SAMe Outperforms SSRI


SAMe – S-Adenosylmethionine

SAMe, a naturally occurring molecule synthesized by the “one-carbon cycle” which is dependent on B12 and folate, is a precursor to creatine, phosphatidylcholine, coQ10, carnitine, and myelin in addition to participating in production of neurotransmitters has been approved as a nutraceutical since the 1990s and prescribed in Europe for depression for three decades.

With numerous double-blind, and comparator trials, it has proven efficacy for depression. While I do not subscribe to one-pill cures, whether pharmacologic or natural, I do find it compelling that this data does exist and yet, agents that support endogenous bodily processes are considered “alternative” or “complementary.”

In the latest study, subjects were randomized to SAMe(1600–3200mg/daily), escitalopram(10–20 mg/daily) or placebo for 12 weeks of double blind treatment. The authors report:

"Our results suggest that SAMe (S-Adenosylmethionine)is significantly more effective than placebo in reducing depressed mood,while the SSRI comparator did not achieve this result.”


"Response rates at endpoint were 45%, 31%, and 26% for SAMe, escitalopram, and placebo,respectively;while remission rates(HAM-Dr7) were 34% for SAMe,23% for escitalopram, and 6% for placebo.

Resolving depression from its root is my mission for those who struggle with this reversible condition, however, data like this supports the use of a safe agent that the body is primed to recognize, as being effective, at least in a subset of patients who benefit from methylation support.

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About Dr. Kelly Brogan

KELLY BROGAN, MD, is a holistic psychiatrist, author of the New York Times Bestselling book, A Mind of Your OwnOwn Your Self, the children’s book, A Time For Rain, and co-editor of the landmark textbook Integrative Therapies for Depression. She is the founder of the online healing program Vital Mind Reset, and the membership community, Vital Life Project. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from M.I.T. in Systems Neuroscience. She is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. Learn More