SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) has a variety of benefits associated with its use, including reducing inflammation, relieving depression, improving joint function, and relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis. How effective is SAMe for treating osteoarthritis? A paper reviewing 11 different studies looked to determine just that.
The researchers examined the evidence for effects of SAMe on pain, functional limitation, and adverse effects in people suffering from osteoarthritis. SAMe appeared to be comparable to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen) in treating pain and functional limitation. Not only was SAMe about as good as NSAID treatment for relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis, but there was also significantly less adverse effects reported with SAMe than with NSAIDs.
From the evidence presented in this paper, SAMe appears to be an effective alternative to NSAIDs for treating osteoarthritis symptoms, but with much less side effects. This is definitely significant, as it provides an alternative for people suffering from osteoarthritis who do not want to take pain relief drugs, but who still want relief from pain and immobility.
Soeken KL, Lee WL, Bausell RB, Agelli M, & Berman BM. (2002). Safety and efficacy of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe) for osteoarthritis. The Journal of Family Practice. 51(5), 425-30.
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