MSM stands for Methylsulfonylmethane - a naturally occurring sulphur compound and an important building block for healthy bones and joints. Mud baths that contain sulfur are sometimes used to treat arthritis. It stands to reason that supplements can do the same job but without the need for a shower afterwards.
What is MSM?
Our bodies need sulphur for the formation of many substances within the body including collagen - the protein that gives support and structure to all our organs, bones and the connective tissue in between.
Some MSM supplements are combined with other joint products such as glucosamine & chondroitin.
Why do I need MSM Supplements?
MSM promotes the growth and maintenance of connective tissue and supports joint health.
As we age levels of sulphur in our bodies start to diminish. So MSM supplements help make up the shortfall.
MSM supplements are often taken to help symptoms of osteoarthritis - a chronic disease of the joints that causes decreased mobility and pain. There is some evidence that MSM may also reduce pain by slowing the nerve impulses that transmit pain signals.
In one US study, men and women with osteoarthritis of the knee who took 3mg of MSM twice a day for 12 weeks, experienced improved function and less pain than those who took a placebo.*
MSM has been shown to be particularly effective for osteoarthritis when also combined with glucosamine. In one trial, the combined use of these supplements resulted in reduced inflammation and pain.*
MSM also boosts immunity by playing a role in the production of antibodies needed to fight disease.
According to Arthritis Research UK, MSM has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. This is because sulphur is required for the synthesis of an antioxidant called glutathione which helps protect the body from free radicals. Free radicals are associated with disease and ageing.
Due to its antioxidants properties MSM may also help rejuvenate hair and skin Why do I need MSM - More research is needed on MSM to review its full benefits.
Can too much MSM be harmful?
High doses of MSM may cause stomach upsets and diarrhoea. But MSM is usually well tolerated in the short-term.
MSM may have blood-thinning properties so you should discuss MSM use with your doctor if you are already taking medication to thin blood such as warfarin.