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Table of Contents

Treatment Overview

SAM-e is short for S-adenosylmethionine. It occurs in the cells of plants, animals, and humans. Because the body produces less SAM-e with age, some people think that having more of it may be helpful for certain diseases. SAM-e is not an herb. It's sold as a dietary supplement.

Why It Is Used

Some people use SAM-e to improve the symptoms of depression. It may help with these symptoms in the short term, but more studies are needed. SAM-e may also help some people with osteoarthritis pain.


Not all herbs and supplements are safe. If you aren't sure about the safety of a supplement or herb, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or dietitian.

Always tell your doctor if you are using a dietary supplement or if you're thinking about combining a supplement with your standard medical treatment. It may not be safe to stop your medical treatment and rely only on a supplement. This is even more important for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

When using dietary supplements, keep these things in mind:

Credits for SAM-e

Current as of: March 17, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine

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