A study conducted by Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) suggests that S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAMe), a nutraceutical/ natural health product, can be an effective and well-tolerated adjunctive treatment for adults with major depressive disorders. Published in the August 2010 American Journal of Psychiatry, this study follows another study published in 2004 (Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology) which concluded that pharmaceutical anti-depressants used in combination with SAMe were significantly more effective in treating depression than medication alone. SAMe is currently a prescription medication in Europe, while it is sold as a natural health supplement in other countries.
“With each study we continue to gain a better understanding of SAMe’s role in treating depression. This new finding, albeit preliminary and in urgent need of replication, suggests significant, clinically meaningful differences in outcome among patients who had SAMe added to their antidepressant medication treatment compared to those taking a placebo with their medication,” said George Papakostas, M.D., associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of treatment-resistant depression studies in the Department of Psychiatry at MGH who led the study.
To date, at least 40 clinical studies have been conducted to evaluate SAMe’s use in restoring a healthy mood. It’s exciting to see more and more studies by renowned medical schools affirming the efficacy and relevance of nutraceuticals. If you are interested in treating depression or other mood disorders naturally, or would like adjunctive treatment to pharmaceutical anti-depressants, talk to a licensed naturopathic doctor near you.