Other names S-Adenosylmethionine, S-Adenosyl-L-methionine, SAMe, SAM, AdoMet


SAM-e is a compound produced naturally by the human body. It is also supplemented by some people because of its purported beneficial effects, including improved focus, memory, and mood. Read on to find out what the science actually says about its efficacy for these purposes.

This nootropic has no healthy human placebo-controlled studies that meet our inclusion criteria. Negative side effects can occur if used carelessly, so make sure you’re aware of the risks of SAM-e.


Read about the effects of SAM-e in relation to the amount of evidence we've found

SAM-e for improved mood

SAM-e is more effective than a placebo for the treatment of clinical depression, according to several meta-analyses and systematic reviews of the scientific literature on the substance. [1][2][3][4] However, another high-quality systematic review concluded that the evidence available on the efficacy of SAM-e for depression in adults is of low quality and that the evidence that does exist suggests SAM-e alone is as effective as placebo. [5]

However, no study has examined the effects of SAM-e alone in healthy humans with a healthy mood. It is not known whether SAM-e could enhance mood in people with a healthy baseline, or if it only brings people with impaired mood back to a healthy baseline.

SAM-e may be more effective for males than females. [6]

SAM-e appears effective as a mood brightener in people with depression, but evidence is lacking on its efficacy for healthy people looking to feel even better than they normally do.

SAM-e for cognitive enhancement

In a study in patients who took SSRIs for depression, SAM-e improved information recall significantly. [7] However, it did not improve performance on 5 other tests of cognitive functioning.

The cognitive effects of SAM-e have not been studied in healthy humans. Very little evidence supports its efficacy as a cognitive enhancer for people with depression.


The legality and side effects of SAM-e


Frequently asked questions about SAM-e


Studies conducted on the effects of SAM-e in healthy humans

Last updated Saturday, June 10, 2023