SAMe occurs naturally in the body; it is concentrated in the liver and brain and is a major methyl donor in the synthesis of hormones, nucleic acids, proteins, and phospholipids, catecholamines, and other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin. SAMe is required for the synthesis of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin, and also plays a role in other intracellular metabolic pathways. SAMe facilitates glutathione usage and maintains acetylcholine levels, which help enhance or maintain cognitive function and attenuate or prevent aggression of aging and neurodegeneration.SAMe (S-adenosyl-methionine)
is an amino acid derivative normally synthesized in the body. SAMe is used by the body in three important pathways:
- Methylation (contributing methyl groups to activate certain molecules)
- The synthesis of polyamines (for cell growth, gene expression, neuronal regeneration, etc.)
- Trans-sulfuration (synthesis of cysteine, glutathione, and other sulfate chemicals)
SAMe levels may become depleted from sickness and age. Supplementation of the co-factors — folate, trimethylglycine (TMG or betaine), vitamins B6 and B12, together with SAMe — appears to be an effective method to overcome this deficiency. There is evidence that SAMe helps to synthesize phosphatidylcholine, which keeps cell membranes fluid, and is used in the brain to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
In 2002, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services conducted a meticulous evaluation of SAMe. Their findings show the efficacy of SAMe in helping maintain stable mood and joint function, without any side effects. Since aging people often suffer joint discomfort and immobilization, SAMe addresses multiple problems people face as they grow older. In addition, SAMe has multi-modal mechanisms of action that are used throughout the body, and especially in the liver, which help maintain liver health. SAMe facilitates healthy methylation enzymatic processes and boosts hepatic levels of the critical antioxidant glutathione. When liver function is compromised, glutathione is depleted, which leads to free radical damage.Life Extension Frequently Asked Questions
What are Life Extension's quality control standards?
Life Extension uses only premium quality vitamins and other ingredients. Their dedication to excellence insists that their nutritional supplements meet the highest standards and criteria.
That is why Life Extension insists on purchasing only the highest quality raw materials from all over the world, primarily from leading US, Japanese and European sources. Life Extension goes one step further by using advanced analytical methods, such as high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, to ensure their products meet label claims for potency and purity. Life Extension tests its raw materials using US Pharmacopeia and other exacting pharmaceutical assay standards.
Why are Life Extension's nutritional supplements more advanced than other dietary supplements?
The unique ingredients included in Life Extension's products are often years ahead of the products sold by commercial vitamin companies. Life Extension scientists analyze thousands of scientific studies every week to make sure their health-promoting formulas include the most advanced life extending ingredients in the world. The Foundation interacts with the world's foremost gerontology researchers in order to obtain inside information about antiaging breakthroughs before these findings are published. The Life Extension Foundation funds the most advanced anti-ischemia laboratory in the world, where antioxidant vitamins, hormones, and pharmaceutical agents are used to prevent free radical induced cellular damage.
Are Life Extension's vitamins natural or synthetic?
Life Extension carries a combination of natural and synthetic vitamins and supplements. Some advertising statements would have them believe that "natural" is better, but natural supplements in some instances contain impurities such as pollen and naturally occurring hormones that can cause problems for some people. Synthetic nutrients are manufactured to be chemically identical (with the exception of vitamin E) to those extracted from natural sources, and are the most pure nutrient vitamins.
What does Life Extension do to ensure the quality of its products?
They focus on three specific areas.
- Raw Materials: Unlike other supplement companies, the natural ingredients that go into Life Extension's supplements are not chosen based on cost. Instead they are chosen based on purity (to exclude contaminants such as microbes and heavy metals), potency, and usage in successful scientific research.
- Validation of the Efficacy of Ingredients by Scientific Research: Life Extension uses ingredients and dosages that accurately replicate the most successful results obtained in scientific studies for maximum efficacy.
- Manufacturing: Naturally, Life Extension is in strict compliance with current Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for manufacturing, packaging, and storage.
Does the label accurately list exactly what’s in the bottle?
Yes. All active ingredients from patented, scientifically validated raw materials as well as final, finished products are verified using advanced analytical methods such as HPLC (highperformance liquid chromatography), MS (mass spectrometry), etc., to ensure each and every product accurately meets label claims in strict compliance with their demanding product specifications.
When it comes to supplements, is cost an indicator of quality?
Where Life Extension is concerned, yes. Patented materials validated in scientific studies cost more — period. In contrast with many commercial brands focused on driving up margins by using the cheapest raw materials available, Life Extension collaborates with raw material suppliers who invest in scientific validation of their ingredients, which increases material costs. With Life Extension products, you get the quality you pay for.
What are the “Other Ingredients” on the label, and why are they important?
They are inactive ingredients (excipients) that play a number of critical, essential roles in the manufacturing process including:
- Achieving uniform density for accurate dosing
- Dispersing the active ingredients evenly throughout a solid tablet, capsule, and softgel
- Protecting active ingredients from rapid inactivation due to heat and moisture
- Promoting tablet disintegration, as well as capsule and softgel dissolution
- Sustaining the release of active ingredients into the body over time
Why do some companies refer to these excipients as a threat to your health?
Claiming any product is “pure and free of excipients” can be deceptive advertising, too frequently used to draw attention away from inferior active ingredients! The right inactive ingredients used in the right way do important things … like ensuring that a tablet disintegrates in your GI tract rather than just passing through your system without benefit, or keeping a product from breaking down and being susceptible to microbes. Take Life Extension blueberry extract, for example. It contains AuroraBlue wild-harvested, Alaskan blueberries. To retain their nutritional complexity, these berries are freeze-dried and carefully milled for capsule formulation. But being a whole fruit raw material, it tends to want to reconstitute itself with moisture, which would make it a breeding ground for bacteria. So Life Extension uses a drying excipient to keep the milled blueberry material dry, so it can safely deliver its superior nutritional value compared with other, less costly blueberry extracts in most commercial formulations.
All of the excipients Life Extension uses have earned GRAS (“Generally Regarded As Safe”) status. In many cases not using them compromises final product quality! Excipients are used in nutritional supplements to ensure uniform density of complex active materials, to achieve even dispersion of active ingredients, and to promote appropriate disintegration and/or dissolution of active ingredients inside your body.
Should I be concerned about the use of stearic acid?
Stearic acid functions as a flow agent in the manufacture of quality products, and stearic acid also occurs naturally in the foods you eat. For example, four ounces of dark chocolate contain 3,625 mg of stearic acid; a cup of kidney beans contains 1,655 mg of stearic acid; an ounce of raw ground beef (grass-fed) contains 2,063 mg of stearic acid; and a half pound of lean raw turkey contains 1,642 mg of stearic acid. Even a tablespoon of allspice contains 1,513 mg of stearic acid! Life Extension supplements, on the other hand, typically contain no more than 10 mg per capsule. They always use the lowest level of magnesium stearate possible.
Should I be concerned that products with soybean oil or lecithin are a source of phytoestrogens?
While it is true that soy isoflavones are phytoestrogens, the amount in soybean oil or lecithin is so minute, the USDA lists it in foods as having zero value for isoflavones. To give you a frame of reference, Life Extension’s Ultra Natural Prostate contains 4 mg of lecithin which supplies only about 0.006 mg of soy isoflavones!
Should I be concerned with the usage of genetically modified plants (GMOs)?
Soybeans are an example of a crop that has used extensive genetic engineering to increase crop yield. The reality is that soybean oil and soy lecithin are highly processed derivatives of soy, far removed from their soy origin. Genetic modification doesn’t alter the entire plant, only a specific gene. Thus, specific molecules like soy lecithin are the same whether they come from a GMO or non-GMO soy source. However, due to their sensitivity to customer concerns, products with corn and soy-based active ingredients are in process of having the labels updated to list when soy and corn-derived active ingredients have been certified to be from non-GM food crops.
Does the gelatin used in softgels and capsules contain MSG?
Gelatin does not contain MSG, but does contain about 0.05 grams of glutamic acid in one softgel. You ingest about 120 times more glutamic acid in a serving of asparagus, cabbage or tomatoes!
What’s the difference between tablets, capsules and softgels?
Sophisticated products require sophisticated delivery systems. The best companies choose the most effective finished form based on the characteristics of the raw materials, and the desired disintegration or dissolution characteristics of the finished product and the active ingredients.
Why aren’t Life Extension products organic?
The word “organic” conveys the perception of quality to consumers. But it actually relates to foods that are grown rather than products that are formulated. Many of their scientifically validated raw materials are not produced organically. Rather, their mandate includes rigorous testing and scrupulous processing. The objective is purity, both in terms of our raw materials and their finished products.
Life Extension is a global authority on nutrition, health and wellness as well as a provider of scientific information on anti-aging supplements and therapies. Life Extension supplies only the highest quality nutritional supplements, including minerals, vitamins, herbs and hormones.