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About half of the brands tested during the past few years contained less SAM-e than their labels claimed.
The summary states promise that SAM-e may have an effect on intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy.
The report's summary recommends more studies on SAM-e in the area of liver disease as well as depression and osteoarthritis to understand "the risk benefit ratio of SAM-e compared to conventional therapy, especially for depression and osteoarthritis.
Consumers interested in learning more may view the SAM-e Evidence Report Summary by logging onto the Department of Health and Human Services' Agency for Healthcare Research Quality web site at www.
The entire SAM-e Evidence Report is expected to be available to the public at the same web address in late 2002.
While testing SAM-e as a treatment for schizophrenia in the early 1970s, Italian researchers noted that it seemed to relieve depression in some patients (although it had no effect on schizophrenia).
Since then, at least 14 studies have compared SAM-e with look-alike (but SAM-e-free) placebos or with prescription antidepressants.
A 1994 meta-analysis pooled the results of the 13 studies then available into two larger studies, one comparing SAM-e with placebos, the other with antidepressant drugs.
Eight of the 13 trials administered the SAM-e by intravenous drip or injection.
For patients like 48-year-old Debbie Bonick, who has suffered from depression for more than 15 years, the combination therapy of SAM-e and prescription antidepressants under physician supervision has proven a success.
Then, Bonick read about SAM-e and talked to her doctor about it.
Further research is underway on SAM-e to determine its most appropriate use in the treatment of depression.