Frequently Asked Questions
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) or dimethyl sulfone, is a naturally occurring sulfur compound. Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) and dimethylsulfide (DMS) are closely related compounds. Sulphur compounds play many roles in the body's organs and systems. There are several sulphur bearing supplements such as garlic, cysteine, methionine and Alpha Lipoic Acid, but MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is the most concentrated source available.
In its purified form, MSM has no odor and is a slightly bitter tasting, water-soluble, white crystalline powder that contains 34% elemental sulfur (chemical formula of [CH3]2SO2). The origins of MSM begin with phytoplankton in the ocean. DMS is produced through a complex process occurring in the ocean. DMS escapes as gas and rises into the upper atmosphere. Some atmospheric chemists suggest that MSM and its related compounds, DMSO and DMS, are the source of 85% of sulfur compounds in all living organisms. In the atmosphere, DMS is oxidized by ozone and ultraviolet light into its chemical cousins, DMSO and MSM. DMSO and MSM return to the earth in rain, where they are absorbed by the soil. Plants rapidly take up and concentrate the two compounds. Next, animals eat the plants, which completes the cycle.
MSM is found in raw vegetables including broccoli, peppers, Brussels sprouts, onions, asparagus and cabbage. The highest natural concentration of MSM is found in mammal's milk. MSM is an organic compound and commercial MSM is a pure, simple molecule that is indistinguishable from a molecule of MSM found in nature. MSM is derived from DMSO. MSM occurs when DMSO is oxidized. MSM is a naturally occurring compound found in significant amounts in nerve tissue, skin, hair and joints. MSM is a naturally-occurring nutrient found in small amounts of many foods. As a dietary supplement, MSM is synthesized. When made correctly, it is identical to that found in nature.
As a result of the cycle that began with phytoplankton, MSM occurs naturally in the human body as a result of the food we eat. MSM is a normal component of fresh fruits, vegetables, seafood, and meat; it can also be found in tea, coffee, and chocolate. MSM can be detected in the circulatory system (about 0.2 ppm in a normal adult male) and in human urine. Normal adult humans excrete from 4-11 mg of MSM daily in urine. The concentration of MSM decreases with age in vertebrates. Therefore, some research suggests a minimum concentration of MSM must be maintained in the body to preserve normal function and structure.
Chelation involves a sulphur donor. Because MSM is a compound that contains sulfur, it could theoretically be beneficial as part of a detoxification protocol for heavy metals (eg, there is a sulfur component in glutathione, methionine, cysteine, and NAC). After administering cadmium to rats, cysteine and methionine were given in combination. Researchers found that cadmium was removed from the circulatory system, preventing its deleterious effects. In addition to its detoxifying potential, MSM has potential for allergy response reduction, control of hyperactivity, constipation relief, cancer prevention, and inflammatory conditions (eg, rheumatoid and degenerative arthritis).
- Anti-oxidant protection
- Detoxification, including excess and heavy metals
- Food allergies
- Hair, skin and nail health
- General connective tissue support including joints, blood vessels, eyes, etc.
- Wound healing
The action of sulphur in keeping cells flexible and permeable means that toxins may be flushed out of the body more easily, this also allows nutrients to enter more readily. Sulphur is needed to manufacture glutathione peroxidase, an important detoxifying enzyme in the liver. The sulphur in MSM has and anti oxidant effect. Sulphur is a free radical scavenger that helps to clean the blood stream and flush the toxins from cells that would otherwise build up and cause the cell membranes to become inflexible and damaged. Part of this effect is due to sulphur being a major component of glutathione peroxidase, a powerful antioxidant and detoxifying enzyme.
As sulphur is necessary for the production of new cells, it plays an essential part in the synthesis of collagen and keratin, vital protein substances that are needed to make and maintain hair, nails and skin. Hair and nails grow faster and stronger with good levels of sulphur. This compound is also responsible for the flexible bonds between cells and helps to block the cross-linking of collagen, an effect responsible for the appearance of wrinkles and aging skin.
Acne, including rosacea has been shown to respond favourably to MSM in studies, sulphur has also been found to enhance wound repair. MSM acts to keep the skin's cells and the tissue soft. Keeping the skin soft ensures that it remains elastic enough to allow stretching and movement without damage. Smooth, flexible skin is less prone to wrinkles and dry flakiness. It even helps stretch marks. MSM benefits the skin and internal organs.
Sulfur helps the body to form keratin, the protein that makes up the main part of the outermost layers of your hair and nails. It is a tough, fibrous protein that is very resilient to the effects of damaging chemicals and other harmful agents. Each strand of hair has its own keratin supply, which is stored in the root. Sulfur is also contained in biotin, a B vitamin that is essential for shiny hair and strong nails. You may be interested to know that the natural inclination of hair to be straight or curly is maintained in part by the sulfur amino acids. MSM benefits dry scalp and hair and improves nail growth and benefits your cuticles and nails.
Studies on MSM have indicated that it coats mucosal surfaces and may help to prevent food allergens from binding and harming the gut, leading to an improved tolerance of previously troublesome foods. However, it is generally better to avoid foods that are known to be a problem as they place an extra strain on the immune system. Some literature suggests other anti-allergy activity, e g. helping reduce hayfever symptoms. Higher dosages are necessary in order to give you relief from sneezing, runny nose and burning eyes.
Sulphur is found in most body tissues and approximately half is concentrated in the muscles, skin and bones. In an inflamed state the tissue cells swell and pain results from the rigidity of the cell walls, but as sulphur can restore flexibility and thus permeability to these walls it allows fluids to pass through the tissues more easily and reduce the cause of the pain. This enables harmful substances such as lactic acid and toxins to flow out, reducing the pressure build up. The body can also use sulphur and other nutrients such as vitamin C to make new cells, allowing a certain amount of repair.
When the body's cell walls are supple, fluids can easily pass out of the cell, resulting in equalized pressure inside and outside the cell. It is the difference of pressure that causes pain and inflammation. By equalizing the pressure, MSM helps to reduce pain and inflammation. MSM can relieve post-athletic fatigue along with relieving muscle pain and cramps.
Sulphur is a component of insulin and as such, insufficient levels could contribute to decreased insulin levels and blood sugar problems.
Heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium are very destructive to the body in many ways. Sulphur-containing compounds generally, are very effective chelators of heavy metals. In the case of sulphur's ability to chelate heavy metals, this does not refer to aiding their absorption, but rather to latching on to them and assisting their removal from the body.
Preliminary research suggests that MSM may provide significant relief from arthritis and other types of joint injury. Indirect anti-inflammatory properties, the tissue stabilising aspects of sulphur and antioxidant activity may account for much of this potential benefit. MSM you recover quicker from demanding physical exertion. MSM helps reduce muscle soreness which may enhance your performance.
Shown to have anti-parasitic action against several invaders including roundworms, nematodes, Giardia and Trichomonas as well as Enterobius and other intestinal worms. This is thought to be due to MSM competing for receptor sites on the mucous membranes, so that parasites cannot attach themselves.
Some literature suggests that MSM augments warfarin, so supplementation alongside should probably be avoided. People allergic to Sulphur drugs do not appear to be allergic to MSM.
The sulphur in MSM, called sulfonyl, is as safe and as important as Vitamin C in our diet, unlike the bad sulphurs, sulphas, sulfites and sulfides. People allergic to Sulphur drugs will not be allergic to MSM. Methylsulfonylmethane- is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found within our bodies. It is a safe and natural, assimilable food derived from the ocean. MSM is neither a medicine, drug, chemical, herb, stimulant, synthetic food or additive. It is a member of the sulfur family but should never be confused with sulfa drugs, to which some people are allergic. It is completely safe, odorless, and non-toxic. A 160 pound man has approximately 4 pounds of sulfur as body weight. MSM is a natural organic compound. It occurs naturally in the foods we eat but disappears when we process our food.
No. Organic sulphur is a nutrient, a necessary part of natural chemical processes in the body. It should not be confused with sulfa-based drugs or sulfites, which are forms of inorganic sulphur. Sulfa drugs are synthetic, meaning that they do not occur naturally. Sulfa drugs are sulfites. MSM is a sulfur compound, but is not a sulfite. They are used for the purposes as antibiotics, which in some people cause allergic reactions. The body produces sulfites in its normal metabolism of sulfur containing amino acids. Sulfite compounds have been used for more than 300 years and are considered safe. If you are sensitive to sulfur based preservatives watch out for these names: sulfur dioxide, sodium sulfite, sodium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium bisulfite and potassium metabisulfite.
MSM was discovered by two doctors. Stanley Jacob, MD. of the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland and his associate, Robert Herschler, a research chemist for a paper manufacturing company. They both concluded that MSM is the main healing element of DMSO. Their research revealed that MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, is a natural sulfur compound found in all living things. It is actually one of the most prominent compounds in our bodies, just behind water and sodium. However, in his research, Dr. Jacob determined.
Sulphur is found naturally in the human body. Sulphur is stored in every cell of the body. Your body won't be able to repair or replace damaged tissue fast enough. If this occurs, the body compensates by producing abnormal cells that may lead to illness and disease. You will also experience a sensitivity to pain. Sulphur deficiencies are also associated with gastrointestinal problems, a poor immune system, arthritis, and rheumatism, memory loss and acne. It can also lead to brittle nails and hair, dermatological problems and dry skin.
MSM comes in forms of capsules, crystals, flakes, powder, tablets, lotion and gel. Their is no difference in either form for they are all the same product. Just different forms. At Health Renewal we have high strength MSM powder, 4000 mg per 5 ml teaspoon. We also have MSM capsules.
You should take whatever form is convenient for you. You should always take the least possible amount of msm that gives you the relief you desire. Drink lots of water with MSM. For first time users of MSM, it is better to take with meals to help prevent heartburn.
First time users start at a low level and build up. Try 1000 mg or (eighth to a quarter teaspoon) per day. Take it for that way for one week then increase it another a little more. Once you have taken it a long time you will be able to take it without food. The recommended dosage is 2,000 to 6,000 mg. per day, depending on your gastrointestinal tolerance. Please be aware that a single dose of MSM will not help! MSM needs to be taken for at least 1-2 weeks or even up to two month before you may see results.
When MSM is taken by mouth with meals whether it be capsule, crystal, flake, powder or tablet form, the body will distribute MSM where it is needed. The precise dose of MSM is not really that critical. For the first week or two, larger doses of MSM may be needed to compensate for an extreme deficiency and depending on your situation.
MSM in the capsule form is fine for someone taking low dosages simply as a nutritional supplement on a daily basis. But for someone with health problems such as allergies, arthritis, diabetes, etc. they would have to take large numbers of capsules to get the same effect that they would get by taking 1 to 2 trains of the high strength powder. MSM powder dissolved into water can be consumed over a 12 hour time period, which is the most effective way to take the mineral sulfur and is the most cost effective. At Health Renewal we have combined our MSM with Vitaming C As it is a great dietary supplement and can enhance recovery!
MSM has been observed in clinical settings some indications that it may have a blood-thinning, aspirin like effect on platelet aggregation. Therefore, you should consult your doctor if you are taking high doses of aspirin, or blood-thinning medication such as heparin or warfarin and stop the MSM 10 days before if you are having elective surgery.
Yes they work well together. Glucosamine plays an integral role in the formation of ligaments, tendons and is more effective than NSAIDs. Glucosamine makes cartilage strong, healthy and resilient. Glucosamine reduces inflammation, and studies show glucosamine to have no known side effects. Glucosamine also contributes to the growth of new cartilage. But keep in mind that glucosamine is a charged sugar molecule and if you are a diabetic you must watch your sugar intake.