Reader Question

Comment: Your journal in no way represents the facts about SAMe. [See Alternative Medicine Alert, December 1999, pp. 133-135.] SAMe has to be taken with B-vitamins (folic acid and B6); none of the references cited required that SAMe be taken in that condition. Please respond to this, as you are misinforming the public. SAMe is, indeed, the most effective antidepressant ever made available to the public.

John A. Rush, PhD, ND

Orangevale, CA

Response: You are correct that none of the trials of SAMe published to date discuss B-vitamins. If SAMe raises homocysteine levels, then taking folic acid along with SAMe might be helpful. There is still considerable controversy, however, whether patients who have elevated levels of homocysteine benefit from taking folic acid.1 In addition, as I discuss in my article, there is also very little evidence that oral SAMe is an effective antidepressant.

Barak Gaster, MD

Acting Assistant Professor of Medicine

University of Washington, Seattle

References

1. Eikelboom JW, et al. Homocyst(e)ine and cardiovascular disease: A critical review of the epidemiologic evidence. Ann Intern Med 1999;131:363-75.

Editor’s Note: Dr. Rush acknowledges no significant financial interest in SAMe, its manufacturers, or distributors.