How MSM Can Help Arthritis


MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a popular supplement among people with chronic pain. Its main benefit is anti-inflammatory, which provides some relief to people with arthritis and other types of inflammatory, muscle or joint pain. It is also believed to protect cartilage.

MSM is also believed to counteract oxidative stress and enhance antioxidant capacity. It is also being investigated as a cancer treatment. It easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and is distributed throughout the brain.

MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in many foods. In its pure form, it is a white crystalline solid, soluble in water, odorless and tasteless.

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Benefits of MSM

MSM is marketed to treat pain and inflammation associated with:

It is classified as generally recognized insurance. In doses of up to four grams per day, the supplement is well tolerated by most people. Few known side effects are usually mild.

Dietary sources of MSM

Getting MSM through diet is not difficult. MSM is naturally found in:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Milk
  • A fish
  • Grain

However, this does not necessarily mean that you are on a diet. As food is processed, MSM is destroyed. You can increase your food intake by focusing on fresh, whole foods.

Natural and created MSM

Although MSM exists in nature, the form that is sold as an additive is a chemical derived from DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide).

DMSO is available in industrial and medical grade. In the 1960s, DMSO was touted as a miracle cure for arthritis, but it has generated controversy due to potential problems and unpleasant side effects. When DMSO stopped being used to treat arthritis, MSM gained traction.

Forms of MSM

MSM is mainly sold over the counter as an oral preparation (solution, tablet, or capsule). It is sometimes combined with other dietary supplements such as:

Some multi-ingredient joint formulations also include many other supplements.

MSM is also available as a topical cream .

Other names for MSM

  • Dimethylsulfone
  • Methylsulfone
  • Sulfonylbismethane
  • Organic sulfur
  • Crystalline dimethylsulfoxide

MSM Research

According to the review, the literature was published in 2017.

Reducing inflammation and preserving cartilage results in better range of motion and physical function.

The review notes that MSM can also reduce exercise-related muscle damage, especially when taken before resistance or resistance exercises. This is believed to be due to its antioxidant effects.

Evidence of effectiveness

  • Arthritis

  • Interstitial cystitis

  • Allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergy)

  • Acute exercise-induced inflammation

  • Other inflammatory conditions

  • Support for immune response

  • Improving the quality and texture of the skin.

  • Cancer cell growth suppression.

Less evidence of effectiveness

  • Relieve stress

  • Parasitic infections

  • Increased energy

  • Increased metabolism

  • Improving blood circulation.

  • Improved wound healing

MSM and alcohol

Based on anecdotal evidence, MSM can increase their sensitivity to alcohol. Several other sulfur-containing molecules are used to combat alcoholism due to the serious side effects of the combination.

However, researchers have not yet specifically investigated the relationship between MSM and alcohol. Until more is known, it is best to be careful around alcohol while taking MSM.

Before trying MSM

Be sure to tell your doctor that you are going to take MSM. Interactions between MSM and other prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, or herbal medications are possible but unknown.

If you are going to buy MSM, it is important to buy it from a reputable manufacturer or retailer. Select a product with the USP designation (for United States Pharmacopeia standards). It is important to choose a quality brand. Different brands may differ in the amount of active ingredients they contain.

How to take MSM

The Arthritis Foundation recommends a dosage of 1,000 to 3,000 mg per day. Pay attention to side effects and tell your doctor.

After starting MSM, wait a reasonable time to see the benefits. If after a certain period of time you don't see any benefit, work with your doctor to decide whether you should stop taking MSM.

Frequently asked questions

  • MSM, methylsulfonylmethane, is a supplement that can relieve pain and inflammation. It is marketed as a remedy for arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, and exercise-related muscle pain.

  • It is not clear if MSM affect gut health. Several alternative health publications suggest that MSM can treat leaky gut syndrome, but there is no scientific research to support this claim. Also, taking MSM can cause an upset stomach or diarrhea.

  • MSM is used as a pain reliever, but it does not affect or disorient the brain like opioid pain relievers. MSM crosses the blood-brain barrier, but its effect on the brain is unknown.

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