In 2004, all prescription anti-depressants started carrying a “black box” warning as mandated by the FDA after scientists found that they increase the risk for suicidal tendencies in children taking them. In 2006, after numerous federal analyses of large scale clinical studies, the FDA recognized that depression drugs can also trigger suicidal thoughts in people over 18 years of age. Although prescription anti-depressants have improved depression symptoms in millions of people suffering from this mood disorder, these drugs also puts them at risk for serious and sometimes even life-threatening side effects. More people ask, is there still an effective yet equally safe mood support agents for depression? Well, fortunately, yes.
SAM-e or short for S-adenosylmethionine is a natural compound found in the body made from combining the amino acid methionine and Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) or cellular energy. It’s not a vitamin nor a mineral, but a synthetic compound used as an active ingredient in producing the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin in the brain and the hormone melatonin. SAM-e is also used in manufacturing cartilages and also the genetic material in the cells called Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA).
Long been prescribed in Europe for providing mood support for depression, it was introduced for American consumers in 1996 by the Life Extension Foundation. It is now being considered as one of the most advanced mood support therapies for people suffering from the debilitating symptoms of depression. In clinical studies, SAM-e demonstrated very effective benefits for depression without the side effects of prescription anti-depressants. More than mood support, SAM-e is also found to promote liver health, joint functions, and endothelial health.
SAM-e for depression works by helping the body to produce adequate amounts of the serotonin and dopamine in the brain. The levels of serotonin levels in the brain affect our mood, sleep, behaviour, libido, memory, learning, and other physiological functions. Dopamine on the other hand also influences mood, learning, behaviour, cognition, attention, movement, and a host of other functions. In people with depression, serotonin and dopamine levels are low, from which scientists link its symptoms.
In fact, SAM-e supplements are prescribed as an alternative for Prozac in Europe. Those who have taken it reported improvement in depression symptoms such as elevated mood and reduced feelings of despair. Some patients even reported that they have more energy for doing things that they haven’t done for years after being diagnosed with depression.
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