What Is MSM?chshkt
Methylsulfonylmethane—quite the mouthful, isn’t it? Better known (and far easier to say) as MSM, this health supplement has a lot of popularity within the field of alternative medicine.
Keep reading to find out how this supplement could help you revitalize your health.
MSM, alternatively known as methyl sulfone and dimethyl sulfone, contains a type of sulfur compound that’s present in animals and plants. You can get MSM naturally in your diet from vegetables, meat, and dairy. It can also be isolated in a laboratory so that it can be taken it in a powdered or pill form.
Uses and Benefit of MSM
One of the most popular uses of MSM is for the management of arthritis and relief of joint pain. MSM is believed to be effective for improving joint health for several reasons. For one thing, it’s been shown to decrease inflammation by inhibiting the production of several inflammatory biomarkers, including cytokines. (Inflammation is a major issue underlying arthritis and other joint pain conditions.)
MSM has also been shown to increase the production of a powerful and natural antioxidant in the body called glutathione, which further enhancers the supplement’s anti-inflammatory effects.
Additionally, studies have shown that MSM can reduce the rate of cartilage breakdown in joints, alleviate joint pain, swelling, and stiffness, increase function, and even improve a person’s quality of life.
MSM can do more for the body than simply reduce inflammation and maximize joint health, however. Other reported benefits of MSM include:
- Accelerated post-workout recovery and reduced exercise-induced muscle damage
- Improved management of rosacea and other inflammatory skin conditions
- Strengthened immune system
- Decreased allergy symptoms, including congestion, sneezing, coughing, and shortness of breath
A small but promising number of studies have also found that MSM may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells, including cancers of the esophagus, liver, colon, skin, and bladder.
Promisingly, these MSM benefits come with a relatively low risk of side effects, at least when MSM is taken in an appropriate dosage (more on that in the next section). For example, research shows that when rats receive an exceptionally high dose of MSM, the animals begin to suffer organ damage and shrinking of the liver and spleen. That said, these rats were reportedly taking about 100 times the amount recommended for humans, so it’s unlikely that a human would ever take enough MSM to subject himself or herself to this kind of organ damage.
That said, some people report that taking MSM may lead to temporary issues like diarrhea or upset stomach. Plus, the supplement may not be right for certain individuals, including people who take blood thinners. And because it’s possible to buy MSM in a topical cream form, people currently using prescription creams for other skin conditions should chat with their doctors before adding MSM cream to their routine.
Most people should be in luck, however, and according to the Food and Drug Administration, MSM is “generally recognized as safe.” Just be sure to chat with your doctor before adding any new supplements to your routine, especially if you’re currently under medical supervision or being treated for a disease.
How to Take MSM
When it comes to MSM, it seems that a little goes a long way. Most studies that have investigated the effects and benefits of MSM report a suggested dose of 3 grams per day. The research doesn’t currently show that you need to take more than this in order to see better results; and as we’ve seen, taking far too much could potentially pose harmful to your health.
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