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Initially Posted: 01/16/2016 | Last Updated: 01/30/2021
Sam-e supplements reviewed by ConsumerLab.com

SAM-e supplement brands compared in this review

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Cellfood SAM-e Liquid Formula

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CVSョ pharmacy SAM-e

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Designs For Health SAMe

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Doctor’s Best Double-Strength SAMe

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GNC SAM=e 400

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Nature Made SAM-e Complete

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Nature's Sunshine SAM-e

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Nature's Trove SAMe 400 mg

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NOW SAMe

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RiteAid Pharmacy SAM-e 200 mg

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Spring Valley [Walmart] SAMe

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Swanson Ultra High-Potency SAMe

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The Vitamin Depot Double Strength SAM-e

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Vitacost SAM-e

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Summary

  • What is SAMe? SAMe is a compound which naturally occurs in the human body (see What It Is).
  • Health benefits of SAMe: As a supplement, it has two major uses (see What It Does).
    • It is effective as a treatment for osteoarthritis and associated joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. It may take longer to work than leading anti-inflammatory drugs but the benefit seems to last longer with fewer side effects.
    • It is an effective antidepressant in treating major depression and may be particularly useful for people who do not respond to prescription treatment.
  • How to choose a SAMe product: Choose SAMe products carefully because it is an expensive ingredient (companies may put in less than listed) and is sensitive to breakdown if exposed to heat or moisture. Look for a product packaged in a blister pack (see ConsumerTips™). Generally, it should also have an enteric-coating to protect it from degradation by stomach acids which can render it ineffective. (See Quality Concerns)
  • What did CL's tests of SAMe find? Among the 10 products selected by CL for testing, one contained only 76.5% of its listed SAMe and provided an unusually small dose. (See What CL Found).
  • How much SAMe should I take? Daily dosage shown to be effective in clinical trials ranges from 800 mg to 1,600 mg of SAMe (See ConsumerTips™ for details).
  • Best SAMe supplements: See Top Picks for products which passed testing, were enteric coated, and provided SAMe at lowest cost. All of these are packaged in blister packs for stability.
  • SAMe safety and side effects: SAMe should not be used by people with bipolar disorder (See Concerns and Cautions for more information.)
You must be a member to get the full test results for SAM-e supplements along with ConsumerLab.com recommendations and quality ratings. In this comprehensive review of SAM-e (also called SAMe, S-adenosyl-methionine, or S-adenosyl-L-methionine) supplements, you'll get test results and quality ratings for 13 SAM-e supplements. You'll learn:
  • Which SAM-e supplements passed or failed testing 
  • Direct comparisons and quality ratings of SAM-e supplements, including cost comparisons showing you can pay anywhere from 51 cents to over $3 for the same amount of SAM-e -- it pays to compare prices  
  • What SAM-e can and cannot do for your health
  • Tips on buying SAM-e and how to properly store it
  • SAM-e dosage for different conditions
  • Concerns, drug interactions, and potential side-effects of SAM-e 

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