We present you a new “miracle supplement”, which reduces inflammation, combats the effects of stress and pain, improves immunity and vital energy. This is Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)! Interested? Then read on.
MSM is used to treat about a dozen diseases and painful symptoms, which is why it deserves our attention. Let’s find out how this substance is useful.
From this article you will learn:
What is methylsulfonylmethane?
MSM is an organic sulfur-containing compound that is used to strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation and repair damaged body tissues.
Biologically active sulfur is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is needed to perform various functions. This compound is found in the human body, in meat, dairy products and vegetables.
Sulfur is a mineral that is present in every cell of the body. It plays a key role in the metabolism of the liver, the formation of keratin in the skin and hair, is present in the articular cartilage and even protects the brain from aging.
The healthiest nations in the world have the highest levels of sulfur in the diet, for example, Icelanders have low levels of depression, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Scientists attribute most of these achievements to volcanoes around the island nation. These volcanoes are full of sulfur, which after an eruption settles on the soil and water. Due to this, both vegetables and meat products contain more mineral than usual.
Methylsulfonylmethane is an integral part of the sulfur cycle in the biosphere, in which sulfur is absorbed from the soil by plants and released into the atmosphere in the form of volatile compounds of dimethyl sulfide. It is oxidized in the upper atmosphere to dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), which becomes the atmospheric source of MSM. DMSO and MSM are returned to the soil through rain and the sulfuric cycle repeats.
Over the past 2 decades, agricultural production has become high-tech. Farms focus on producing high yields, depleting the soil, taking vital nutrients like sulfur. In addition, farmers use artificial fertilizers with phosphates, the excess of which prevents the absorption of sulfur.
Sulfur compounds and human health
Sulfur-containing amino acids are extremely important for maintaining the integrity of cellular systems. They affect the ability to produce glutathione, which is present in every cell in the body and protects DNA.
Glutathione is a key player in the ability of organs to neutralize free radicals, reactive oxygen species and detoxify toxic compounds. Low levels of glutathione create a strong susceptibility to genetic damage and the development of chronic inflammatory diseases.
Glutathione inside the body has two main states: reduced glutathione (GSH) and oxidized (GSSG). Reduced glutathione is a linear tripeptide of L-glutamine, L-cysteine, and glycine of the sulfhydryl group.
Sulfhydryl group has a strong electronic character. Since the molecule loses electrons during oxidation, the disulfide bridge creates the shape of GSSG. The oxidized glutathione is converted back to GSH with the re-reduction of electrons.
GSH and GSSG coefficients
GSH and GSSG indicators are tightly controlled both inside the cell and outside the cell. The ratio of GSH to GSSG in cells is often used by scientists and doctors as a measure of cell toxicity and oxidative stress. In healthy cells and tissues, more than 90% of glutathione is in the form of GSH and less than 10% in the form of GSSG.
The higher the GSH / GSSG ratio, the more healthy the cell and the lower its susceptibility to destruction and genetic mutation. The ratio of extracellular GSH to GSSG indicates the overall oxidative state of the blood plasma.
Methylsulfonylmethane is capable of donating electrons in GSSG, but also contributes to the formation of GSH. It has a beneficial effect on the body’s ability to cope with oxidative stress, protects intracellular organelles and components of extracellular tissues (blood vessels, intestinal mucosa and lungs), because these areas suffer from reactive oxygen species the most. But these are not all useful properties.
How does the additive work?
Methylsulfonylmethane supplies the body with additional sulfur to create the amino acid methionine, which in turn is important for many processes in the body, such as the formation of connective tissue, absorption of nutrients for further energy production, etc.
It is a natural byproduct of dimethyl sulfoxide, so their healing properties are similar. DMSO is converted in the body to MSM, which stays in the body longer than DMSO, with all the long-term consequences.
The diet of our ancestors contained more sulfur, namely in the part of animal products, vegetables and many fruits. Today, many people lack these products, therefore, the sulfur content in the body is low. In addition, the level of sulfur in the body can drop with age, especially if we eat harmful foods.
The main sources of sulfur in foods are cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and
In humans and animals, methylsulfonylmethane is naturally found in the adrenal cortex, which regulates the response to stress factors. It is also stored in the cerebrospinal fluid and is used to maintain the structure of healthy connective tissue.
This supplement accelerates the healing of wounds and cleanses the body by improving the input, the release of chemicals from the cells. Methylsulfonylmethane essentially makes cells permeable, releasing excess heavy metals, waste, toxins, and helping to absorb nutrients and water.
This reduces inflammation, which is the root of most diseases. It also stabilizes the cell membranes, improves the body’s antioxidant abilities, slows down or stops the leakage of substances from damaged cells and purifies hydroxyl free radicals.
The use of these supplements is associated with improved immune function, accelerated healing, reduced pain. Methylsulfonylmethane counteracts certain by-products, such as lactic acid, which contributes to a feeling of pain and stiffness.
That is why some athletes and simply active people prefer to use this supplement to accelerate the recovery time of the body, performance and solve problems with muscles and joints. In addition, MSM is able to raise energy levels and fight fatigue, improves digestion and assimilation of nutrients.
The benefits of MSM supplements for the body
Methylsulfonylmethane is used both locally on the skin and inside, especially popular during the diet for the treatment of arthritis, osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, because it helps to form connective tissue, joints, tendons and ligaments. It also performs the following functions:
1) Treats arthrosis and joint pain
MSM reduces joint inflammation, improves flexibility, and restores collagen production. Studies show that many patients with arthritis, joint pain and stiffness improve the quality of life after taking the supplement with methylsulfonylmethane.
It affects the formation of muscle tissue, reduces inflammatory reactions, and therefore, it can be considered a natural effective anti-inflammatory agent. In addition, the effect of sulfur on the immune system facilitates normal cellular activity.
Sulfur must be present in our cells in order to release an excess of by-products and fluids that can accumulate and cause swelling.
Clinical testing of the effect of methylsulfonylmethane on joint pain in 118 patients with osteoarthritis revealed that this supplement, taken for 12 weeks, reduces pain, swelling and improves joint mobility.
The dose used is 500 mg three times a day along with glucosamine (also 500 mg each 3 times). Together, these substances safely reduce inflammation and pain intensity without causing side effects for most people.
2) Improves digestion, especially with leaky bowel syndrome.
MSM helps to restore the gastrointestinal mucosa, reduces inflammation and allergic reactions to certain foods. It is very useful for treating leaky bowel syndrome, as it stops the leakage of small particles through microscopic holes in the intestine, where they can enter the bloodstream and cause an inflammatory reaction.
In addition, methylsulfonylmethane helps to treat hemorrhoids. Gel based on it, along with tea tree oil, reduces pain and swelling caused by hemorrhoids (swollen blood vessels of the rectum, which can bleed and ache while going to the toilet).
3) Treats skin problems including rosacea, allergic rashes and wounds
Creams with methylsulfonylmethane and silymarin reduce inflammation, improve complexion, remove allergies and promote rapid healing of wounds. They also improve skin tone, reduce redness, and reduce sensitivity and other symptoms of rosacea.
People use methylsulfonylmethane to prevent wrinkles, scarring, dark spots, and sun damage. How is this possible?
MSM is necessary for the production of collagen, perhaps this is due to its beneficial properties for the skin, because collagen protects the skin from dryness. He also participates in the production of keratin. And since these two compounds are necessary for healthy skin, it is impossible to do without sulfur.
We lose collagen and keratin with age, which is why skin tone and elasticity are affected. Best results can be obtained using methylsulfonylmethane along with vitamins C, E and A, which help build new healthy skin cells.
To do this, all the ingredients are mixed and applied to the face as a mask, leaving for some time. Read on and you will find out why sulfur is so good for the skin, and what is its mechanism of action?
4) Reduces muscle spasms
Good news for those who lead an active life and can not live without constant physical exertion, because methylsulfonylmethane can relieve muscle pain. Studies show that it acts as an analgesic, prevents and treats muscle spasms and swelling, accelerates muscle recovery after physical exertion, injuries, and even surgery. It is especially useful in combination with other anti-inflammatory drugs.
How does sulfur stop muscle pain? Its role in the body returns to the fact that it is largely stored inside the tissues that make up the muscles and joints.
Sulfur helps to restore the hard cells of the fibrous tissue in the muscles. It is these cells that are damaged during exercise because of what swelling appears.
MSM restores the flexibility and permeability of the cell walls inside the muscles, which means that nutrients pass through the tissues more easily, which makes it easier to remove lactic acid, which causes a burning sensation after exercise. As a result, less time is needed for recovery, soreness and cramps disappear more quickly.
5) Accelerates hair growth
We often try to overcome thinning hair or alopecia, although we do not always know the reason for their appearance. As we have already said, methylsulfonylmethane increases collagen and keratin levels – two nutrients necessary for the formation of new hair, strong nails and skin cells.
Collagen and keratin are often found in hair care products because they give them strength, a healthy look and can reverse baldness.
6) Reduces fatigue after stress
Have you ever heard of adaptogenic herbs or supplements that can control stress? MSM works the same way, it increases the body’s ability to heal and recover from exercise, stressful situations, injuries and even surgery.
Taking methylsulfonylmethane before exercise will not only reduce muscle damage, but also fatigue after stressful events, as well as maintain high spirits, energy levels and normal digestion.
When is methylsulfonylmethane used?
The most common supplement uses include treatment:
- chronic joint pain (osteoarthritis, joint inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis);
- leaky bowel syndrome and autoimmune disorders;
- osteoporosis and susceptibility to bone fractures;
- bursitis, tendinitis, development of scar tissue and other musculoskeletal inflammations;
- allergies and asthma;
- yeast infections;
- muscle spasms;
- constipation, ulcers, indigestion;
- PMS symptom;
- stretch marks;
- hair loss;
- skin problems, including wrinkles, sunburn, wounds, cuts, abrasions;
- eye inflammation;
- poor blood circulation;
- high blood pressure;
- infections of the oral cavity, caries, gum disease and periodontal disease.
The three most common uses due to which this sulfur-containing compound is renowned are anti-atherosclerotic properties (against compaction and thickening of the artery walls), detoxification and anti-inflammatory use.
This supplement replenishes the cleansing abilities of the body, reduces oxidative stress, as well as many other ailments. It is an effective anti-inflammatory agent because it blocks the release of inflammatory mediators and regulates certain harmful signals sent from the immune system that can affect the entire body.
How long can you take methylsulfonylmethane and in what doses? The FDA Ministry of Medicine (USA) does not recognize the recommended dietary doses for sulfur replenishment, as there are no clearly described and proven symptoms of sulfur deficiency in the medical literature. Therefore, the dosage depends on the current state of health and the final goal of the intake.
As a rule, 500 mg 3 times a day is the initial recommended dose for the treatment of osteoarthritis. Some experiments prove that from 3 to 6 g per day, divided into three doses, are completely safe and well tolerated.
For general recovery and increase of energy, 1 g is recommended, divided into 1 – 2 doses. In asthma, allergies and for athletes, 2 g 2 times a day, and in chronic diseases 2 g 3 times a day.
Methylsulfonylmethane you can buy in the form of powder, tablets, capsules, in the form of a cream or ointment. The powder is the most common, it is sometimes added to other powdered food additives, for example, in digestive agents, so always carefully read the instructions and composition.
Clean supplement start drinking with one or two tsp. powder along with water. You can increase the dosage as soon as your body gets used to it, and you stop experiencing any side effects from the digestive system.
The powder is considered to be the most absorbable in the body; it is diluted in water at 400 ml per 1 serving. The best results of treatment are achieved while taking antioxidants and anti-inflammatory drugs (vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids).
Make sure you buy MSM from a reputable seller, and always check the correct name of the chemical compound. Keep in mind that some additives contain synthetic by-products and fillers.
Biologically active sulfur is well tolerated, as it is already present in the human body. No serious side effects have been identified, but to date, there have been no large human studies to find out the long-term effects of the supplement.
The Arthritis Foundation (Foundation for Arthritis), based on a pilot project in 2006, which analyzed the effect of 6000 mg supplements in patients with osteoarthritis, acknowledged that methylsulfonylmethane effectively eliminates the symptoms of pain during intense exercise without any serious side effects.
But not all people equally perceive sulfur. There may be mild side effects, something like an upset stomach or diarrhea. But pregnant women, before taking something regularly, should consult a doctor.
Benefits of Methylsulfonylmethane for Skin
1) This is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory drugs.
The addition of biological sulfur prevents a widespread insidious condition known as chronic inflammation, which is one of the main causes of acne. It is not known exactly how it affects inflammation, but there is evidence of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Long before MSM entered the public mind to treat osteoarthritis, it was used by riders to preserve the health of race horses. A few decades ago, jockeys and just amateurs used sulfur to preserve soft tissue, muscle stiffness and renew energy after a grueling race and bring the horse back to the race track in record time.
In 2001, a study was conducted on 30 horses aged 3 to 4 years old, who participated in the race at the Ohio fair. They were divided into three test groups, one of which was not given anything, the second, 10 g each, and the third, 20 g MSM per day. Each horse that received a nutritional supplement recovered its muscles faster from damage, accelerated the average training time by 2 seconds in the second group and by 2.62 seconds in the third group.
But the most interesting was a significant reduction in inflammation and muscle soreness in all areas. There were no diarrhea, abnormal blood chemistry or allergic reactions. This has led scientists to conclude that methylsulfonylmethane has a significant anti-inflammatory effect.
This was followed by human studies to confirm the effect of accelerated recovery after exercise, in which increased levels of systematic anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-1β were observed immediately after exercise. Anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 was 2-3 times higher. And if sulfur has strong anti-inflammatory properties, its use helps reduce the formation of new acne and dramatically improve the overall skin tone.
2) A key component for the formation of glutathione
The second strength in cleansing the skin of acne is to provide the building blocks of glutathione. It is known as the “main antioxidant” because the body produces it on its own, unlike other antioxidants.
Problem skin contains on average 20% less glutathione, which is vital for the maintenance of skin cells. The key minerals involved in its production are magnesium, zinc and selenium, and the amino acids cysteine and glycine. Finally, the last piece of the puzzle is sulfur. She mediates the creation of every glutathione molecule. No sulfur, no glutathione and no clear skin.
Methylsulfonylmethane contains 34% sulfur from the total mass, and its ability to increase the production of glutathione is confirmed in numerous studies.
First, an experiment was conducted on mice with HIV (this virus leads to a sharp decrease in the level of glutathione and an increase in the level of free radicals). The result met all expectations, because these two problems are completely solved.
Later in the review, scientists gave an interesting comment that methylsulfonylmethane acts as a direct absorber of free radicals and an increase in glutathione is not the only advantage.
This was followed by another study in mice, which resulted in increased levels of glutathione, catalase and superoxide dismutase (of all antioxidants produced), and levels of TNF-α, malonic dialdehyde and methyl peroxidase (free radicals) decreased.
A human study was conducted on average healthy young people and teenagers with problem skin (facial acne). 18 men were divided into 2 groups: one – placebo, the second methylsulfonylmethane. After 10 days, a decrease in the level of free radicals and an increase in glutathione was measured.
3) Collagen and skin firming
Can this dietary supplement cleanse acne skin? The importance of sulfur in the production of collagen proteins has been recognized since 1965, when it became known that a low level of sulfur causes a low level of collagen.
Collagen protects the skin from chemicals in cosmetics, sunlight and more. It improves overall skin tone and really slows down its aging. People noticed that after the use of methylsulfonylmethane in horses, the quality of wool improved, it grew faster, and the hooves became stronger. Collagen is the second major factor associated with osteoarthritis, because to restore the joints need fresh collagen proteins.
There is one interesting hypothesis that methylsulfonylmethane itself increases the level of sulfur in the body, and not only because of its composition of sulfur 34%. Scientists believe that it metabolizes the existing sulfur in the body with the help of a yet unknown mechanism. In one study, volunteers were given 1 g, 2 g, and 3 g of the active ingredient.
They expected to see an increase in the output of sulfate (a waste product of sulfur metabolism) in the urine. Participants really noticed a correlation, but an incorrect one. The higher the dose of MSM, the lower the loss of sulfate. This has led scientists to conclude that methylsulfonylmethane uses the existing sulfur in the body in all vital areas with which it is associated.
How to treat skin problems with MSM?
Can this substance be used to treat acne and other skin problems? Yes, it is possible, and there is evidence that the internal treatment is the best. Many patients with acne come across sulfur for use as a topical treatment rather than a supplement.
Scientists for a single study invented a cream consisting of methylsulfonylmethane and silymarin (a plant antioxidant). 46 patients with Rosacea 1 – 3 stages treated the affected areas with cream for 1 month. Scientists evaluated the condition of the skin after 10, 20 days and, of course, 1 month.
In addition to a general improvement in appearance, scientists examined a variety of secondary characteristics, such as itching, burning, moisturizing, and skin color. The results showed an improvement in each characteristic. Especially, redness of the skin, papules, itching, hydration and skin color have improved. All of this led to the conclusion that the combination of silymarin and MSM is useful in treating skin symptoms with rosacea.
Methylsulfonylmethane is one of the best cheap acne treatment supplements. This is a great way to replenish the lack of sulfur in the diet and solve the accompanying problems with acne. But in some cases, it does not cleanse the skin.
If the body already has enough glutathione and all other ingredients for its formation, then the further use of the additive will not increase its level. When using vitamin C, its excess will leak into the bloodstream, deactivating water-soluble free radicals with irresistible efficacy, and with high-dose vitamin E it deactivates all fat-soluble free radicals.
But the body regulates the production of glutathione itself, therefore, if its reserves are already high enough, taking additional doses of MSM will not work.