S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe)

S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe)

S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe) is one of the most promising anti-aging drugs on the horizon. It is a special type of modified amino acid and works at the microscopic level inside cells, affecting the DNA and proteins.

S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe) is normally produced in our body and this production is under the influence of an internal biological clock. Production is highest in the evening, in harmony with the production of melatonin by the pineal gland. Older people (and older mice) show a decrease of the levels of S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe) in their blood, a decrease which worsens with the passage of time.

Initial studies suggest that S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe)  may be effective in preventing:

  • Heart Disease
  • Liver Problems
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis

It works by donating essential chemicals called 'methyl groups' to proteins which desperately need these groups in order to survive.

Methyls are chemical substances necessary for the production and repair of DNA and proteins. Methyl groups are also needed to transform several molecules to their active form. Methylation is when a methyl group is attached to a target molecule such as a protein or DNA. So because S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe)  has extra supplied of methyl groups, it donates some of these to the DNA or proteins in need.

The DNA molecule needs to be methylated regularly to stay in good form. Gradually, with age, this process slows down, but it is not clear whether this is the actual cause or just a side effect of aging. Cells which live for a long time and which multiply many times have extremely lively methylation. Maintaining your DNA methylation is essential if you want to avoid cancer, immune diseases and aging.

The amino acid homocysteine plays a part in the process of methylation. Homocysteine, a toxic by product of the amino acid methionine, is blamed for playing a serious part in causing heart disease, dementia, and inflammation. It is set to become one of the great risk factors for heart disease, together with cholesterol, cigarette smoke and obesity. It is not very smart to let large amounts of homocysteine linger in your body, but homocysteine may be inactivated and transformed back into the harmless methionine by using methyl groups.

Alternatively, homocysteine can be inactivated and eventually transformed into the very useful antioxidant glutathione. Usually helpful in this respect are the key nutrients vitamin B12, folic acid and zinc as well as S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe).

At present, S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe) is used only as an anti-depressant, but it has potential for general anti-aging use. The dose for depression is anything between 200 and 1,600mg a day. It is not known what the ideal dose is for anti-aging purposes but, in any case, using S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe) is expensive. With more research and better understanding of its manufacturing processes, the price is expected to fall dramatically.

The side effects of S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe) are rare and include indigestion, nausea and over-stimulation of the nervous system.

S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe) has mainly been studied in Italy and there are no reliable studies proving the full anti-aging effects of S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe) in humans. This is because this idea is a relatively new one. Several projects are under way at present, but there are no definite results as yet. Theoretically, use of S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe) makes sense and it offers a new direction, an opportunity to fight the aging process from a new angle.

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