Brain Health

The Benefits of SAMe

It’s somewhat of a surprise to me that I haven’t written on SAMe.

Not because it’s revolutionary or popular in discussion for integrative physicians but more because it can help improve health for people with MTHFR and other conditions related to a lack of methylation or cognitive health.

SAMe is an abbreviation for S-adenosylmethionine.

It’s a naturally occurring compound found in all body cells, playing a critical role in methylation processes. We make it from methionine, an amino acid in foods like egg whites, wild-caught fish, oats, and sesame seeds.

The reason it’s so important is we need it for other compounds which are crucial for regulation.

One of the reasons it is crucial is it supports the body’s methylation processes, something that millions of people struggle with.

Today, I will show you why it’s so important to support this aspect of health and how SAMe can help a broad swatch of the population who struggle with issues related to methylation.

SAMe and Methylation

I’ve written about methylation before, but it’s been nearly ten years since I wrote my first article on mutating humans.

A quick recap of methylation goes like this:

Methylation is a chemical process in the body where a methyl group (one carbon atom attached to three hydrogen atoms) is added to other molecules.

This simple biochemical reaction is crucial for a wide range of bodily functions, including DNA repair and replication, regulation of gene expression (turning genes on or off), detoxification, and the metabolism of fats, proteins, and neurotransmitters.

In essence, methylation helps control how the body’s cells grow, repair themselves, and communicate with each other, playing a key role in maintaining overall health.

For many people, the methylation process has been corrupted through genetic defects.

Taking a supplement like SAMe can serve as a methyl donor and support numerous biochemical reactions. 

The following benefits are how taking SAMe can help improve your health, whether you have MTHFR or not.

1 – Can Support Optimal Brain Function:

One of the main things that SAMe can help with is the synthesis of certain neurotransmitters, especially some of the more powerful ones (dopamine and serotonin).

By donating methyl groups necessary for their production, a person who takes SAMe may experience better regulation of both as well as neurological prowess.

SAMe can also help these neurotransmitters last longer in the brain, resulting in longer-lasting, longer-felt improvements.

There’s also evidence to show it will help with your cognition.

The American Journal of Nutrition has shown in research that it may produce neuroprotective properties, helping to safeguard neurons from damage and supporting neural growth and repair.

Another great thing it does is help to keep the membranes of your brain cells more fluid, which is necessary for peak function. Additionally, it supports the synthesis of polyamines, which are compounds involved in cellular regeneration and growth.

This aspect of SAMe’s action is particularly promising for helping people dealing with (or wishing to prevent) neurodegenerative diseases, where neuronal protection and repair are crucial.

Lastly, as I’ll touch on more specifically in point 3, SAMe can help reduce homocysteine levels, which are known to negatively impact brain health when elevated.

2 – May Help Boost Liver Health:

Our liver is one of the most important organs related to detox.

When SAMe levels are low or methylation is impaired, it can be a lot tougher to detox, which puts excessive strain on the liver.

SAMe has the ability to help support liver health in a general sense.

Research indicates SAMe can even help with some serious liver conditions.

There are a few ways SAMe helps in this endeavor.

SAMe can enhance the liver’s detoxification process through its active participation in the synthesis of glutathione, an essential antioxidant that serves as a protective shield against the damage caused by free radicals and toxins.

This ensures the liver remains strong and effective in its detoxification role. Beyond detoxification, SAMe has been shown to help promote the growth of new liver cells, which is particularly valuable in fighting against conditions like cirrhosis, where the liver is compromised by damaged cells and scar tissue. This regenerative capability revitalizes the liver, ushering in a new era of liver health.

Moreover, SAMe’s ability to alleviate inflammation marks a turning point in liver wellness.

By addressing inflammation, a fundamental cause of liver distress, SAMe soothes and safeguards liver cells, preventing further harm and fostering an environment where the liver can function optimally and recover from within.

Additionally, SAMe plays a critical role in fat metabolism, navigating the liver away from fat accumulation—a key factor in fatty liver disease. By ensuring fats are metabolized and distributed properly, SAMe supports the liver’s health and may help prevent the progression of liver diseases.

3 – Helps Lower Homocystine:

As mentioned above, SAMe can play a role in regulating homocysteine

SAMe contributes significantly to total health by actively lowering homocysteine levels, a crucial process that mitigates the risk of various health issues.  Elevated levels of homocysteine are associated with cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and other issues.

When SAMe is present, it helps facilitate the conversion of homocysteine into methionine and then into SAMe again in a cycle. 

This conversion is crucial for controlling homocysteine levels in the blood and reducing the risk of potentially negative health outcomes.

The way it accomplishes this is by donating methyl groups necessary for the conversion of homocysteine into methionine.

Therefore, by facilitating the reduction of homocysteine levels, SAMe not only supports heart health and reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems but also contributes to maintaining a healthy, well-functioning body.

Should You Take SAMe?

The question of whether or not you should take SAMe is entirely up to you.

It’s not a medication, and you can get it from food.

The important and underlying factors that could lead you to take it are if you have elevated homocysteine levels, suffer from MTHFR, and want to support the health of your liver and brain.

It’s not an inexpensive supplement, but for many who take it daily, SAMe makes a world of difference in how they feel.


Talk soon,