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MSM Health Topic
    MSM Health Topic
    Questions?  1 (951) 639-9708

    MSM Health Topic

    MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, is a naturally occurring sulfur compound and contains 34% sulfur by weight. Sulfur-containing hot springs and mud baths have been used through the ages to help relieve the pain and inflammation of arthritis as well as skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and dandruff. Sulfur is used by the body to form collagen and keratin (the basic ingredients of skin, hair, and nails) and strengthens the structure of connective tissues, such as cartilage and tendons, by forming cross-linkages. In studies, MSM has been observed to cross the blood-brain barrier, evenly distributing throughout the brain. MSM is closely related to DMSO, but lacks DMSO's distinctive smell and its ability to transport substances across cell membranes.

    Dietary Sources of MSM:
    Cow's milk, tomatoes, corn, swiss chard, coffee, tea, beer, alfalfa, and the horsetail plant.

    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 MSM

    1. 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.


    2. Sulfur-Based Supplement May Fight Arthritis

      Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, is a naturally occurring sulfur compound. Research indicates that it decreased pain and improved physical function in patients with knee arthritis.

    3. The MSM DMSO Connection

      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. 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 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.

    4. MSM Guide: Research, Studies and Clinical Trials

      Abstracts and links to MSM research papers.

    5. How MSM Works to Improve Joint Health

      MSM contains a lot of sulfur – 34% by weight. MSM is thought to deliver sulfur to the body in a useable way. Sulfur helps maintain the structure of connective tissue by forming cross-linkages through disulfide bonds, i.e., sulfur strengthens the tissues that make up the joint. Preliminary studies in mice and in horses suggest that the sulfur in MSM is incorporated into proteins and into joint tissues.

    6. Efficacy of Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in Osteoarthritis Pain of the Knee

      MSM improved symptoms of pain and physical function during the short intervention without major adverse events.


    7. The MSM Miracle

      Experiments using MSM containing radiolabeled sulfur have shown, that following ingestion, MSM releases its sulfur to form collagen and keratin, basic ingredients of hair and nails, as well as the essential amino acids methionine and cysteine, and serum proteins. Similar expiriments show that MSM is bound to the mucosa. Apparently, MSM is binding to receptor sites at the mucous membrane surface in the intestinal and urogenital tracts and the respiratory system. By doing so, it presents a blocking interface between host and environment.


    8. MSM Monograph (pdf file)

      A recent study explored the accumulation of MSM in the brain after oral dosing. It was observed that MSM crosses the blood-brain barrier in significant concentration. The study also revealed that MSM is evenly distributed throughout the brain, including the brainstem, with equal concentrations in both gray and white matter. MSM has been proven to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant mechanisms in an in vitro study. In another study, individuals suffering from seasonal allergic rhinitis were given MSM. Allergy symptoms were greatly reduced.


    9. 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.

    Tags: MSM and sulfur, MSM and methylsulfonylmethane, MSM and DMSO, MSM and arthritis, MSM and osteoarthritis, MSM and rheumatoid arthritis, MSM and joint pain, MSM and dandruff, MSM and eczema, MSM and psoriasis, MSM supplement, MSM nutritional supplement, MSM dietary supplement, MSM mineral supplement

    MSM has not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for the any of the following topics indicated in the links above: allergies, arthritis, eczema, osteoarthritis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis

    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.