Background And Relevant Pharmacokinetics

SAMe is synthesised in the cytosol of every cell, but the liver plays a central role in its homeostasis and is the major site of biosynthesis and degradation. Up to half the daily intake of methionine is converted to SAMe in the liver, where it is metabolised to 5-adenosylhomocysteine and then homocysteine. Being a central part of the one carbon metabolism cycle, SAMe is intrinsically linked with the other methyl donors such as folate and B12.

SAMe naturally exists as diastereoisomers and it is presently unclear whether both the R and S forms are biologically active in humans. Evidence from a rat model suggests they are equi-potent (Dunne et al 1998). Oral doses achieve peak plasma concentrations within 3-5 hours after ingestion of an enteric-coated tablet (400-1000 mg). Enteric coating of SAMe supplements is essential to ensure product stability and potency. The half-life is reported to be 100 minutes, and excretion occurs via both urine and faeces (Najim et al 2004).

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