What is MSM?


What is MSM?

MSM, also known as methyl sulfonyl methane, is a compound found naturally in foods such as cow’s milk, meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables.

MSM is thought to work by contributing sulfur. It’s found in capsule or tablet forms. MSM is also available as a cream or lotion, although evidence suggests it can’t be absorbed through skin.

Why Do People Use MSM

1) Osteoarthritis

Two small studies suggest MSM may reduce osteoarthritis pain. MSM is often combined with glucosamine in commercial arthritis products. It’s thought to work because of the sulfur, which is believed to strengthen collagen. More evidence is needed.

2) Interstitial cystitis

MSM has been proposed as a treatment for interstitial cystitis, although human studies are needed.


One small, preliminary study found that MSM resulted in quieter snoring.

Other Conditions

MSM has been explored for cancer prevention, scleroderma, allergies and constipation.

Side Effects and Safety

Side effects with MSM are rare but may include stomach upset, headache and diarrhea. One study suggested MSM was safe for up to 12 weeks.

The safety of MSM in pregnant or nursining women, children, or people with liver or kidney disease, however, isn’t known.


What does msm for do for joints?

Really good article about msm and joint pain:

Do glucosamine and MSM relieve joint pain?

The glucosamine-MSM controversy continues: My 43-year-old physician’s assistant says, “I couldn’t get in the car and drive to work in the morning if I didn’t take glucosamine for joint pain.” My primary-care physician is wholly noncommittal re the efficacy of glucosamine-MSM formulations. In recovery from hip surgery, my night nurse sympathizes. “I’ve had four hip surgeries.” she says. “Glucosamine is indispensable for me.” The veteran orthopedic surgeon stops in at 8 a.m. “Glucosamine just gives you expensive urine. Don’t waste your money.” she pronounces authoritatively. The local drug store has a display six feet wide by six feet high of glucosamine-MSM products. The attendant pharmacist judges me a fool for even asking about the relative value of any of them. What says WELL, finally and expertly, about the use of any (which?) glucosamine-MSM formulation for relief of joint pain?

People have wildly conflicting opinions about the benefits of glucosamine, a compound found naturally in healthy joints, and MSM, short for methylsulfonylmethane. The two, usually sold as separate preparations, are popular nutritional supplements that promise to lessen the creaking and soreness of knees, backs, hips and other joints.

But the results of scientific studies of the supplements are equivocal. For instance, in the largest study to date of glucosamine, published in 2006, more than 1,500 adults with knee osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to receive the supplement, a painkiller or a placebo. After 24 weeks, only those participants taking the painkiller reported less knee pain. Glucosamine had been no more effective than a placebo.

Two years later, the researchers checked in again on 600 of the participants, each of whom had continued to take glucosamine, painkillers or a placebo. They still found no “clinically important” benefit from the glucosamine, though a few of the volunteers taking glucosamine reported less soreness (as did some of those taking the placebo). In effect, they concluded, glucosamine had provided little pain relief to most, some help to a few, and no particular harm to anyone, as side effects were rare.

Studies of MSM use are more scarce, and the results both encouraging and cautionary. 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 MSM, and others none.

After a month, the animals taking either dose of MSM had developed less degeneration of the cartilage in their knees than the control animals. But those taking megadoses of the supplement did have signs of incipient liver and spleen damage.

The upshot? “I tell people that if they want to spend their money” on glucosamine or MSM, “that’s up to them,” said Dr. Michael Parks, an orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, who frequently treats patients with arthritis. At recommended doses, the supplements “are generally safe,” he said, “and some people do say that they make them feel better.”


What is methyl sulfonyl methane (mdm)?

Methylsulfonylmethane MSM

Chemical Compound

Methylsulfonylmethane is an organosulfur compound with the formula (CH₃)₂SO₂. It is also known by several other names including DMSO₂, methyl sulfone, and dimethyl sulfone. Wikipedia

Formula: C2H6O2S
Melting point: 228.2°F (109°C)
Molar mass: 94.13 g/mol
Density: 1.45 g/cm³
IUPAC ID: dimethyl sulfone
Boiling point: 460.4°F (238°C)

Excellent reference:

MSM (methyl-sufonyl-methane), a stable metabolite of DMSO, is a special biological sulfur found in all plants, soils, fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, eggs, meats and milk. It is organic sulfur, a naturally occurring compound in the human body. In the purified form that we sell, it is an odorless white crystal with a slightly bitter taste.


Unknown to most of us, sulfur is one of the five basic elements of life. Sulfur is an indispensable component in human nutrition. It’s found in every cell in the body, and is structurally and functionally important to 150 compounds, including hormones, enzymes, antibodies and antioxidants. Sulfur itself is held mainly in the muscles, skin, bones, nails and hair. MSM provides the essential sulfur necessary for a number of body compounds.

Sulfur is an essential component of various compounds and processes in the body, and is necessary for the synthesis of collagen, immunoglobulin and enzymes. In the body, sulfur:

  • Maintains cell membrane flexibility and permeability, promoting an efficient exchange of nutrients and waste products.
  • Ensures connective tissue health and the formation of collagen.
  • Provides the body with raw materials needed to create new cells, to repair and replace damaged tissues and organs.
  • Figures into energy production, as a component of insulin and a prerequisite for normal carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Is essential in maintaining the body’s crucial acid/alkaline (pH) balance.
  • Is an activator of thiamine, vitamin C, biotin and pantothenic acid.


MSM is an extraordinary dietary supplement that is amazing researchers and users alike because of its remarkable benefits for a huge range of health problems including: arthritis, allergies, gastrointestinal problems, PMS, acne, lung problems, muscle pain, parasites, cancer, heartburn, constipation…and the list goes on.

MSM is an especially versatile supplement, and has been used for a variety of applications, such as: anti-inflammatory effects and to reduce acidity in the body, treat gastrointestinal disorders and constipation, increase circulation and promote connective tissue health. Newer uses include treatment for lupus, snoring, breast cancer, colon cancer, parasites, diabetes, eye health, stress and mental disorders.


Because of its non-toxic nature, MSM is non-allergenic and does not interfere with any other types of pharmaceutical medicines or supplements. Daily doses are normally 1/2 teaspoon, to 1 1/2 teaspoons twice per day, up to 6 teaspoons daily. (1 level teaspoon = about 4 grams or 4000 mg)


MSM is considered very safe. Toxicity is extremely rare: the lethal dose of MSM in mice was found to be more than 20 grams per kilogram of body weight. No toxic effects were shown in humans given up to one gram per kilogram of body weight per day for 30 days. (Few long term studies have been done). One unpublished study found no side effects or measurable toxicity in volunteers using MSM during a six month period. There is not a standard recommendation, but some guidelines suggest between 500mg and 5 grams per day for maintenance purposes. Based on studies, the suggested therapeutic dosage of MSM ranges from two grams to 10 grams per day.

Among MSM suppliers, Gerald Schmoling, D.V.M., president of Vitality Health Systems in Tampa, FL., said he takes about three grams per day; George Bergstrom, president of Cardinal Associates, takes about 5 grams per day. Joseph Christy, managing director of TriMedica in Scottsdale, AZ., reports taking up to 10 grams per day.

It’s thought that people with allergies and sinus problems need consistently higher doses, around the level of more than five grams per day.

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