SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) is a natural compound produced by the body from amino acids. It is found in most body tissues and is linked to folic acid and vitamin B-12. Deficiencies of either of these nutrients may also lead to lower levels of SAMe, which may worsen symptoms of depression, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis (OA). Preliminary studies indicate SAMe may also help repair damaged cartilage.
In a recent study at the University of California, researchers found SAMe to be as beneficial for OA symptoms as a common pharmaceutical drug. In a four-month trial with 56 adults who suffer from OA of the knee, researchers compared the effectiveness of 1,200 mg of SAMe to celecoxib (Celebrex 200 mg) for pain control, functional health, mood status, joint function and side effects. In the first month, celecoxib showed more pain reduction; however, by the second month and thereafter, there was no significant difference between the two groups. These results show that while SAMe has a slower onset of action, it is equally as effective as celecoxib in the management of symptoms of knee osteoarthritis. If you are taking any prescription medication, make sure to consult with your health care professional before taking SAMe.
Source: BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2004 Feb 26;5(1):6