I have a family history of arthritis.... grandmother, mother, older brother... so I began taking SAM-e nearly five years ago. At age 68 I have just begun to have symptoms in one hip and shoulder. My brother, three years older, had severe hip, knee and shoulder problems at my age.
Is it the SAM-e or just genetic differences? How would one know?
I am glad to hear others at least suspect that the stuff is effective. It's certainly expensive enough to raise a doubt.
For me, SAM-e has been fabulous! We have bad osteoarthritis in our family, and nearly everyone is on it. I've been on it for about 6 or 7 years. I am totally pain free using it. I used to get up in the a.m. and hobble down the stairs. Then one morning I noticed that I had just gone down the stairs vigorously without any pain or creakiness. Everyone in my family (mom and siblings) is also on it and all are pain free.
SAM-e stands for s-adenosyl-methionine. It is a substance that is present in every cell in your body and helps with the krebs cycle (cell's energy). SAM-e diminishes as you get older.
I believe that how it affects you depends on which things you need. So if you are depressed and it has to do with the cells that make serotonin, it helps those cells. If the cells that make healthy cartiledge (sp?) are lacking, it fills in there. So, it's not a serotonin precursor like 5 htp. I also used to have liver readings that were off due to a hereditary condition (cysts). Since taking SAM-e the readings are normal or near normal.
Whether or not it works for a given person will depend on what's causing the problem. For me it is a miracle supplement. I have one friend who used to walk with a cane and a knee brace and was scheduled for surgery. She no longer uses the cane or the brace. I have another friend for whom it didn't work at all.
I take a variety of supplements, but if I could only take one, this would be it for me! It's expensive, but I always get Nature Made brand on sale 2-for-1. It's frequently on sale at the big drug chains. Plus they have coupons a lot. I never pay full price. I take 400 mg twice a day. A person can start on less and see if less works for them.
Also, you should take it on an empty stomach (I take mine on arising then in mid afternoon). You can take it with food, but then you have to take more. If you take B-vitamins every day, it will make it more effective, so maybe you would be able to get by on less. I already was taking them when I started SAMe.