Alternative Names: Methyl Sulfonyl Methane or Methylsulfonylmethane, Methylsulfonyl-methane, or Dimethyl Sulfone.
MSM is an odorless, essentially tasteless, white crystalline breakdown product of DMSO demonstrating usefulness as a dietary supplement. Research suggests that a minimum concentration in the body may be critical to both maintain normal function and structure.
MSM is similar to the better known sulfur-containing compound DMSO; and would actually be DMSO2. As a source of sulfur, MSM is more stable than DMSO and lacks much of the foul odor associated with DMSO.
As a general source of sulfur, MSM has a vast array of possible effects, although the current marketing has greatly exaggerated many of them. Research into MSM is ongoing on many fronts, and the results of these should be forthcoming in reputable journals in the coming year.
At the Oregon Health Sciences University there have been many observations of what MSM can achieve in the way of health and well-being when taken as a dietary supplement.
MSM is a naturally occurring nutrient, a sulfur compound found in typical human diets and those of virtually all other vertebrates. MSM is a natural component of many fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood and meat. Cow's milk is a particularly rich source of MSM. However, heat and processing can reduce the MSM quantity in foods.
MSM is available in the form of capsules, dissolvable crystals or powder. The powder is usually put in juice, and many say it has absolutely no taste. MSM is relatively inexpensive; it is said to be "Safe as water and cheap as dirt".
Look for MSM in products for arthritis
, both rheumatoid
and osteo, for joint support, and anywhere sulfur compounds would be of benefit.
Function; Why it is Recommended
MSM provides an essential sulfur foundation that the body needs to form proteins and collagen
(connective tissue), synthesize and activate vitamins, produce enzymes and immunoglobulin, and maintain the immune system. It has also been shown to grow thick hair, strong nails and improve the skin texture.
MSM relieves swelling, inflammation
and pain because it allows the harmful substances that have accumulated to flow out and nutrients to flow in. It also contributes a sulfur to the body needed to make vitamins such as B1
and the antioxidant
. It also helps the liver
excrete toxins. Additionally, it provides structure to the glucosamine
needed for healthy ligaments, tendons, heart valves, etc. It has been found to help in dissolving scar tissue
, decrease inflammation
, and increases elasticity in the body.
MSM has been used alone, or in combination with other nutrients, to help with the conditions of osteoarthritis
, chronic joint pain and ligament damage.
It is recommended that first time users start at a low level, taking it with meals and increasing the dose gradually. Later, it can be taken without food. A typical starting recommendation is 250mg per day, increasing to an average therapeutic dose of about 2gm per day.
People take as much as 100gm of MSM daily. Some suggest starting with 2gm (2000mg) and, every week, increasing by 1000mg to a total of 8gm per day.
A single dose of MSM will not usually provide any benefit: MSM needs to be taken for at least 1-2 weeks or even up to 2 months before any results will be seen. People taking MSM may notice additional benefits such as softer skin, harder nails, thicker hair, and softening of scar tissue
No recommended intake levels have been established for sulfur. Since most Western diets are high in protein, the majority of diets probably supply enough sulfur.
MSM is rated as one of the least toxic substances in biology, similar in toxicity to water and much less toxic than common table salt, for example. It has been widely tested as a food ingredient without any reports of allergic reactions.