What is MSM?
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), also called Dimethyl Sulfone by health professionals and the general public, is becoming more and more popular because of its benefits to relieve the pain and improve the well-being in general.
Many doctors have found out new information about how a methylsulfonylmethane dietary supplement, either in capsules or powder, can reduce the pain like any other of the medicines that they prescribe. Thanks to MSM, many people have been able to live a painless life for the first time in many years. The research into MSM on its analgesic properties for health is still in its early stages.
The good news is that it is a completely safe and natural substance that can be combined with many analgesic medicines.
Main features of MSM
- Natural sulfur compound for the organism
- It makes up an essential part of the metabolism
- It supports the formation of collagen
- It is involved in the production of essential amino acids
Properties and Benefits of MSM
It is a basic element for human health. This natural sulfur compound can be found in the human body as well as in animal and vegetable organisms. It is a vital substance for the body.
It is also involved in the formation of amino acids and collagen. At the same time, amino acids are also a basic element to develop the necessary proteins that form and maintain the bones and hair.
For this reason, it also helps with the formation and growth of cartilage. Collagen is the natural lubricant of the organism, and its absence can cause joint inflammation.
MSM also stimulates the formation of enzymes, amino acids, and active proteins that have many important tasks in the organism, like the transport of nutrients.
MSM helps to relieve and treat the following disorders:
- Chronic pain
- Bursitis and rheumatism
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Mercury recovery
- Muscle soreness
- Interstitial cystitis
- Candida fungal infections
- Chronic fatigue
- Digestive problems
- Brittle hair and nails
- Headaches and migraine
- Muscle pain and cramps
- Damaged or old skin
- Accumulation of toxins
- Mercury secretion
Properties of MSM to relieve the pain and inflammation
One of its main benefits for health is its proven capacity to relieve the pain and inflammation. Approximately half of the organic sulfur in the body is found in the muscles, bones, and skin.
When the cells of the fibrous connective tissue swell up and there is an inflammation, this will cause pressure and pain. It can help to regain the flexibility and permeability of the cell membranes, which will allow the fluid to flow freely through the tissue. This will compensate for the pressure and reduce or eliminate the pain, like joint pain for example.
Harmful substances can be eliminated, such as lactic acid or toxins, while the nutrients can penetrate. This avoids the accumulation of cell pressure, which causes the swelling that can produce arthritis or osteoarthrosis, among other diseases.
It has an incredible ability to eliminate or reduce muscle pain and spasms in old patients or sportspeople. It is even given to race horses before they compete to prevent muscle soreness and cramps after the race.
People who suffer arthrosis experience an important and long-lasting relief when they use MSM supplements. when it is combined with glucosamine, which is a key substance for the regeneration of cartilage. MSM relieves the discomfort and pain that involves replacing the worn cartilage of a joint, tendon, and ligament, for new, healthy, and flexible cells when it is combined with glucosamine, which is a key substance for the regeneration of cartilage .
Many analgesic medicines produce side effects. For example, NSAID analgesics cause more than 20.000 and 100.000 hospitalizations every year in the United States. This is the reason why safety is a very important factor when it comes to relieving the pain.
In contrast, MSM is a completely safe supplement, even when it is taken in high doses. This is due to the fact that it is a completely natural substance that is found in small amounts in fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products, and seafood.
This nutrient has always been present in our diet and it is a natural component of the blood plasma. Unfortunately, the amount of MSM from these sources drops when we cook and process them, which means that we are not getting the necessary amount of this essential nutrient for our organism.
The main advantage is that it provides sulfur to our body, which is responsible for the benefits of methylsulfonylmethane and its analgesic qualities.
Around half of this substance is found in the muscles, bones, and skin. It is a necessary element for the production of collagen, which is the main component of cartilage, connective tissue, and skin, and the joint system.
MSM relieves stomach and intestinal problems
MSM can help to rebuild the lining of the digestive system, which is why it improves the symptoms of patients with Leaky Gut Syndrome.
A study carried out with laboratory mice that suffered colitis revealed that the intake of MSM had anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which prevented intestinal damage. However, there is still need for more information to determine if MSM is capable of reducing the inflammatory bowel disease in human beings.
Properties to reduce the acid that causes heartburn
Scientific studies have proven that it is extremely efficient when it comes to reducing the symptoms caused by an excess of acid quickly. MSM does not have any side effects, unlike prescribed medications like anti-acids or acid blockers.
You can use it every day, since it does not alter the normal functions of the organism nor does it affect the acid-base balance.
MSM and allergies
It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects on the body that reduce the swelling, which is one of the most frequent symptoms of an allergic reaction.
It can reduce both environmental and food allergies. It has been confirmed that those people that suffer from asthma and hay fever have improved significantly after taking MSM.
A clinical study carried out with 55 participants proved that taking 2600mg mg/day for 30 days reduces the symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis. It relieves the following symptoms: nasal discharge, tearing, itchy eyes, nasal congestion, sneezes, coughing, and difficulty to breathe.
MSM reduces the allergies due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It blends with the mucosa and blocks the contact between the allergen and the subject.
The flexible and transparent state of the cells is very important for the proper elimination of toxins, allergens, and strange substances from the organism. When the skin cells are soft and permeable, many toxins are eliminated through sweat, which reduces the work of the liver and kidneys.
Taking MSM nutritional supplements through capsules or powder reduces the symptoms of allergies, including the reactions to insect bites or poison ivy are less intense if you are using MSM. Vitamin C is also compatible with MSM, since it can reduce the histamine values.
Methylsulfonylmethane also has an incredible antiparasitic activity against Giardia, Trichomonas, worms, and other intestinal parasites.
When parasites stick to the intestinal walls, they reproduce inside and they can indefinitely steal indispensable nutrients away from the body. MSM blocks these parasites and when they cannot stick to mucosa, they are eliminated as toxins.
The same happens with nutritional allergens. Methylsulfonylmethane covers the surface of the mucous membranes so that they cannot be used by the aggressive food allergens.
It can also bind to harmful agents to produce safe substances that are later excreted. This facilitates a proper digestive process and allows us to obtain the maximum value of nutrients from food.
Those who are allergic to certain foods have experienced a great improvement by using MSM powder or capsules as a nutritional supplement. It also keeps the colon tissues healthy and flexible, helps with a better digestion, and fights constipation.
Methylsulfonylmethane, Arthrosis, and Arthritis
It has an excellent potential to treat osteoarthritis. The studies have provided information about how it is an efficient tool to relieve the damage related to osteoarthritis and it does not produce the toxicity of medicines. It is also useful for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
A clinical study carried out with patients suffering from osteoarthritis, they were given 1125 mg of MSM three times a day for 12 weeks. The result was a decrease of the inflammation in the joints and an improvement of the physical functioning. According the patients, the pain was reduced in a 33%.
Even though these are tiny improvements and there are no long-term studies, those patients with osteoarthritis experience relief in their joints after taking MSM.
MSM is also very effective for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
MSM and diabetes
Sulfur is a component of insulin, the hormone that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates. An insufficient amount of this substance can lead to a reduced production of insulin.
A lack of bioavailable sulfur turns the cells rigid, which hinders their ability to effectively absorb sugar, resulting in increased sugar levels in the blood.
The studies show that a regular consumption of MSM capsules, or a MSM dietary supplement powder, makes the cells more permeable. This means that methylsulfonylmethane favors the regulation of sugar levels in the blood, and the pancreas returns to a normal state.
MSM and the prevention of breast cancer
Studies with animals have provided relevant information about how the oral administration of MSM can prevent the onset of breast cancer. In said studies, they found out that it significantly delays the onset, both of breast cancer as well as other types of cancer and tumors.
MSM relieves skin problems
A clinical study showed that MSM improves the symptoms of rosacea, reduces the reddening of the skin, as well as the formation of papules, the itchiness and dryness, which helps to return the skin to its normal state and color.
However, MSM does not reduce the burning feeling that some people experience with rosacea, even though it helps to reduce the intensity and duration of these symptoms.
MSM reduces interstitial cystitis
Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a chronic and bacterial cystitis associated to bladder pain and urinary frequency.
It has been proven through clinical studies that dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) reduces the cystitis.
MSM, which is made of DMSO, can be used to treat interstitial cystitis as well, without the unpleasant side effects of DMSO.
MSM contributes to muscle regeneration
After physical exercise and intense muscle tension, the creatine kinase (CK) levels increase, as well as the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) ones. MSM favors the repair of muscle cells and the elimination of lactic acid, which is responsible for muscle mass loss.
MSM also repairs the cells from the rigid fibrous tissue of the muscle, which is produced during muscle tension in the workouts. In a nutshell, MSM reduces muscle pain, favors muscle recovery after the workout, and increases the energy levels.
A double blind study was carried out with 18 healthy men for 10 days, a half of them was given 50 mg of MSM per kg of body weight with 200ml of water, while the second half was given a placebo. Afterwards, all of them participated in a race of 14 km. The researchers carried out blood tests before and immediately after the exercise, and then after 30 minutes, and 2 hours, one day later and two days later.
The placebo group experienced a considerable increase of the CK and bilirubin levels after 24 hours when compared to the MSM group. The Total Antioxidant Capacity (TACT) significantly increase in the MSM group after 2 and 24 hours.
This study shows how the participants that were given MSM for 10 days reduced the damage to their muscles due to the antioxidant capacity of MSM.
MSM, the Mineral for Beauty
Sulfur is called “the mineral for beauty” because it helps to keep a smooth and youthful skin, and a soft and bright hair. It is needed for the synthesis of collagen and it is also found in keratin, an indispensable substance to have a healthy skin, nails, and hair.
Methylsulfonylmethane is responsible for the formation of cells, even skin cells. It blocks unwanted chemicals and creates collagen connections related to the regeneration of a young and resistant skin.
For all this, it increases the flexibility of the skin and enhances its regeneration. When the organism has a deficiency of this mineral, it can result in the onset of wrinkles or scars.
When the skin has enough of this substance, the new cells will be softer and more flexible.
The MSM supplements, alone or combined with vitamin C, can relieve and cure the symptoms of acne and rosacea. When the organism has scarce resources of this mineral, the skin will have ugly scars since it will not heal properly.
Methylsulfonylmethane contributes to a more elastic and permeable skin and it can also help to prevent the formation of blisters, and accelerate the healing of sunburns, as well as environmental damage.
Taking MSM improves the aspect of the nails and makes them grow faster, harder and less fragile. This occurs both in human and animal nails and hooves.
Obtaining MSM: the need of MSM for the organism
Since sulfur is found in all the cells of a living organism, we may think that it is easily obtainable through food and that, therefore, we do not really need nutritional supplements, but this is not the case
Sources of MSM
It is a pure nutritional supplement that provides support for the daily diet. It is not used to replace meals, but as an additional help for the organism.
The organism cannot generate enough organic sulfur, so it must be taken as a nutritional supplement in order to avoid a deficiency. Also, its amounts are very low in a lot of foods, which means that it should be supplied through supplementation.
Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products are the main sources of this element. However, in some cases, many of these food products need to be removed or reduced from the diet.
Vegetarians, specially those who do not eat eggs, are in danger of suffering an organic sulfur deficiency. Plant cells contain this substance, but in small amounts. In addition, methylsulfonylmethane from processed foods is lost when they are washed, cooked, or steamed.
It is necessary to maintain a healthy state of the metabolism as well as lubricated and flexible joints. It is advisable to take it to follow a balanced diet.
And, of course, the organic sulfur content of the body considerably drops with age. Therefore, it is very important to make sure that we are providing enough sulfur to the organism as we grow old.
MSM is a natural compound that provides wellness and it is directly deposited on the part of the body that needs it.
The effect of MSM on our body
MSM makes cell walls permeable, allowing water and nutrients to flow freely through the cells and to remove the toxins properly. MSM is useful for the formation of new and healthy cells and provides a flexible connection between them when it is combined with vitamin C.
If the MSM levels are not adequate, our body will not be able to build healthy cells, which causes health problems like a decrease of agility, formation of scars, wrinkles, and varicose veins on the skin, atherosclerosis, damage to lung tissue, dry and cracked skin, digestive problems, joint pain, and the inability to fight allergic reactions to food, animals, or plants.
It is an antioxidant that helps to clean the blood and to eliminate toxins, strange proteins, and free radicals which are harmful substances for our health that can damage the cells.
We have to add MSM to our diet if we want to stay healthy, which will allow our organism to regenerate and heal itself. The body uses the dose it needs and after 12 hours, the amount that is left is directly excreted.
A body that is built with healthy and flexible cells is not only a healthy body but it will also have a better aspect. The organism is constantly working to replace old cells with new ones. This is an ongoing process that happens all the time and every single day.
If the organism has all the necessary raw ingredients to form the cells structure, it is a quick and effective process. But if there is a deficiency, the new cells may be weakened, rigid, or deformed.
One of the main raw ingredients for new and healthy cells is organic sulfur, also known as Methylsulfonylmethane. It is a vital element that is present in the cells of every animal or plant.
The optimal percentage of this element is of a 0.25% in regard to the weight of the person. However, the inorganic form of sulfur is not so easily available for living organisms.
It is not a medicine but nutritional supplements that provide this element so that it can be easily absorbed and used by the organism.
Despite the fact that DMSO and MSM are chemically similar, both compounds are different. MSM is a pure, stable, crystal white powder and it does not have the unpleasant smell and flavor of DMSO. In addition, MSM does not produce body odor, unlike DMSO.
It is indispensable for this mineral to be abundantly available in order to be used by the body because it is found in all cells. Moreover, there is a positive effect that results from combining MSM with vitamin C when it comes to building healthy cells.
The new cells become more flexible and permeable, which allows liquids to easily flow through the tissues.
Internally, this means that the toxins are optimally eliminated and that the pain and inflammation decrease, which results in physical wellness. Externally, this means that the skin is softer and the nails are stronger and brighter.
MSM Deficiency: What causes a lack of MSM or sulfur in the organism?
A lack of MSM can leave your hair, lacklustre, dry and weak
Sulfur performs several tasks in the organism. It is involved in the formation of collagen, and helps to keep a shiny hair and a healthy skin, which contributes to the permeability of cell membranes, which are involved in the production of hormones, amino acids and enzymes.
It also supports the organism through the elimination of harmful substances from foods or the air.
For all these conditions, a Methylsulfonylmethane deficiency can affect many parts of the body, which can lead to joint or metabolic problems. But even without having dry and lacklustre hair, brittle nails, and general weakness, the body may be suffering a sulfur deficiency.
Side effects of MSM
Due to its positive effects, specially for the formation of healthy cells, MSM is advised as a dietary supplement, either in capsules or powder, with a dose between 2000 to 6000 mg daily.
A recommended dose of a Methylsulfonylmethane supplement is completely safe. It practically has no side effects and it is often as safe as water. When you use MSM as a dietary supplement, it is goes directly to the areas of the body that need it.
After approximately 12 hours, the amount that the body does not need is excreted. It belongs to the sulfur family, and should not be confused with sulfonamides, which can cause allergies. However, only some people are allergic to it.
The optimal daily dose of MSM varies depending on the size, age, and the nature or severity of the potential deficiencies that each person may have.
How to use MSM: Dose and intake of MSM
Dose of MSM
This type of supplements should be consumed daily. It is better to start with 1.500 mg of MSM during the first week to prevent the body from detoxifying too quickly, which can happen when you use too much at the beginning.
After the first week, the dose can be increased from 3-10 grams per day (3.000 to 10.000 mg). This dose can be taken as long as necessary.
If you are taking a higher dose of MSM it is more practical and convenient to take it as powder. To improve the taste of MSM powder, you can dissolve it in water, in lemon or red cranberries juice.
It is also a good idea to combine it with other dietary supplements, because it works synergistically with all the nutrients. In order to get better results, distribute the dose throughout the whole day. MSM should be consumed with vitamin C, since it produces a positive synergy.
Methylsulfonylmethane supplements are completely safe. Even in high doses, there are no interactions with other medicines. A lot of people also add MSM to bath water, due to its detoxifying qualities and to relieve the pain.
You can find a detailed report about the benefits of MSM in the book “The Miracle of MSM: The Natural Solution for Pain” (Putnam Press, 1999) by Stanley Jacob, Dr. Ronald Lawrence, m.d., Ph.D. And Martin Zucker.
Stanley Jacob, m.d., is regarded as one of the pioneers in the clinical administration of methylsulfonylmethane. In his book, he gives the details about many studies in which MSM was used to relieve joint discomfort, joint inflammation, arthritis, osteoarthoritis, asthma, arthrosis, immune diseases, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, sinusitis (sinus infections), tibial border syndrome (periostitis), back pain, allergies, and other diseases.
Intake of MSM
Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM is a natural component of our plasma. Unfortunately, those foods with MSM lose part of its content when they are boiled, which is why a lot of people suffer a deficiency of this basic nutrient in the organism.
MSM provides the sulfur that the body needs, which has analgesic properties that contribute to improving our health.
Around half of this substance is found in the muscle, skin, and the bones. It is necessary for the production of collagen, and it also is the main component of cartilages, skin, and connective tissue.
MSM goes through the intestine quickly when it is consumed orally, it is properly distributed through the body and it is easily excreted through the urine.
Clinical studies have proven that, after consuming MSM, it releases its sulfur content and stimulates the production of keratin and collagen in the organism. The amino acids, such as methionine and cystine, as well as the serum proteins that are produced due to the action of SMSl./p>
Unlike the DSMO, MSM is not completely absorbed through the skin. When we consume DSMO orally or topically, approximately a 15% is transformed into MSM.
MSM is also easily absorbed by the brain without causing neurological damage.
MSM is advised for the following cases:
- When facing a deficiency
- When you have an unbalanced diet
- For those who suffer joint pain or who have sport injuries
- To revitalize brittle nails and lacklustre hair
- To strengthen the connective tissue
- To accelerate wound healing
Frequently Asked Questions about MSM
What happens when I use MSM?
The sulfur absorbs certain harmful chemicals and makes them water-soluble. This ensures that they are excreted through the kidneys.
Part of it is used to produce cysteine, which in turn is used to produce glutathione which is in charge of removing toxic metals, allowing the cells to protect themselves from oxidation and perform other important activities for health.
The MSM supplement also protects the cells from injuries and reduces swelling, increasing the flow of nutrients and facilitating wound healing. It also helps to prevent the formation of scars. If you suffer any allergy, it also controls your histamine response. Among other properties, methylsulfonylmethane also increases the energy.
If I am allergic to sulfonamides, does that mean that I will also be allergic to MSM?
Doctors usually answer YES. Although, allergies to sulfur are very rare. Most people who are allergic to sulfonamides tolerate methylsulfonylmethane very well.
Nevertheless, if you are worried about being sensitive to this substance, you may start with a small amount and gradually increase the dose under medical supervision. Consuming 100 mcg of molybdenum along with MSM increases its metabolization.
Since I started taking MSM I have headaches, is it due to the MSM?
This is not very common, but it can happen. First, the sulfur from MSM accelerates the detoxification of the body, which helps it to get rid of harmful substances.
This cleansing that is started by methylsulfonylmethane is a process that favors health. If the toxins are quickly eliminated it can cause headaches.
What is the solution? Cease its consumption for a few days and start again in lower doses, in this way the body will be slowly cleansed, getting the detox effect without the headaches.
Should I consume other nutrients with MSM?
The daily intake of a multivitamin supplement with 100 mcg or more of molybdenum will help to process MSM effectively. In addition, the intake of a high quality multivitamin supplement maximizes the powerful and natural antioxidant benefits produced by MSM.
Does MSM control pain?
MSM shares many effects with DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide).
In a 1993 study by the University of Southern Illinois, researchers found that the transmission of pain impulses was reduced by supplying low concentrations of DMSO.
DMSO inhibits pain impulses in the central nervous system, C. C fibers from damaged tissues carry pain messages to the brain. Other studies have shown that DMSO can even block the pain response in the central part of the brain, which is where it is perceived.
Does MSM combat constipation?
MSM dilates the blood vessels and increases the blood flow. An even more outstanding fact is that MSM is a cholinesterase inhibitor which prevents the excessive flow of nerve impulses between nerve cells. MSM can restore peristalsis and stop the muscle spasms of the intestines.
How does MSM combat inflammation?
It increases the natural activity of the anti-inflammatory hormone of our body, cortisol. And it also prevents the spread of fibroblasts. Excessive amounts of fibroblasts are produced during an inflammation and they cause scarring. MSM provides fluids to the inflamed tissue and eliminates the swelling.
How does MSM help with allergies and/or respiratory diseases?
The answer is that it blocks the histamine receptors. It acts as a bodyguard outside the cell membrane that decides the amount of histamine that can cause inflammation, swelling, or liquid retention.
Why is it not enough to eat more sulfur sources instead of taking MSM supplementation?
An increased consumption of these foods provides more sulfur to the body, but it does not produce the same effects as methylsulfonylmethane. MSM has many benefits that are only achieved if you optimize the direct supply of MSM.
MSM has given me a rash. Do I have to cease its consumption?
This supplement supports the body by getting rid of toxic heavy metals such as mercury. These metals are the ones that cause the skin rashes. You should not stop taking MSM.
In this case, it is interesting to combine it with vitamin C, to redirect the process and minimize the symptoms. You may also reduce the dose of MSM and detoxify your body more slowly.
Studies and References about MSM
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