protective and healing affect on the liver. There is a
*ton* of info on it on the net (just put in "milk
thistle" and you'll get plenty of hits; remember to
separate the hype from the information, because even
conventional medicine is starting to use it...a few
thousand years after every one else.
Sam-E is available at any health-food store; humans
take it for a range of things, eg: arthritis,
depression, insomnia, etc. It's also a very good
support for the liver...for reasons too long to
explain. There is an "animal" version called Denosyl
SD4. You can ask your vet about it. The *only*
advantage to Denosyl (despite the hype) is that it
comes in a cat-size dose (90mg). The human Sam-E comes
in 200mg, so you have to cut it in half; which is not
a problem, but it is enteric coated and shouldn't be
exposed to air...so, you either need to wrap the
leftover half in foil before putting it in the bottle
or take it yourself. You can get Denosyl cheaply on
the internet. You don't need a RX from the vet. Just
do a search for Denosyl.
This product is an antioxidant and antiinflammatory nutraceutical. Derived from the amino acid methionine and ATP, SAMe initiates three major biochemical pathways: transmethylation, transsulfuration, and aminopropylation. It has particular importance in hepatocytes that conduct or influence the bulk of intermediary metabolism. SAMe has modulating influence on inflammation, promotes cell replication and protein synthesis, has cytoprotective effects, and is important in promoting sulfation and methylation. It is a precursor of essential intracellular oxidants.
The liver, which can be likened to a large lymph node situated in the center of the body, undergoes great exposure to injurious products including free radicals, oxidants, and endotoxins. The liver has enormous cytoprotective capabilities, conjugation pathways, and antioxidants. Membrane damage by free radicals and oxidation is a basic mechanism of cell pathology in nearly all liver and biliary tree diseases. In the normal state, the liver is an important source of SAMe for itself and for the body. However, reduced hepatic mass, impaired function, or nutritional deficiencies may directly impair production of SAMe. The effects of this may include methionine intolerance and increased production and accumulation of oxidants derived from primary systemic or hepatobiliary disease, thereby leading to worsening liver damage.
SAMe deficiency appears to be an enabling factor in liver disease pathogenesis.
The accumulation of membranocytolytic bile acids perpetuates liver damage. Sulfation of membranocytolytic bile acids reduces their toxicity, which allows them to be eliminated. Taurine conjugation also reduces bile acid toxicity. In SAMe deficiency, both sulfation and taurine conjugation may become impaired, which enhances bile acid toxicity. Studies have shown that in vitro addition of SAMe to cell cultures reduced toxicity to hydrophobic bile salts. Clinical benefit has been demonstrated in humans with different forms of cholestasis. Recent work has also shown that SAMe provides an adjunctive therapeutic effect when used with ursodeoxycholic acid.
SAMe helps restore hepatocyte function by simultaneously stimulating cell repair, attenuating free radical production and accumulation, suppressing inflammation, and improving conjugation, membrane function, and toxin neutralization and elimination. SAMe may improve hepatocellular handling of organic ions (e.g., bile acids), attenuate alkaline phosphatase induction, and beneficially alter glutathione stores and metabolism in dogs given chronic high dose glucocorticoid therapy.
Oral administration on an empty stomach optimizes bioavailability. The recommended dose is 10 mg/lb/day. Conditions for which SAMe use should be considered include feline hepatic lipidosis, feline cholangitis and cholangiohepatitis, and in dogs with marked vacuolar hepatopathy from either glucocorticoid administration or idiopathic vacuolar hepatopathy, and in chronic active hepatitis. No significant side effects or changes in routine clinicopathologic parametersdevelop in healthy or ill humans. There are no known side effects in animals. Several products are available over the counter but have widely varying potency. One recommended product is Denosyl.
From Atlantc Coast Veterinary Conference 2001