Although it might be a bit of a mouthful, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a chemical found in the human body that has lots of uses and benefits to optimal bodily functioning. It’s the dominant form of sulfur in the human body. Sulfur is an essential element for every cell, especially body tissues. Notably, this nutrient helps to stabilize the connective tissue matrix of tendons, cartilage, and ligaments. Researchers identified as far back as the early 20th century that patients with arthritis are commonly deficient in sulfur.
Benefits Of Methylsulfonylmethane
According to current research, MSM appears to have both anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative qualities and is categorized as having an excellent safety profile. It is found in certain foods but is often taken as a supplement by those suffering from Osteoarthritis, athletes who want to speed muscle recovery times and for a wide variety of other ailments. We here at Ageless Nutrition took a closer look and found out what the top 6 benefits of MSM really are!
1. MSM Helps Treat Arthritis Symptoms
As a supplement, it’s common to pair MSM with glucosamine and other joint supporting ingredients, like Chondroitin, in a single formula. Controlling inflammation, and providing sulfur are conventional methods of supporting joints and assisting those suffering from Osteoarthritis conditions. Arthritis Research UK alone references several MSM trials for osteoarthritis.
2. MSM Makes Skin Healthier
This benefit goes back to the sulfur again. Hair, skin, and nail cells all contain large amounts of keratin. This is a compound that contains sulfur and needs it to stay strong. We at Ageless Nutrition particularly love this benefit, because boosting keratin production helps you fight back in the battle against aging, protects you against wrinkles, stretch marks, and sunburn and helps the skin heal faster, according to Healthline.
3. MSM Can Help Cure Hangovers
Seriously! MSM reduces the pain and swelling of the brain caused by dehydration while simultaneously putting some of that much-needed mineral goodness back into your body after you lost it all drinking. The sulfur also helps general, non-alcohol-associated headaches, so keep some in your cupboard at all times!
4. MSM Eases Period Pain
For women, MSM can be a lifesaver once a month. Period pain is usually caused by the swelling of the fallopian tubes, the ovaries or the womb as it prepares itself to house an egg. Cramps can occur either while the lining is constructed or while it is falling away. Regardless of when your cramp comes, MSM can reduce that swelling and soothe the pain caused by the inflammation. Add it to your diet at least once a month.
5. MSM Treats Bowel Diseases
There are studies that prove MSM is an effective treatment against certain bowel diseases such as Chrohn’s Disease and Colitis. We here at Ageless Nutrition like to be helpful, so we sourced a study for your perusal. You can find it here courtesy of Research Gate.
6. MSM Improves Your Immune System
MSM is a sulfuric compound that helps to reduce swelling and soothe inflammations. Oxidative stress is caused by repetitively damaging or using a muscle and is something endurance athletes often face. It can lead to pain and discomfort but worse; it can also lead to the progression of other diseases. That sulfur in MSM helps fortify the muscle and soothe the stress on the joints leading to better muscular function all around. It also contains antioxidants that help tackle the free radicals that damage your immune system – so it has a double benefit here.
People take MSM for a wide variety of reasons for digestive complaints and snoring, to autoimmune and even degenerative conditions. That doesn’t mean it’s useful in all these cases. Numerous studies on MSM seek to discern if it can be used to benefit a wide variety of conditions. The US National Library of Medicine categorizes Methylsulfonylmethane as possibly effective for muscle damage caused by exercise, hemorrhoids, and osteoarthritis. Recent research efforts include its benefit for inflammation and oxidative stress/damage, as well as applications for allergy and immune support.
Studies of MSM continue to uses in exercise recovery and performance in healthy individuals. Perhaps the most quoted pilot study of MSM and exercise recovery is the one that appears in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition. To the researchers’ knowledge, this was the first study to observe an effect of MSM on antioxidant capacity. For healthy athletes, this is perhaps one of the most exciting applications of the compound.
The table below shows some of the sources of food “experts” point to as sources of MSM.
Meat, poultry, fish
Vegetables – especially legumes
Coffee and tea
Onions and garlic
So how does sulfur-like MSM get into our food sources, to begin with? It is theorized that plants mine minerals from the soil – not with hardhats and pickaxes, but in cooperation with soil biology, the roots can uptake the minerals in a bioavailable form.
*The fine print on dietary sources
Part of the problem with MSM from plants (and animals that eat the plants) is there’s not a great way to make it available to humans (pressing etc.). Food processing can destroy MSM, even if you’re able to extract it.
The best sources aren’t things you want to eat. The plants with the highest concentrations of sulfur aren’t things you would like to eat. According to phytochemical research (the study of chemical compounds produced by plants), the best sources of sulfur are Stinging Nettle, Red Clover, Chives, and Pigweed. These sources of sulfur contain 6000-8000 parts per million.
Commercial Sources of MSM
While food sources might be able to provide around 2000 mcg worth – commercial sources offer significantly more. Ageless Joints, for example, has 800,000 mcg or 800 mg worth in a suggested daily use. While the FDA has not established a daily value, this is clearly a better way to get yours rather than chewing weeds.
One of the reasons to combine supplements into formulas with complementary ingredients is a synergistic effect where ingredients work better paired than alone. Scientists study numerous pairings like Calcium with Vitamin D or MSM with Glucosamine.
All commercial MSM comes from synthetic Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) – an organosulfur compound. When we’re talking about organic compounds, “organic” means it contains carbon. When someone says MSM organic sulfur, it’s not the same sense of your certified organic kale. For that matter, there’s sulfur in gunpowder too – not that you’d want to eat that.
When one supplement does all of these things, there really is no reason not to try it for yourself, is there? You can find the right MSM supplement for you by checking out our AgelessJOINTS Natural Joint Relief supplement!