M.S.M. (Methylsulfonylmethane)

M.S.M. (Methylsulfonylmethane)

SUMMARY

  • The clinical use of sulphur as an adjunct in our diet is becoming progressively more recognized as an important tool for optimizing health. MSM is already well-known for its joint health benefits, but may also be helpful for other conditions related to chronic inflammation and damage due to oxidation
  • MSM, which is a metabolite of DMSO. MSM is approved for use in humans whereas DMSO is not, and primarily impacts your health by reducing inflammation. It’s widely used as a supplement for arthritic conditions. Like DMSO, MSM also appears to improve cell wall permeability, so it can be used to help deliver other active ingredients
  • MSM may be providing a missing link for optimal health, which appears to be related to sulphur. MSM is 34 percent sulphur by weight, but it is more than just a simple sulphur donor. It also affects sulphur metabolism in the human body, although it’s still not entirely clear how
  • Sulphur also plays a critical role in detoxification, as it is part of one of the most important antioxidants that your body produces: glutathione. Without sulphur, glutathione cannot work
  • Toxicity studies have shown that MSM is extremely safe and can be taken at very high doses. Even if you have a very rich diet full of raw vegetables and MSM-rich foods, you can still supplement and not hit that toxicity level. Clinical research studies have found that the effective amounts range from about 1.5 grams to 6 grams

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The clinical use of sulphur as an addition in our diet is becoming recognized as an important tool for health.

Certainly, diet is the primary tool for reducing your risk for chronic degenerative diseases. But the practical question becomes, how do you obtain sulphur from food grown in sulphur depleted soils?

The nutrient MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a naturally occurring sulphur compound found in us all. MSM is already well-known for its joint health benefits, but it may be important for a whole host of other reasons as well.

MSM is a metabolite of DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide, an organo-sulphur compound), but DMSO is approved for use in veterinary medicine only, not in humans.

Are the Health Benefits of MSM Related to Sulphur?

Therapeutic impact of DMSO

  • supports soft tissues,
  • helps with muscle soreness and
  • soft-tissue injury.
  • benefits lung function.
  • cryogenic preservation of tissues
  • preserves organs ready for transplantation

MSM, which is a metabolite of DMSO, and approved for use in humans, primarily impacts your health by reducing inflammation. It’s widely used as a supplement for arthritic conditions. Like DMSO, MSM also appears to improve cell wall permeability, so it can be used to help deliver other active ingredients. Perhaps most important, MSM helps protect against oxidative damage.

Within the last two years, at least four human clinical trials have been conducted on MSM and its ability to help with exercise recovery, and muscle injuries like delayed onset muscle stiffness or soreness (DOMS) and large muscle injuries like that from a heart attack—all of which is related to oxidative stress and subsequent cellular damage.

The Importance of Sulphur

MSM is 34 percent sulphur by weight and it affects sulphur metabolism in the human body, although it’s still not entirely clear how.

Sulphur is just now becoming more widely appreciated as a really critical nutrient, without which many other things don’t work properly, and most people are probably not getting enough sulphur from their diet anymore.

For example, sulphur plays a critical role in detoxification, and also in inflammatory conditions. For detoxification, sulphur is part of one of the most important antioxidants that your body produces: glutathione.

Without sulphur, glutathione cannot work.

MSM Improves Your Body’s Ability to Make its Own Antioxidants

Sulphur plays an important role in the production of glutathione—one of the most important antioxidants that your body produces.

Glutathione also serves important functions for detoxification. Without sulphur, glutathione cannot work. So, while not an antioxidant by itself, part of MSM’s action is to improve your body’s ability to make its own antioxidants.

Sulphur-Rich Foods

Ideally, you’d be best off getting your sulphur needs from the foods you eat. However, this can be a bit of a challenge these days. There’s been a move away from many traditional foods that have been the big sources of sulphur, like collagen or keratin, which we just don’t eat much nowadays.

You can perhaps get enough if you cook down bones from organically raised animals into bone broth and drink the broth regularly (or use for soups and stews).

The connective tissues are sulphur-rich, and when you slow-cook the bones, you dissolve these nutrients out of the bone and into the water.

“MSM is in almost all raw foods. It’s in leafy green vegetables. Interestingly enough, there’s MSM in beer and coffee. Actually, it’s been identified as one of the main flavouring constituent in port wines… raw milk has the highest naturally occurring content of MSM.” Dr Benjamin

One caveat is cooking and pasteurization. While MSM is stable to extremes of pH and temperature, it volatilizes and turns to gas very easily. It’s also very water soluble. So when cooked at high temperatures, it simply wafts off in the steam. That’s why it’s easily removed during cooking and processing.

Pasteurization cuts the MSM content by approximately 50 percent. So, in order to ensure you’re getting the most MSM from any food, it must be either raw or as minimally processed as possible.

Toxicity and Dosage Recommendations

Toxicity studies have shown that MSM is extremely safe and can be taken at very, very high doses. Even if you have a very rich diet full of raw vegetables and MSM-rich foods, you can still supplement and not hit that toxicity level. Clinical research studies have found that the effective amounts range from about 1.5 grams to 6 grams, although at higher doses, potential side effects include:

  • Intestinal discomfort
  • Swelling of the ankles
  • Mild skin rashes

These are likely detoxifying effects that can typically be mitigated or minimized by cutting back on the initial dosage, and slowly working your way up. In that case, you might want to start out with half a gram (500 milligrams) for a couple of weeks and then slowly increase until you get up to the desired dose.

MSM is approved for use in fortified food and beverage and gram quantities may be consumed when consuming raw diet and approved MSM fortified foods. The amount from the fortified foods that have been approved would be between 1.9 to 3.8 grams per day. For comparison, intake of MSM from natural sources such as fruits and vegetables would be in the milligram per day range of about 2.3 to 5.6 mg/day.

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