MSM or methylsulfonylmethane is a supplementary form of sulfur that is quickly becoming recognized as a necessity for overall wellness, not just treating a specific symptom. As a naturally occurring substance in the body, it has a wide range of health benefits associated with inflammation, beauty, detoxification and protection against oxidative damage. Although it can be obtained through certain foods, many people are deficient in sulfur and notice immediate benefits with increased intake, in which there are no toxic effects.
To help one understand the benefits of MSM, it’s important to clarify sulfur’s role in the body. Sulfur naturally exists in the nails, skin, hair and amino acids. Making up a quarter of body weight , it is also present in the muscles and bones. Sulfur has an important role of keeping cell membranes open as well as preventing the hardening of tissues. Sulfur is also essential for the function of glutathione, one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body. Glutathione, which is comprised of three important amino acids, maximizes the effects of all other antioxidants in the body, removes toxins, protects cells from free radical damage and impacts liver health. By increasing sulfur content in the body, you increase all of the health benefits associated with the optimization of glutathione.
MSM is a natural and organic substance that mimics sulfur in the body. It is odorless and water-soluble and provides a multitude of health benefits. In the natural health community, it has long been touted as a natural beauty aid that can greatly improve the hair, nails and skin. For example, it promotes the healing process of skin, making it helpful for wrinkles, aging spots and acne. It also helps with hormone balancing and perpetuating the impact of other nutrients taken alongside MSM. For example, vitamin C becomes 9x stronger when taken with MSM.
MSM is also extremely beneficial for exercise recovery and any issues associated with aches, pain and swelling in the muscles and joints. As an anti-inflammatory agent, it is great for arthritic conditions. It also protects against oxidative damage, and chronic fatigue, improves cell wall permeability, cleanses the digestive tract, improves blood circulation, supports healthy liver and immune system function, prevents premature aging and degenerative diseases, reduces allergies, removes toxins and improves all conditions related to chronic inflammation.  MSM, which is 34% sulfur by weight , also effects sulfur metabolism in the body although experts and unsure of the reason behind this. One recent study showed that it can even inhibit breast cancer tumor growth.
Sulfur can be found naturally in almost all vegetables. Spirulina is said to be one of the highest sulfur containing foods. You can also find sulfur-fortified foods such as port wines, which contain sulfur to enhance flavor. Onions and garlic are also high sulfur containing foods. Possibly one of the best animal source foods for sulfur is raw milk. However, it’s important to understand that pasteurization and heating destroys 50% of the MSM content. Unfortunately, the amount of sulfur we can get from foods is limited and is certainly not found in any processed foods. For this reason, supplementation can be great for improving overall health.
There are no known toxic effects for MSM, however since sulfur encourages detoxification, it’s important to increase your dosage slowly over time. Some people start with a half of a teaspoon per day and increase gradually to 1-2 tablespoons. In grams, 1.5-6g is a healthy dosage. The quality of the MSM you take is also important. MSM is purified utilizing one of two methods, distillation or crystallization. Distillation is said to be highly superior, but since crystallization is cheaper, there are currently only two companies producing MSM through distillation. Again, when combined with other supplements and/or nutrients (such a Vitamin C), it perpetuates their nutritional benefits.
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 Mercola, J. (2010, April 10). This one antioxidant keeps all other antioxidants performing at peak levels. Retrieved from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/10/can-you-use-food-to-increase-glutathione-instead-of-supplements.aspx
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 Wolfe, D. (2010, April 3). David wolfe on msn as a potentiator. Retrieved from http://www.thebestdayever.com/news/content/podcast-27-msm-as-a-potentiator/
 Malinsky, A. (2010, November 5). MSM - offers many health benefits. Retrieved from http://www.naturalnews.com/030294_MSM_health_benefits.html
 Mercola, J. (2013, March 3). MSM benefits may be related to its sulfur content. Retrieved from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/03/03/msm-benefits.aspx
Published On: March 09, 2013