Are there joint health supplements that can effectively relieve arthritis pain? Definitely, according to recent research studies which show that joint health supplements containing SAM-e are so effective they produce results similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDS.
What Is SAM-e?
SAM-e, or S-adenosyl-L-methionine, is a naturally occurring chemical found throughout the human body. It is integral to cellular growth and repair, and also helps synthesize the mood-effecting neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Serotonin is known to contribute to feelings of well-being, and is largely responsible for regulating pain perception. Dopamine functions as both a neurotransmitter and a neurohormone, and is thought to play a vital role in learning and cognition. The SAM-e found in supplements is a synthetic form of this chemical, and these supplements can be purchased at pharmacies, health food stores, and online without a medical prescription.
Supplements Containing SAM-e Are Effective
A number of studies have indicated that SAM-e significantly increases overal joint health, and decreases the pain associated with arthritis of the knee. Study participants taking SAM-e joint health supplements consistently reported less morning joint stiffness and improved mobility as well as significant decreases in arthritis pain.
Some studies have indicated that joint health supplements containing SAM-e may be just as effective a treatment for arthritis as the prescription NSAID Celebrex, although they take somewhat longer to have an impact on symptoms. In one study, a randomized trial was conducted in which half of a group of arthritis patients were given 200 mg of Celebrex daily and half were given 1,200 mg of SAM-e joint health supplements daily over the course of 16 weeks. The study found that the Celebrex group showed far more pain reduction during the first month than the SAM-e group, but by the second month, both groups showed an equal and significant lessening of pain. The research concluded that although slower-acting, SAM-e joint health supplements are just as effective as Celebrex for osteoarthritis-related knee pain.
SAM-e supplements are not only effective, but have also have far fewer side effects than NSAIDs. Major NSAID manufacturers warn that using their medications can cause serious and potentially fatal cardiovascular reactions, including heart attack and stroke, as well as potentially fatal gastrointestinal events, such as gastric bleeding and ulcers. Other adverse reactions include, but are not limited to, renal complications, serious skin problems, abdominal pain, dizziness and upper respiratory tract infections.
Supplements containing SAM-e have few side effects in comparison. Nausea, flatulence, diarrhea and headache have been reported as occasional side effects, but these often subside once the body acclimates to the supplement after a few days or weeks of use. Research has consistently found SAM-e joint health supplements to be very safe for long-term use.
Most people using SAM-e supplements take between 600 mg and 1200 mg daily. When taking joint health supplements containing SAM-e, it’s important to make sure you’re also supplementing your diet with vitamins B6 and B12, as well as folate. These nutrients help SAM-e supplements work as efficiently as possible. If side effects are persistent or especially bothersome, discontinue use immediately and seek medical advice before resuming. People with Parkinson’s disease or who are currently taking a prescription antidepressant should avoid taking SAM-e joint health supplements. People who have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder should consult a medical professional before taking joint health supplements containing SAM-e. It is advisable for everyone to consult a medical professional before beginning therapy with any vitamin or supplement.