Effects of depression medication, SAMe, improves when taken with magnesium

A small study conducted by researchers from the University of Queensland School of Medicine has found promising results for the use of high dose S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) in conjunction with magnesium in the long-term treatment of depression.

In their pilot study, 26 subjects were given either 1600mg or 800mg of SAMe over 15 weeks. At the end of the study 35% of participants, regardless of dosage,  reported significant symptom improvement. After a two-week break, those who initially didn’t respond to SAMe were additionally given 1600 mg of magnesium orotate for 8 weeks. At the end of this period, this group reported significant clinical improvement also.

All participants were assessed using the widely-recognised Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Outcome Questionnaire 45 (OQ45) improved Quality of Life (QOL) scores as well as self assessment.

SAMe is known to be beneficial in treating initial symptoms of depression, however this small trial is the first to examine its effect on symptom maintenance over a longer term when taken in conjunction with magnesium.

The authors of the study say, “…the response to these novel compounds implicates the microbiome as an important agent for the adjunctive treatment of sub-optimal response to pharmaceutical medications.”

What is SAMe?

S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) is a molecule that is produced naturally in animals and plants, as well as the human body. It’s responsible for a myriad of very important functions including regulating various hormones and neurotransmitters including serotonin, adrenaline, melatonin and dopamine. Where SAMe differs from other commonly prescribed antidepressants is it’s less toxic and the side effects are minimal. This may be due to the fact it’s a naturally occurring substance in the body and it assimilates well with all bodily processes.

While no large scale clinical trials of SAMe have been conducted, a review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that, “A small number of clinical trials with parenteral or oral SAMe have shown that, at doses of 200–1600 mg/d, SAMe is superior to placebo and is as effective as tricyclic antidepressants in alleviating depression”.

A compounding pharmacy such as National Custom Compounding can make up various strengths of SAMe on presentation of a script from a qualified health practitioner – in some cases it can be ready for collection on the same day. Speak to one of our highly qualified compounding pharmacists for more information by calling 1300 731 755 or drop a line to [email protected].

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