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SAMe and Liver Disease

Study Shows Supplement May be Help Alcoholics


Updated October 31, 2012

The supplement SAMe, which has been promoted as a treatment for arthritis and depression, may now offer some hope for those who suffer from chronic liver disease.

A study by the Univerisity of California in 1999 researched how SAMe worked for alcoholics. The study published in the Journal of Hepatology showed that a group of alcoholics who received SAMe had a 30 percent reduction in deaths and liver transplants, compared with a group of patients who did not receive the supplement.

Research has shown that patients with alcoholic liver disease and other liver disorders have abnormal methionine metabolism, which depletes SAMe. Taking therapeutic doses of SAMe helps reverse that affect.

Liver disease caused by alcoholism currently has few effective treatments, so any treatment that offers positive results for its treatment is a welcome sign. The other options for treating liver disease are so limited, that it's important for more doctors to know about SAMe, researchers say.

Here are some important facts about SAMe and liver disease:

  • SAMe, which stands for S-adenosylmethionine, is a compound made primarily in the liver as a byproduct of the metabolism of the amino acid methionine.

  • Over-the-counter preparations of SAMe are not regulated by the federal government for safety or effectiveness.

  • The supplement is sold as a prescription drug for liver disease in most of Europe, but due to a lack of research is not widely accepted in the U.S.

  • Liver disease is a serious condition that requires medical treatment. Patients should not try to self-treat a serious liver condition with SAMe.

  1. About.com
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  3. Alcoholism
  4. Effects of Alcohol
  5. Health Effects of Alcohol
  6. Alcohol Liver Disease
  7. SAMe May Help Treat Alcohol Liver Disease

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