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SAMe: An Effective Treatment for Osteoarthritis

Adding SAMe or S-adenosylmethionine supplements can not only provide relief from depression, but may also decrease Osteoarthritis symptoms.

S-adenosylmethionine, or SAMe, is a supplement that has been extensively studied for the treatment of depression. Note that SAMe is also normally found in the body; it is located in all of our body’s cells. It is produced from methionine, which is a naturally occurring amino acid and adenosine triphosphate (or ATP) which produces the energy your cells need to work efficiently. SAMe is also an antioxidant that has been used in the treatment of liver disease. Several studies have demonstrated that it is also effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA). Research concerning this supplement has spanned over the last several decades.

In one study, thirty-six individuals diagnosed with OA of the hip, knees and/or the back were randomized to receive either 1200 mg of SAMe once daily or the same dose of ibuprofen once daily for a period of four weeks. Both treatment groups reported similar improvement in pain relief, joint flexibility, and decreased swelling. Many studies involving thousands of patients have demonstrated the treatment efficacy of this supplement comparable to prescription anti-inflammatories. This supplement has an excellent safety profile as well.

SAMe works in many ways to help in the treatment of OA including decreasing inflammation and increasing the levels of cellular antioxidants (which help fight off the free radicals that can cause cell damage). In addition to treating OA, you also have the added benefits of treating depression and providing a tremendous antioxidant boost to your liver to improve your liver health. Therefore, consider adding SAMe to your treatment regimen.

By: Dr. Rich Snyder, DO


  • Di Padova C. “S-adenosylmethionine in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Review of the clinical studies.” American Journal of Medicine. 1987 Nov 20;83(5A):60-5.
  • Hosea-Blewett HJ. “Exploring the mechanisms behind S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) in the treatment of osteoarthritis.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2008 May;48(5):458-63.
  • Muller-Fassbender H. “Double-blind clinical trial of S-adenosylmethionine versus ibuprofen in the treatment of osteoarthritis.” 1987 Nov 20;83(5A):81-3.

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Natural Treatments for Osteoarthritis