SAMe FAQs

April 1, 2016

What is SAMe?

SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine or S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine) is a naturally occurring compound found in all human tissues and organs. It is a building block necessary for the production of many compounds produced by your body, and is used in over 35 different biochemical reactions.*

SAMe actually donates a part of itself to form these new compounds through a process called methylation, or transmethylation.* For example, methylation is necessary to convert some B complex vitamins in foods and supplements into active coenzyme forms in the body, such as methylfolate and methylcobalamin. SAMe is one of the few dietary supplements on the market today that combines the benefits of several nutrients into one, because the body uses the substances produced from SAMe for numerous body processes, including detoxification.*

Are there any side effects associated with SAMe supplementation?

Studies indicate SAMe is a very safe dietary supplement. Minor side effects may include nausea and gastrointestinal irritation, probably due to its sulfur content. But these were only noted at very high doses (1200-1600 mg), and the symptoms diminished with continued use. If you experience any of these symptoms, SAMe may not be the right supplement for you. Persons using medications should not take SAMe without prior consultation with their physician. The mineral sulfur is not related to sulfa drugs or allergies related to sulfa drugs.

Why is the label information on SAMe supplements so confusing?

SAMe in its pure form as found in human cells has a very short life span and is rapidly metabolized into other necessary compounds as needed. However, this natural form does not allow for the easy production of a stable, effective dietary supplement. It took scientists years to come up with a way to stabilize SAMe so it could be effectively utilized as a dietary supplement.

It was finally discovered that SAMe (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine) must be manufactured in a compounded “salt” form as a stable compound (for example, as S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine Disulfate Tosylate) to prevent rapid degradation. However, only half of this particular compound is SAMe (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine); both the actual SAMe portion of the compound and the full weight per serving of the entire compound (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine Disulfate Tosylate) are listed on our product labels.

Please note that this SAMe “salt” is not a significant source of sodium.

Are there size or color variations with your SAMe products, and should SAMe be refrigerated?

Because of the nature of SAMe, NOW takes special precautions when packaging this product. Extensive stability testing was performed in order to create this uniquely stabilized product. We bottle SAMe in amber glass bottles to keep light and moisture exposure to a minimum, and keep SAMe products refrigerated in our plant until shipping.

We recommend keeping SAMe refrigerated after opening to maintain and extend the shelf life of the product. The bottle should be kept closed between uses, away from excessive heat and moisture.

NOW Foods has expertise in SAMe stability and analytical chemistry. Our scientists have published an advanced assay method for this nutrient in a leading peer-reviewed scientific journal: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12180685 

Because SAMe is a natural product, there can be variations in color, usually ranging from white to pale yellow or tan. This is normal and does not affect the quality of the product. You may also notice a difference in tablet size between different potencies. SAMe is available in enteric-coated tablets of various strengths.