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MSM
Overview
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is a chemical found in plants, animals, and humans. It can also be made in a laboratory. People use it as a medicine.
MSM is used for chronic pain, osteoarthritis, joint inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, bursitis, tendonitis, tenosynovitis, musculoskeletal pain, muscle cramps, scleroderma, scar tissue, stretch marks, hair loss, wrinkles, protection against sun/wind burn, eye inflammation, oral hygiene, periodontal disease, wounds, cuts, and abrasions/accelerated wound healing. It is either taken by mouth or applied to the skin for these uses.

MSM is also used for relief of allergies, chronic constipation, “sour stomach,” ulcers, a bowel disease called diverticulosis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), mood elevation, obesity, poor circulation, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. It is also used for type 2 diabetes, liver problems, Alzheimer’s disease, lung disorders including emphysema and pneumonia, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune disorders (systemic lupus erythematous), HIV infection and AIDS, and cancer (breast cancer and colon cancer).

Other uses of MSM include eye inflammation, mucous membrane inflammation, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, leg cramps, migraine, headaches, hangover, parasitic infections of the intestinal and urogenital tracts including Trichomonas vaginalis and Giardia, yeast infections, insect bites, radiation poisoning, and to boost the immune system.

MSM is also used to control snoring. In fact, directions for making MSM nose drops for snoring have been published.


What is MSM ?
A body made up of healthy, flexible cells will not only feel better, it will look better too. The body is continuously at work replacing old, worn out cells with new ones. The process goes on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without stop. When all the raw materials needed for cell-building are available, it is a very efficient process. When there are deficiencies, the new cells may be weak, rigid or deformed.

One of the most important raw materials for building healthy new cells is a form of organic sulfur known as methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM). This element is so essential to life that it is found in every cell of every plant and every animal. Sulfur makes up 0.25% of human body weight. However neither plants nor animals can use elemental sulfur directly. Sulfur is not easily available to living organisms in its inorganic form.

MSM is not a medicine, a drug, or a food additive. It is a food. MSM is an organic form of sulfur that can be easily absorbed and utilized by the body. Although DMSO and MSM are chemically similar, each is unique. MSM is a pure, stable, white crystalline powder without the unpleasant smell or taste of DMSO. Also, MSM does not give you a strong body odor like DMSO.

Since sulfur is a component of all cells, it is essential that the body have a plentiful supply of this mineral in its usable form. There is a positive synergistic effect on building healthier cells when MSM is taken in combination with vitamin C. The new cells are more pliable and permeable, allowing fluids to pass through the tissue more easily. Internally this means more efficient elimination of toxins, a reduction in inflammation and pain - so you feel better. On the outside it shows up as a softer, smoother complexion, stronger hair and nails - so you look better.

MSM makes cell walls permeable, allowing water and nutrients to freely flow into cells and allowing wastes and toxins to properly flow out. The body uses MSM along with Vitamin C to create new, healthy cells, and MSM provides the flexible bond between the cells. Without proper levels of MSM, our bodies are unable to build good healthy cells, and this leads to problems such as lost flexibility, scar tissue, wrinkles, varicose veins, hardened arteries, damaged lung tissues, dry cracking skin, digestive disorders, joint problems, and inability to defend against allergic reactions to food, animals and plants.

MSM is an anti-oxidant that helps to clean the blood stream and flush toxins trapped in our cells. It is also a foreign protein and free radical scavenger. In order to maintain good health, we need to supplement our diets with MSM, to enable the body to heal itself. The body uses what it needs, and after 12 hours will flush out any excess amounts.

Benefits / uses
MSM for Relief of Pain and Inflammation
Approximately half of the total body sulfur is concentrated in the muscles, skin and bones. One of the most significant uses of MSM as a supplement is its demonstrated ability to relieve pain and inflammation. When rigid fibrous tissue cells swell and become inflamed, pressure and pain result. Since MSM can restore flexibility and permeability to cell walls, fluids can pass through the tissues more easily. This helps equalize pressure and reduce or eliminate the cause of pain. Harmful substances such as lactic acid and toxins are allowed to flow out, while nutrients are permitted to flow in. This prevents the pressure buildup in cells that causes inflammation.

MSM has shown a remarkable ability to reduce or eliminate muscle soreness and cramps both in geriatric patients and in athletes. It's even given to race horses before a race to prevent muscle soreness, and afterward to reduce the risk of cramping. People with arthritis report substantial and long-lasting relief with MSM supplements. Taken along with glucosamine, a key substance in the process of rebuilding cartilage, MSM can relieve pain and help repair worn or damaged cartilage in joints, ligaments and tendons with healthy.

The Beauty Mineral for Hair, Skin and Nails
Sulfur has been called nature's "beauty mineral" because it is needed to keep the hair glossy and smooth and keeps the complexion clear and youthful. It is needed for synthesis of collagen and is prevalent in keratin, a tough protein substance necessary for health and maintenance of the skin, nails and hair. MSM is responsible for the flexible disulfide bonds between cells, including those that make up the skin. It blocks undesirable chemical and physical cross-linking or bonding of collagen which is associated with tough, aging skin. Consequently MSM enhances tissue pliability and encourages repair f damaged skin. If there is insufficient sulfur in the body when new cells are being manufactured, the new cells will be rigid. This rigidity can contribute to cracking, wrinkling and unsightly scar tissue. When sufficient sulfur is present for new cells, the skin is softer, smoother and more flexible. MSM provides that sulfur.

Acne, including the severe acne rosacea, responds favorably to MSM supplements. Adequate sulfur and vitamin C are also needed for healing. When the body is deficient in these nutrients, the new tissue will be elevated leaving an unattractive, raised scar. Because MSM makes the skin more permeable and pliant, it can also help prevent blistering and promote faster healing from sunburn or wind damage.

With MSM supplements, nails show not only an increase in growth rate, but also increased toughness and resistance to chipping and cracking. This effect has been seen both in human nails and horses hoofs.

Allergens, Toxins and Parasites
Flexible, permeable cells are also important in that they allow toxins, allergens and foreign substances to be flushed out of the body more easily. When skin cells are soft and permeable, many toxins can be eliminated through the sweat glands, which take some of the load off the liver and kidneys. While MSM is not a cure for allergies, supplementation may reduce symptoms by allowing allergens to be removed from the body more quickly. Even reactions to insect bites, poison ivy and poison oak are less severe when the diet is supplemented with MSM. Vitamin C is also synergistic in this application in that it can lower histamine levels.

MSM has also shown amazing anti-parasitic action against Giardia, Trichomonas, roundworms, nematodes, Enterobius and other intestinal worms. When parasites attach them to the intestinal lining, they can live, reproduce and rob the body of nutrients indefinitely. MSM blocks parasites by competing for receptor sites on the mucous membrane. When parasites cannot attach themselves, they are simply flushed out of the system.

The same is true with food allergens. MSM coats mucosal surfaces and occupies the binding sites that could otherwise be used by challenging food allergens. It can also bind with offending agents to produce harmless substances which are then excreted from the body. This facilitates normal digestion and assimilation and allows the body to get maximum nutritional value from foods that would otherwise cause a reaction. Individuals who experience an allergic response to certain foods have reported improved or complete tolerance to those foods when they take MSM supplements. Healthy flexible colon tissues along with improved digestion, can also relieve constipation.

Diabetes
Sulfur is also a component of insulin, the hormone that regulates carbohydrate metabolism and insufficient sulfur may result in decreased insulin production. It is also possible that a lack of bio-available sulfur would make the cells so rigid and impermeable that they become unable to absorb sugar from the blood efficiently, leaving blood sugar levels elevated. Studies indicate that regular MSM supplements which cause the cell to become permeable, could help balance blood sugar and allow the overworked pancreas to return to normal.

Doses
The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:
For osteoarthritis: 500 mg three times daily up to 3 grams twice daily.Possible Side effects / Precautions / Possible Interactions:
MSM is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth for 3 months or less. In some people, MSM might cause nausea, diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, headache, insomnia, itching, or worsening of allergy symptoms.

There isn’t enough information to know if MSM is safe when applied to the skin, as in creams, lotions, or nose drops.

Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the safety of using MSM during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Research studies / References
arw Georges Hareau and Philip Kocienski, "Dimethyl Sulfone" in Encyclopedia of Reagents for Organic Synthesis 2001 John Wiley & Sons. DOI: 10.1002/047084289X.rd371


arw Morton JI, Siegel BV. Effects of oral dimethyl sulfoxide and dimethyl sulfone on murine autoimmune lymphoproliferative disease. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1986;183:227-30. PMID 3489943


arw Murav'ev IuV, Venikova MS, Pleskovskaia GN, et al. [Effect of dimethyl sulfoxide and dimethyl sulfone on a destructive process in the joints of mice with spontaneous arthritis]. Patol Fiziol Eksp Ter 1991;(2):37-9 [in Russian]. PMID 1881708


arw Williams KIH, Burstein SH, Layne DS. Dimethyl sulfone: isolation from cows’ milk. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1966;122:865-6. PMID 5918965


arw Kocsis JJ, Harkaway S, Snyder R. Biological effects of the metabolites of dimethyl sulfoxide. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1975;243:104-9. PMID 1055534


arw MSM the Definitive Guide: The Nutritional Breakthrough for Arthritis, Allergies and More. Freedom Press. 2003. ISBN 9781893910225. http://www.amazon.com/MSM-Definitive-Guide-Nutritional-Breakthrough/dp/1893910229.


arw "Pharmacists review the effectiveness, benefits and side effects of MSM". http://www.natural-remedies-review.com/msm.html.


arw Usha PR, Naidu MUR. Randomised, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled study of oral glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane and their combination in osteoarthritis. Clin Drug Invest 2004;24(6):353-63


arw Kim LS, Axelrod LJ, Howard P, Buratovich N, Waters RF. Efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in osteoarthritis pain of the knee: a pilot clinical trial. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 2006;14(3):286-94. PMID 16309928


arw Barrager E, Veltmann JR, Schauss AG, Schiller RN. A multi-centered, open label trial on the safety and efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. J Altern Complement Med 2002;8:167-74. PMID 12006124


arw Childs SJ. Dimethyl sulfone (DMSO2) in the treatment of interstitial cystitis. Urol Clin North Am 1994;21:85-8. PMID 8284850


arw Blum JM, Blum RI. The effect of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in the control of snoring. Integrative Medicine 2004;3(6)24-30


arw Horváth K, Noker PE, Somfai-Relle S, et al. Toxicity of methylsulfonylmethane in rats. Food Chem Toxicol 2002;40:1459-62. PMID 12387309


arw Rose SE, Chalk JB, Galloway GJ, Doddrell DM. Detection of dimethyl sulfone in the human brain by in vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Magn Reson Imaging 2000;18:95-8. PMID 10642107


arw Lin A, Nguy CH, Shic F, Ross BD. Accumulation of methylsulfonylmethane in the human brain: identification by multinuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Toxicol Lett 2001;123:169-77. PMID 11641045


arw Engelke UF, Tangerman A, Willemsen MA, Moskau D, Loss S, Mudd SH, Wevers RA. Dimethyl sulfone in human cerebrospinal fluid and blood plasma confirmed by one-dimensional (1)H and two-dimensional (1)H-(13)C NMR. NMR Biomed 2005 Aug;18(5):331-6. PMID 15996001