Something to Cheer You Up

Rumored to be more widely prescribed in Europe than Prozac, SAMe is a dietary supplement marketed for improving mood, relieving arthritis and even helping some types of liver disease.  S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine occurs naturally in the body.  It is made from the amino acid, methionine, and is believed to be involved in many important biochemical processes in the body.  Scientists say its an antioxidant, an anti-inflammatory and even helps in the production of brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.  A review published in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found evidence that supported the use of SAMe for depression, arthritis, and liver disease.  Evidently there are several other smaller published studies that have also provided evidence for SAMe.  In fact, a 30-patient study, from Harvard Medical School, found SAMe helped some severely depressed patients who did not respond to traditional medications.  I have observed SAMe to be effective in improving mood and milder cases of depression in several adults that I have recommended it to.  Some people continue to have mental roadblocks or feel a stigma about using prescription anti-depressants.  For those folks and for those looking for a ‘natural’ supplement to improve mood this could be an effective alternative.  SAMe can be purchased at most local drugstores but can be somewhat expensive and not generally covered by insurance.