Oral Administration of S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and Lactobacillus Plantarum HEAL9 Improves the Mild-To-Moderate Symptoms of Depression: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study

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Objective: To assess the effects of the combination of SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine) 200 mg and Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) HEAL9 1 × 109 CFU for the overall symptomatology of mild-to-moderate depression.

Methods: This 6-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study included subjects aged 18–60 years with mild-to-moderate depression (according to ICD-10 diagnostic criteria) recruited from September 17, 2018, to October 5, 2018. Difference between groups in change from baseline to treatment week 6 on the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (Z-SDS) was the primary outcome. Comparisons between groups in change from baseline to treatment week 2 of the Z-SDS and from baseline to treatment weeks 2 and 6 of other scales (related to insomnia, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, and health status) were also analyzed.

Results: Ninety patients were randomized to SAMe plus L. plantarum HEAL9 (n = 46) or placebo (n = 44) groups. A greater reduction for the new combination compared to placebo was seen at treatment week 6 in the Z-SDS total score (P = .0165) and the core depression subdomain (P = .0247). A significant reduction in favor of the combination was shown at treatment week 2 for the Z-SDS total score (P = .0330), the cognitive and anxiety subdomains (P = .0133 and P = .0459, respectively), and the anxiety questionnaire (P = .0345). No treatment-related adverse events occurred.

Conclusions: Supplementation of SAMe and L. plantarum HEAL9 in adults with subthreshold or mild-to-moderate symptoms of depression resulted in fast and clinically relevant effects after 2 weeks. The combination was safe and significantly improved symptoms of depression, anxiety, and cognitive and somatic components. The effect of this novel product is independent from the severity of the symptoms unlike traditional antidepressants available on the market that have minimal benefits for subthreshold or mild-to-moderate symptoms.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT03932474

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2020;22(4):19m02578