MSM - Methylsulfonylmethane
Synonym: MSM, Dimethylsulfone, Methylsulfone, Sulfonylbismethane, Organic sulfur, Crystalline dimethylsulfoxide

Characteristics: Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in many foods. In its pure form, it is a white, water-soluble, crystalline, odorless, and tasteless solid. MSM is a popular dietary supplement for people who suffer from chronic pain. Its main benefit is its anti-inflammatory effect, which offers some relief to patients with arthritis and other types of inflammatory, muscle or joint pain. In addition, it protects the cartilage because it acts against oxidative stress. While MSM occurs naturally in nature, the form that is sold as a dietary supplement is a chemical compound derived from DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide). DMSO is available in industrial and medical grade. In the 1960s, it was promoted as a miracle treatment for arthritis, but became controversial due to potential problems and unpleasant side effects. As DMSO fell out of use as an arthritis treatment, MSM gained popularity.

Absorption: Rapid intestinal absorption and tissue penetration provides a source of sulfate for metabolism.

Dietary supplements: MSM can be found in many dietary supplements in the form of solutions, tablets, or capsules. It is often combined with other substances such as glucosamine, chondroitin, vitamin C, vitamin D and boswellic acid. MSM is also available as a topical cream.

Natural sources: Small amounts of MSM are present in fruits, vegetables, cereals, beer, port wine, coffee, tea, and cow's milk. Food processing reduces the MSM content. It is also produced synthetically in laboratories.

Effect: Scientific evidence of MSM's effectiveness relates to the treatment of arthritis and acute exercise-induced inflammation, the suppression of other inflammatory conditions, and the promotion of improved skin quality and texture. MSM may benefit skin health by acting as a keratin sulfur donor. It also helps reduce inflammation, which can damage skin cells and cause wrinkles. It can even reduce the symptoms of skin conditions such as rosacea. One study showed that MSM, when applied to the skin, significantly improved redness, itching, inflammation, hydration, and skin color in people with rosacea. Studies using MSM for hair growth have confirmed that it works at the follicle level, where it strengthens existing hair strands and helps promote new growth. Study participants took either 1 or 3 grams per day.

Deficiency: Not described.

Recommended daily dose: There is no recommended dose. Studies have used 1,000 to 3,000 mg per day.

Side Effects: MSM is generally well tolerated with minimal side effects. Still, it can cause nausea, diarrhea, bloating, and stomach upset in some people.

Interaction: Missing information.

Pregnancy: Due to lack of information, use is not recommended.

Breastfeeding: Due to lack of information, use is not recommended.

Caution: Topical application of MSM may increase swelling and pain in people with varicose veins and other circulatory problems (chronic venous insufficiency).

Toxicity: MSM is probably safe when taken for up to 6 months. Major regulatory agencies such as the FDA have awarded it the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) designation.


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