Methylsulfonylmethane – it’s quite a mouthful, but MSM, a naturally occurring sulfur compound, can be a safe and effective natural remedy against the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and gout, not to mention allergies. For centuries people have visited hot springs rich in the natural element sulfur to soothe muscle aches and pains, so it makes sense that they would seek out the health benefits of MSM to soothe similar ailments today.
Where exactly does MSM come from? In a nutshell – microscopic plankton release sulfur into the ocean, where the element becomes DMS (dimethyl sulfide.) It is then converted into its relatives DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) and MSM. Because, it is soluble in water, MSM eventually makes its way into the root systems of plants. When we include fresh, unprocessed plants in our diet, we reap the health benefits of MSM. Unfortunately, the typical American diet includes many highly processed foods, which lack MSM and the benefits of MSM.
When we consume this bioavailable dietary sulfur, we help to maintain the integrity and elasticity of connective tissues and tendons. Our cell and cell membranes require MSM to assist in the strengthening of proteins, which reinforce the framework of connective tissue. By strengthening this connective tissue, we help prevent pain caused by wear and tear. MSM benefits hair, skin and nails, as well, because it is a vital component of these proteins.
Many health experts and doctors confirm MSM benefits. They assert that, because MSM is such an effective pain remedy, doctors are often able to lower the dosage of medication they prescribe for patients. Furthermore, MSM is free of the side effects that are frequently caused by prescription pain medications.
These synthetic pain medications, also known as NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can ease pain and inflammation by blocking prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that act as chemical messengers communicating pain and inflammation throughout the body. Instead of tricking the body into not receiving pain signals like these drugs, MSM goes straight to the tissues to help rebuild them.
In addition to being an effective alternative to conventional pain medications, many allergy sufferers are singing the praises of MSM and the health benefits of MSM. MSM strengthens membranes and tissue in the body, which makes mucus membranes better equipped to fight allergens that cause inflammation and irritation.
Many health experts believe that the health benefits of MSM also include boosting the immune system, scavenging free radicals, and supporting optimal intestinal function. MSM can be taken orally or applied as a lotion to painful or inflamed joints.
1. MSM helps our bodies absorb more nutrients (vitamins and minerals).
Co-enzyme Q10 locks with MSM, which means that in order for the body to fully utilize this nutrient, it must have MSM(sulfur) with it. Pantothenic acid, Vitamins A, D, and E, inter-enzymes, amino acids, selenium, calcium, germanium, collagnol and dismuzyme are just some of the things we know the body does not utilize properly unless it has MSM to lock with. A lot of the vitamins we take go through the body without being fully used. With more MSM in the body, vitamins can be utilized more effectively and therefore become much more beneficial.
There is a joke that Americans have the most expensive urine in the world because of all the vitamins that go down the drain. Vitamin C does a lot of healing by itself, but without MSM to lock with, it doesn’t toughen capillary walls. When MSM is added to the diet and taken with Vitamin C, chronic nosebleeds, easy bruising and varicose veins may be relieved. Vitamin C and MSM work synergistically together. Every body is different, so you would need to find what works for you, but it is important when taking Vitamin C to make certain it has the bioflavinoids with it because it is then a complete food. Nature’s vitamins (from fresh food) are the best because they contain the whole complexes without which the body can’t do its job, which is to maintain and repair the bodily systems. Without enough MSM, the body can’t do its job properly.
2. MSM increases oxygen availability to the body.
There are people who have had emphysema, who used an atomizer for breathing and could hardly get out of the chair to walk across the room, who, after about a week of taking MSM, walked a half mile, rested and then walked another half mile. Now that is not because emphysema had been reversed, but because the MSM detoxifies and increases the blood’s circulation of oxygen. MSM helps get oxygen into the blood a lot more efficiently with the same amount of work.
3. MSM helps increase energy.
Energy levels increase with MSM because it helps make the cell walls more permeable. Our cell walls get thicker and more rigid with age; this tends to create a lessening of the amount of nutrients and oxygen that can enter the cell through the cell wall. Also, toxins which get stored in the cell get trapped within the cells because of the lower permeability of the cell wall. When MSM goes into the body the permeability of the cell walls greatly increases, enhancing the absorption of nutrients and oxygen and helping release the toxins which were stuck in cells. When these toxins leave the body, it helps to increase our energy.
A good example of this at work shows up in diabetics. When their blood carries sugar to their cells, the sugar cannot be absorbed due to the impermeability of the cell wall. Studies show that when MSM goes into the body it causes the cell wall to be more permeable again. The pancreas (which requires sulfur to make insulin) normalizes because it doesn’t work so hard–blood sugar can now be absorbed through the cell walls, helping to balance the blood sugar level. Because sulfur is a component of insulin (the protein hormone secreted by the pancreas that is essential to carbohydrate metabolism), a lack of nutritional sulfur in the diet can result in low insulin production by the pancreas. Thus, for the diabetic individual, MSM is extremely helpful in improving their overall energy levels.
There have been reports of long term diabetics injecting insulin daily for years, who have in five weeks to two months become self-regulating and stopped having mood swings. The blood sugar had stabilized. Studies suggest, in those with diabetes, that the cell wall may be more leathery and thus the absorption of sugar by the cells is greatly reduced.
4. MSM helps the body eliminate toxins including lactic acid build-up from strenuous exercise.
Drinking plenty of water is very important for anyone wishing to have good health. The fact that MSM detoxifies means that you need to keep water moving into the body so that the toxins can be eliminated without stressing other organs of the body, such as the kidneys.
5. MSM helps to dramatically reduces recuperation time from strenuous exercise and long hours of work.
6. MSM helps relieve muscular aches and pains.
7. MSM helps reduce inflammation due to injury or inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
When the water pressure inside a cell is greater than the water pressure on the outside of the cell, there is inflammation and swelling. (The outer and inter-cellular fluid pressures are not equal.) MSM enhances the permeability of the cell walls, therefore allowing the pressure on both sides of the wall to equalize, thus relieving the inflammation. MSM takes inflammation out of soft tissue and since pain comes from nerves in inflamed soft tissue, there is often relief from the pain of such inflammatory ailments as arthritis, bursitis, rheumatism and hip dysplasia. MSM can help get the flexibility back into the tissues very rapidly. Some people have experienced relief in only 20 minutes! For others, it takes longer.
8. MSM, together with Vitamin C (a free radical scavenger) helps the body build healthy new cells.
9. MSM, along with Vitamin C, helps reduce scar tissue and wrinkles, and helps keep the skin more elastic.
10. MSM, along with Vitamin C, helps the hair and nails grow stronger and faster.
11. MSM has been shown to improve mental alertness.
12. MSM has been proven to help in the reduction and even the total elimination of allergies.
When MSM is added to the diet, anti-allergy medication may be sharply reduced or eliminated.
13. MSM reduces headaches, cramps and muscle pain caused by hormonal imbalances, for example, PMS.
Women who have had monthly menstruation problems often no longer experience the headaches, cramps or muscle plain associated with their periods. Many women have these problems because their hormones are out of balance. The monthly cycle can be a shock to the system. When the hormones are brought into balance, the body functions normally and these painful problems can be vastly reduced or eliminated.
14. MSM helps relieve constipation.
MSM can help control chronic constipation. Many older people seem to have this problem and it can be a real medical concern. Reportedly many people suffering from constipation have had prompt and continuing relief by supplementing their diet with MSM. A good amount of Vitamin C along with the MSM has proven to be helpful for this condition.
15. MSM has been shown to help reduce and even eliminate snoring.
16. MSM helps reduces eye membrane irritation (when MSM in a water solution is applied).
MSM is the 4th most plentiful mineral in the body, and so essential to life that it is found in every cell of virtually every animal and plant.