need to have enough SAMe is critical to our wellbeing. NASIDs can be harmful and are only considered safe when used for the shortest duration (less than 10 days according to a systematic review by the American Dental Association). At particular risk, are patients who have previously had a heart attack and who are receiving antithrombotic therapy, patients with asthma, and patients with a history of renal disease. Dosen’t it make sense that SAMe be what we reach for first in the treatment of osteoarthritis – thats what the research tells us.
*please note some contraindications exist with SAMe supplementation and must be checked with your health care provider
*SAMe is best taken with food and needs to be enterically coated for best absorption. This is one supplement that you need to be fussy about the quality, otherwise you may not get the results you are looking for.