MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane): Supporting Your Active Lifestyle
For educational purposes only
Did you know that if we were having this discussion during the 19 th Century, we wouldn't be talking about MSM or even about dietary supplementation at all? In the years before over-farming and processed foods, modern man was able to get all the sulfur he needed by eating raw or unprocessed meat and vegetables from fields rich in natural sulfur.
Since the middle of the 20 th Century, our diet has changed drastically. Our food is processed, heated, microwaved or otherwise treated in a way that effectively destroys the sulfur in our diet. Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM is a major source of naturally-occurring sulfur that we should be getting in our diet (but usually don't). Even raw foods grown in depleted fields are deficient in this valuable nutritional supplement.
MSM actually comes to us by means of ocean plankton that release sulfur in the ocean that, in turn, rises up into the earth's ozone layer. The sun's UV radiation turns it into dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and MSM (which is sometimes called DMSO2). These substances fall to the earth as rain where they are then incorporated into foods like meat, dairy, poultry, eggs, fish and some vegetables.
You may have heard of DMSO. It is chemically related to MSM. It was heavily touted in the 1960-70's as a "treatment" for arthritis. Unfortunately, it smelled bad and the sulfur-like smell emanated from its users. MSM, on the other hand, is completely tasteless and odorless.
MSM is present in all human tissues and is vital for our physiological functioning. Some of the important cellular or bodily functions that MSM is involved with are the following:
MSM supports healthy connective tissue which is mainly found in tendons, ligaments, joints, muscles and bone. It does so by contributing to the formation of collagen, which is important in the above things as well as in the formation of healthy skin and reduction of wrinkles because the skin becomes more elastic.
MSM is imperative in the synthesis of insulin. It is therefore vital to our carbohydrate metabolism and is important for people who have sugar imbalances such as diabetics and those with low blood sugar.
MSM is involved in the production of keratin, a component of your hair and nails. Some people believe that their hair and nails grow faster and stronger if they take MSM.
MSM makes cells less swollen and improves the flexibility between cells. Flexible tissues are more elastic . Cells that are less swollen take up nutrients better and release intracellular toxins easier. This has a huge impact in the reduction of toxins within our body. Toxins cause numerous problems, including the development of cancer cells, in our system.
A study in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences showed that MSM reduced the presence and toxicity of several kinds of solvent hydrocarbons such as benzene, chlorobenzene and toluene in live animal subjects.
MSM also helps the liver and the gallbladder take the toxins flushed from the cells and allows them to be eliminated from the body at greater ease. A body reduced of toxins is one that has a lesser chance of having those toxins mutate cells in the body, which is how cancer cells are born.
Sulfur from MSM is used to make several amino acids which are the precursor molecules to protein. Protein is a part of every single bodily structure and function. The implications, therefore, of a lack of sulfur can be huge.
MSM binds to mucosal surfaces in the nasal mucosa and in the GI tract. This means that other more toxic substances cannot bind to those areas and cause problems. With regard to the GI tract, it balances the stomach acidity and can reduce the risk of ulcers.
- MSM is also beneficial in the production of immunoglobulins, the antibodies that help us fight infection.
MSM Safety Issues
It should be noted again that MSM is natural, is supposed to be in the body and is nontoxic. When some people think of sulfur, they think of inorganic or synthetic forms of sulfur-containing products such as "sulfa drugs" that cause an allergic reaction in people. MSM is completely unrelated to sulfates or sulfa drugs and cannot cause an allergic reaction.
Not all MSM products are the same. Discover why before you buy. Understand the differences in MSM products and why it is important - click here for more information.