On top of a Degenerative Injury: Understanding SAMe
Short for its chemical name, S-adenosyl-Llmethionine, SAMe is produced by your body and takes part in many biochemical processes that keep you healthy. SAMe is made from amino acid methionine, using the body”s primary enery molecule, ATP (adenosine triphosphate). It is also involved in an important biochemical process known as methylation. In this capacity it acts as a methyl donor, which is used by other molecules to make even more molecules. Methyl groups are part of organic compounds and can be transferred from SAMe to another biochemical to create entirely new compounds your body needs. Technically, methyl groups consist of one carbon with three hydrogen atoms attached. When the body is not making SAMe efficiently, it adversely affects production of other essential substances your body needs to survive and thrive. Not producing it in the right amounts can turn into terrible degenerative diseases. However, SAMe supplementation is sufficient to correct any problem associated with its deficiency.
Beyond technicalities, SAMe has the following health benefits:
- Liver detoxification
- Cell membrane precursor
- Cell and tissue growth
- Indirectly control leves of pain and inflammation, giving analgesic and anti-inflammaory effects
It also acts in several biological functions such as:
- Manufacture of proteins
- Liver functions
- Fat metabolism
- Production of nervous system and brain biochemicals
- Cell reproduction
Researches have also found that SAMe can be beneficial for treating three common degenerative conditions:
SAMe and Arthritis
Arthritis, or joint inflammation, can literally refer to more than 100 rheumatic diseases and conditions that can cause pain, stiffness and swelling in the joints. Certain conditions may affect other parts of the body, such as the muscles, bones and some internal organs and can result in debilitating and sometimes life-threatening complications. If left untreated, arthritis can cause irreversible damage to the joints.
The two most common types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the body”s own immune system mistakenly attacks the synovium (cell linin the inside of joints). This chronic disabling disease causes pain, stiffness, swelling and loss of function in the joints.
Degenerative joint desease or osteoarthritis results from the wear and tear of life, which causes physical damage to the joints and surrounding tissues leading to pain, tenderness, swelling and decrease function. Initially, osteoarthritis is non-inflammatory, and its onset is subtle and gradual, ususally involving one or only a few joints. The joints most often affected are the knee, hip those of the hand.
One study conducted by German scientists examined the effects of taking SAMe on patients with osteoarthritis. With this study, that lasted for two years, reasearchers noted changes in symptoms relating to abnormalities of the knee, hip, cervical spine and dorsal/lumbar spine. The severity of morning stiffness, pain at rest and pain on movement was assessed throughout the study period. Improvements in all symptoms were significant. SAMe also improved the depressive feeling associated with the disease and was well tolerated.
Other studies have been conducted on SAMe with positive results.
*Please remember that the purpose of this article is strictly informative. Before beginning any treatment, it is recommendable to consult with your orthopedic doctor so he can asses your case and guide you in the right direction.
Surgeon’s Advice | Leon Mead MD Orthopedic Doctor | 730 Goodlette Road North, Suite 201 Naples Florida 34102 | Phone: (239) 262-1119