Whole fruits, vegetables, grains and milk are all dietary sources of methyl sulfonyl methane. MSM is also available in supplement form. It is widely used by athletes looking to add something extra to a glucosamine and chondroitin regimen for joint support.
All living organisms contain sulfur, the compound from which methyl sulfonyl methane is derived.
Sulfur plays a vital role in creating healthy cells without which the body becomes more easily susceptible to illness, pain and injury. Cells are constantly being regenerated in the human body, so an adequate supply of sulfur can help ensure that newly created cells are healthy cells.
Sulfur is an important constituent of teeth, bones and connective tissue, and it also plays a vital role in carbohydrate metabolism. In addition, sulfur is an important constituent of the proteins that form muscles, skin and hair.
It is also believed that MSM can improve muscle flexibility and facilitate wound healing after surgery. Clinical evidence supports the benefits of MSM in helping to alleviate the pain of arthritis, control cystitis, and treat allergies. A recent study in which human subjects with knee pain from osteoarthritis were given either a placebo or supplements of MSM found significant pain relief among the patients who took MSM. Another study showed a reduction in allergy symptoms among subjects who took MSM supplements.
What about MSM Side Effects?
MSM is sold as a dietary supplement and has no known serious side effects. It is sometimes irritating to the stomach, but people who have this type of reaction can lower the dose until they are able to tolerate it. The usual dose is between 2 and 3 grams per day, but it is best to follow the product instructions or the advice of a medical professional when taking MSM.
As with any dietary supplement or medication, the lowest effective dose should be used. Although MSM can be purchased in isolation, it is often combined with other anti-inflammatory / joint support compounds; Xtend-Life’s Athrit-Eze is a good example of such a product.