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MSM: Benefits, Uses & Side Effects

MSM: Benefits, Uses & Side Effects

Written by
November 2, 2016
Updated March 26, 2021

MSM stands for Methylsulfonylmethane or more commonly referred to as the “miracle supplement” and with good reason. It has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, boost immunity, improve flexibility and naturally increase energy.

But what exactly is MSM? In this article, we’ll discuss what MSM is, the host benefits that come along with ingesting MSM and how you should be supplementing with it.

What is MSM (methylsulfonylmethane)?

MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is an organic sulfur compound that’s naturally derived during the earth’s rain cycle.

Sulfur is present in many natural, unprocessed foods, but it’s quickly lost during the cooking process.

Biologically active sulfur is one of the most critical nutrients for our bodies to remain youthful and energetic.

As we age, along with a diet deficient in essential nutrients, our bodies become stiff, our cells become rigid, and our overall energy begins to decelerate rapidly.

Methylsulfonylmethane helps to mitigate this process and is gaining a lot of attention due to the recent focus on longevity and anti-aging technologies.

Here’s a list of 7 benefits that MSM delivers.

3 Benefits of Regular MSM Intake

MSM: Benefits, Uses & Side Effects

1. MSM Helps Improve Joint Pain

One of the many benefits of Methylsulfonylmethane is its ability to decrease joint inflammation and research has shown that MSM is also highly effective in improving joint flexibility.

Additionally, it helps to produce flexible skin and muscle tissue. This leads to an increase in overall flexibility due to a restoration of the “juiciness” in the tissues.

Methylsulfonylmethane is a natural and efficient anti-inflammatory because of how sulfur impacts the immune system and facilitates normal cellular activity.

Sulfur needs to be present for our cells to release many by-products and excess fluids that can accumulate and cause swelling/tenderness.

Methylsulfonylmethane is thought to deliver sulfur to the body in a usable 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.

In a noteworthy animal experiment published earlier this year, Japanese scientists bred mice to develop premature knee arthritis, then dosed some with levels of MSM equivalent to that found in most over-the-counter preparations for people, while others received 10 times as much Methylsulfonylmethane, and others none.

After a month, the animals taking either dose of Methylsulfonylmethane had developed less degeneration of the cartilage in their knees than the control animals.

2. MSM is Anti-Inflammatory and Helps Improve Digestion

Due to MSM’s ability to remove metabolic wastes from cells, its can help rebuild the lining of the body’s digestive tract and lower the inflammation reactions to specific foods.

The cells of the body are chronically inflamed and retaining the byproducts of metabolic processes. Sulfur needs to be present for these toxins and wastes to be removed from the body.

When these byproducts can be removed from the system, then the cells can also dispose of excess fluids that were being stored as a buffer. What results are a natural and efficient reduction in unwanted weight and a healthy digestive process.

3. MSM Helps Improve Skin Health and Complexion

Along with the miracle supplement, Methylsulfonylmethane is also known as “nature’s beauty mineral.” The origins of this pseudonym come from MSM’s ability to enhance the collagen and keratin in our skin, hair and nails.

Methylsulfonylmethane is an essential compound necessary for collagen production, and collagen is the main structural protein found in animal connective tissue. It’s what helps your skin keep its youthful glow.

We lose collagen and healthy tissue as we get older, which is exactly why our skin tone and elasticity suffer, making Methylsulfonylmethane supplements more relevant with age.

Collagen isn’t the only thing doing the heavy lifting when it comes to regaining that youthful glow. Keratin, also present in the skin, hair, and nails is abundant in the amino acid cystine, which is found in sulfur.

This sulfur bond in keratin gives it greater strength. Sulfur is also present in two B vitamins, thiamine, and biotin. Interestingly, thiamine is essential to skin and biotin to hair.

Recommended Dosage & Natural Sources of MSM

One 500 mg capsule a day is good insurance for most people to prevent sulfur deficiency and support construction of healthy connective tissues, detoxification, and beautiful, strong hair, skin and nails.

Treating specific health problems can require anywhere from 1,000-6,000 mg a day (and higher doses under professional supervision) depending on body size, age and severity of symptoms.

MSM is particularly good for symptom-relief related to allergies, athletic injuries, digestion, and for skin problems such as acne, sunburn, and scars. Reduction in symptoms is usually seen within 2 to 21 days.

For many people, MSM has been a miracle — an answer to their prayers. But adverse reactions, especially at the beginning, prevent others from staying with it long enough to get MSM’s benefits.

Are There Any Potential MSM Side Effects?

MSM is very safe. Animal toxicity studies have shown it’s as safe as pure water, and there are no reported allergic responses to it in the medical literature. However “mild adverse reactions” are common. According to anecdotal reports, these stop when MSM is discontinued.

Many adverse reactions are probably to impurities in the MSM, not to the MSM itself. But uncomfortable reactions are common with even the purest MSM. This is because MSM is a potent detoxifier.

It dissolves many compounds, reacts with certain toxins and greatly facilitates elimination of toxic wastes from the cells.

Reactions, if there are any, tend to be quite individual. With any new supplement, it’s wise to start out with a small dose and build up gradually, and this is particularly true with Methylsulfonylmethane.

Start out with half a capsule (250 mg) for several days to see how you do with it before adding more. If you’re very sick, very toxic, or know you are extremely sensitive, begin with even less.

If you experience really uncomfortable detox symptoms it is an important message from your body that it is being asked to do more than it can handle. Reduce or stop the Methylsulfonylmethane completely.

Drink plenty of water and take extra vitamin C to help clear the symptoms. When you’ve recovered, you can start the MSM again, slowly and cautiously.

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