Treating Osteoarthritis & Depression with SAMe

SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine) occurs in every human cell. It is a very important natural compound involved in at least 36 biochemical processes.

SAMe can help treat osteoarthritis and depressionIn 2002 a meta-analysis was published in America investigating the use of SAMe in the treatment of depression and arthritis. Funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, researchers reviewed 102 studies

1. The results of all the studies were definitive, offering a clear insight into the effectiveness of SAMe.

Researchers have suggested that the future treatment of symptoms associated with depression and arthritis may benefit from SAMe. There is also some preliminary evidence indicating that SAMe may also be advantageous in the treatment of chronic liver diseases.

Research Analysis

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The study period was conducted over a period of three years. During this time, physicians compiled data from 102 clinical trials. The analysis was carried out in conjunction with a detailed literature review. The focus of the investigation was to determine the effectiveness of SAMe in the treatment of arthritis, depression, liver disease and cholestasis. The Rand Corporation provided an independent evaluation of the study results.

SAMe – An effective antidepressant & pain reliever

One of the most significant conclusions of this study is that SAMe may offer an alternative to prescription antidepressants. The effects of SAMe on depressed patients are suggested to be just as effective as conventional drug therapies.

SAMe can help treat osteoarthritisAnother key finding from this analysis is the application of SAMe in reducing the reliance on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for individuals suffering from arthritis and liver disease. SAMe was found to have a similar pain relief response as NSAIDs.

Data from 47 clinical trials indicate that application of SAMe is just as effective as using conventional antidepressants in the treatment of depression. There were no significant differences observed. This may have important health benefits, since no negative side effects are reported in association with SAMe administration.

Conversely, patients prescribed prescription antidepressants frequently suffer from weight gain, headaches and sexual dysfunction. An additional 14 studies also showed that SAMe has the same effect as NSAIDs on pain relief for osteoarthritis suffers, without the adverse side effects.

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Researchers pointed out that ailments such as arthritis and depression cause significant financial burden. Worldwide it’s estimated that the loss of productivity and treatment costs are in the order of 43 to 53 billion dollars. In America alone, 15% of the population has some form of arthritis, with osteoarthritis particularly prevalent.

Researchers concluded following this meta-analysis that more studies are necessary to further investigate SAMe and its potential in treating depression, arthritis and liver disease. If it can be clearly established that SAMe offers a viable alternative for the treatment of pain and depression, reliance on pharmaceutical-based drugs may be minimised.




  1. “Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 64. (2002) S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine for Treatment of Depression, Osteoarthritis, and Liver Disease.  Retrieved 25 Nov 2013 from: