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DMSO Health Topic
    DMSO Health Topic
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    DMSO Health Topic

    DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) is derived from lignan, the binding substance of trees. DMSO has unique ability to act as carrier, easily passing through cell membranes while transporting other substances across that would ordinarily be unable to cross the skin's barrier, without causing significant damage. DMSO is widely used as a topical analgesic and anti-inflammatory, and is a known antioxidant. In 1978, the US FDA approved DMSO for treating interstitial cystitis. In 2007, the US FDA granted "fast track" designation on clinical studies of DMSO's use in reducing brain tissue swelling following traumatic brain injury. DMSO has been used in central nervous system trauma to lower intercranial pressure and cerebral edema following closed head injuries, especially in equine veterinary medicine. DMSO has been studied in cases of sclerodoma and arthritis for its ability to reduce pain and stiffness. DMSO is commonly used in veterinary medicine as a liniment for horses, alone or in combination with other ingredients. MSM, a sulfur compound closely related to DMSO, has many of the same properties, but lacks the distinctive oyster-garlic smell.

    Note: encourages personal research and a balanced view of health and nutrition topics. The links below provide a broad overview of various research findings and hypothesis on the role of nutrition in health. This information is not intended to promote any particular product. Unless noted, the articles below do not include any scientific references.

    Learn More About DMSO

    1. The MSM DMSO Connection

      DMSO is both a prescription drug and an industrial solvent. Much of its medical value from its ability to transport other substances through cell membranes. It is also reported to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Medical-grade DMSO is safe, and is widely used in medical processes. Thousands of scientific papers have been published about DMSO's chemistry and shown that it can relieve muscle and joint pain; reduce inflammation; soften collagen to relieve scleroderma symptoms; help heal skin ulcers caused by diabetes and scleroderma; and relieve blood vessel constrictions common to Raynaud's phenomenon. Other research has suggested it may help prevent brain damage after stroke or head injuries. And it appears to have few side effects, even at very high dosages. DMSO is approved for use in many other countries for arthritis and related conditions. MSM is a sulfur compound made from DMSO that has many of the helpful qualities of DMSO, with some distinct advantages: it lacks the distinctive oyster-garlic smell.

    2. Current Status of DMSO

      More than 10,000 articles on the biologic implications of DMSO have appeared in the scientific literature and 30,000 articles on the chemistry of DMSO have also been published. The results of these studies strongly support the view that DMSO is a truly significant new therapeutic principle. DMSO is a respected, approved pharmaceutical agent in more than 125 countries.

    3. DMSO: Many Uses, Much Controversy

      DMSO is one of the most studied but least understood pharmaceutical agents of our time--at least in the United States. Thousands of laboratory studies provide strong evidence of a wide variety of properties. DMSO has the ability to pass through membranes carrying other drugs with it across membranes. DMSO has pain-relieving, collagen-softening, and anti-inflammatory characteristics. DMSO perhaps has been used most widely as a topical analgesic. It reduces inflammation by several mechanisms. It is an antioxidant, a scavenger of the free radicals. In a scleroderma study using DMSO, patients experienced relief from pain and stiffness and an increase in strength. In arthritis studies, DMSO relieved joint pain and increased range of joint motion and grip strength. In central nervous system trauma, DMSO has the ability to lower intracranial pressure following closed head injury faster and more effectively than any other drug. DMSO also stabilized blood pressure, improved respiration, and increased urine output by five times and increased blood flow through the spinal cord to areas of injury.


    4. Sulfur Overview

      Sulfur is a naturally occurring mineral that is found primarily near hot springs and volcanic craters, and in supplemental form as dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). DMSO is a chemical byproduct of papermaking and is used as an industrial solvent, as well as for medicinal purposes. Topical DMSO has been proposed as a treatment to relieve pain and inflammation of shingles (herpes zoster) as it may lessen the number of lesions and decrease inflammation. DMSO is approved by the FDA to treat interstitial cystitis (chronic bladder inflammation). DMSO (unlike MSM) is absorbed through the skin and may interact with other medications. About 15% of DMSO breaks down into MSM in the body. MSM is important in joint health and helps form connective tissue (cartilage, tendons, and ligaments). It may also slow the nerve impulses that transmit pain signals, reducing pain. Sulfur-containing mud baths (often called balneotherapy) can help treat skin disorders and arthritis. Sulfur baths, and other forms of sulfur applied to the skin, seem to benefit psoriasis, eczema, dandruff, and other skin conditions, as well as several kinds of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis.


    5. Pharmacology of DMSO

      A wide range of primary pharmacological actions of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) has been documented in laboratory studies: membrane transport, effects on connective tissue, anti-inflammation, nerve blockade (analgesia), bacteriostasis, diuresis, enhancements or reduction of the effectiveness of other drugs, cholinesterase inhibition, nonspecific enhancement of resistance to infection, vasodilation, muscle relaxation, antagonism to platelet aggregation, and influence on serum cholesterol in emperimental hypercholesterolemia. This substance induces differntiation and function of leukemic and other malignant cells. DMSO also has prophylactic radioprotective properties and cryoprotective actions. It protects against ischemic injury.


    6. The Physical Properties of Dimeythyl Sulfoxide and Its Function in Biological Systems

      The unique capability of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) to penetrate living tissues without causing significant damage is most probably related to its relatively polar nature, its capacity to accept hydrogen bonds, and its relatively small and compact structure. DMSO's ability to replace some of the water molecules associated with the cellular constituents, may exert an indirect effect on biological systems by virtue of the changes that it causes in the liquid structure of water.


    7. The Human Toxicology of Dimethyl Sulfoxide

      DMSO appears to be a very safe drug for human administration. We can permanently dispel the myth that DMSO is in any way a toxic or dangerous drug.


    8. Negative Viewpoint on DMSO

      DMSO is derived from lignin, the binding substance of trees. Topically-applied DMSO has the unusual ability to be rapidly absorbed through the skin and take with it other substances that ordinarily would not cross the skin's barrier.


    9. Dimethyl Sulfoxide on Wikipedia

      DMSO is commonly used in veterinary medicine as a liniment for horses, alone or in combination with other ingredients. In the latter case, often, the intended function of the DMSO is as a solvent, to carry the other ingredients across the skin. Also in horses, DMSO is used intravenously, again alone or in combination with other drugs. It is used alone for the treatment of increased intracranial pressure and/or cerebral edema in horses. In 1978, the US FDA approved DMSO for treating interstitial cystitis. In 2007, the US FDA granted "fast track" designation on clinical studies of DMSO's use in reducing brain tissue swelling following traumatic brain injury.


    10. Allergic to Sulfa Drugs: Can You Take Sulfur?

      There is a lot of understandable confusion about the difference between sulfa drugs, sulfites, sulfates and sulfur. Sulfur is the chemical element that is found in Sulfa Drugs, Sulfites, and Sulfates. Sulfur is an essential element of life and is found in amino acids and other important molecules in the body. It is IMPOSSIBLE to have a sulfur allergy. You cannot survive without sulfur. When people say that they are allergic to sulfur they mean sulfites (found in red wine) or sulfonamides (sulfa drugs), not sulfur or sulfates.

    11. DMSO and MSM: The Biochemical Oxygen Transport Pair

      A new insight into their biochemistry that explains the claims for their wide-ranging health and energy benefits.

    12. Harnessing the Power of DMSO

      DMSO's remarkable versatility as a therapeutic agent comes from its molecular structure, which allows it to interact with water in unusual ways. The DMSO-water bond is 1.3 times stronger than the water-water bond. In the body, DMSO can pass through cell membranes as readily as water does without damaging the tissues, and it can replace water molecules within many bodily fluids. And, because DMSO so readily dissolves other molecules, it can also carry them through the cell membranes with it. "DMSO alters cell membrane permeability." "It moves through membranes and substitutes for water so that it pulls substances through cells that ordinarily would not move through them."

    13. DMSO on

      This page contains information on Domoso Solution for veterinary use. Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), an oxidation product of dimethyl sulfide, is an exceptional solvent possessing a number of commercial uses. DMSO is a hygroscopic stable organic liquid essentially odorless and water white in color. In general, adverse reactions are local, and while they may prove to be annoying to some patients, they are usually not of a serious nature.


    14. Is DMSO Less Stable When Stored in Plastic Instead of Glass?

      DMSO is highly hygrocopic and stored in air tight bottles. DMSO is compatible with LDPE, HDPE, polypropylene, PPCO (polypropylene copolymer), polymethylpentene, nylon, and teflon FEP. DMSO is moderately compatible with polystyrene and ECTFE/ETFE. DMSO is incompatible with polysulfone, flexible and rigid PVC tubing, and polycarbonate.


    Tags: DMSO and dimethyl sulfoxide, DMSO and sulfur, DMSO and MSM, DMSO and arthritis, DMSO and inflammation, DMSO and scleroderma, DMSO and head injury, DMSO and intercranial pressure, cell membrane permeability

    DMSO has not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for the any of the following topics indicated in the links above: arthritis, inflammation, intercranial pressure, scleroderma

    Statements on this website have NOT been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are NOT intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease; research is ongoing. All third-party health topic links provided on this website are for information purposes only. Always consult your doctor or nutritionist about any health or nutrition-related questions you might have.