The saint and the SAMe – Studies about the potential benefit of two popular supplements
Taking a pill for better mental health sounds too easy. It usually takes hard work to build self-esteem and improve overall outlook. Some studies do show certain benefits in taking plenty of vitamins or supplements. Those looking into taking supplements should consult with a medical professional before starting a new supplement regime, even if chances of side effects are few.
Dale Archer, M.D., a Psychology Today writer, examined the formulation and effectiveness of St. John’s wort through scientific studies. One article from the Cleveland Clinic explains that the supplement can be effective for treating mild depression but no more helpful for major depression than a placebo.
The same organization notes that the substance is given in liquid or pill form three times a day for no more than eight weeks to assist with depression, sleep, muscle pain and more. Possible side effects include upset stomach, sensitivity to the sun, increased blood pressure and restlessness with long-term use While Archer asserts that St. John’s wort can help certain people, he thinks psychotherapy ensures a more complete and natural recovery from mild depression.
S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe) is another supplement that can aid minor to moderate depression. Experts from the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) declared that SAMe is naturally found in almost every part of the human body. The substance plays a part in “the immune system, maintenance of cell membranes and production and break down of brain chemicals, such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine.”
SAMe could also mitigate osteoarthritis, dementia, liver disease and fibromyalgia. Research into these possible use cases are mixed and/or preliminary and not a replacement for tried and true treatments by medical professions, the UMMC cautions. Even fewer studies exist concerning the oral consumption of SAMe compared to intravenous use, although the former method may have an inferior rate of absorption compared to the latter. Two hundred milligrams per day is recommended to start with SAMe to prevent stomach pain. Side effects can include dry mouth, nausea, anxiety, insomnia and other discomforts, so the UMMC recommends taking the supplement in the morning. Because of possible interactions with certain medications, consult with a medical professional before starting a SAMe regime.
As Archer discussed, classic psychotherapy can be more dependable than taking a pill or seeking some other magical cure.
Therapists with Sovereign Health Group know mental illnesses such as depression need the holistic approach. Recovery requires attention to both physical and mental care. Call us today for more information on our programs and how we can help.
Written by Nicholas Ruiz, Sovereign Health Group writer