MSM Supplements

The Facts about MSM Supplements

Methylsulfonylmethane (or MSM) is a popular yet controversial nutritional supplement. Its proponents claim that it benefits a surprising number of ailments, ranging from common allergies and inflammations, to arthritis and enhanced keratin production in the skin, hair and nails.

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And then she said and then I said and then…

And then she said and then I said and then…—Ed Yourdon (Flickr.com)

But what is this supplement with the crazy-long name? Is it really as miraculous as it’s made out to be? Let’s take a look at the facts about MSM and see if it lives up to the hype.

What is MSM?

MSM is an organic sulfur compound that naturally occurs in a number of foods that we regularly consume. It is naturally derived during the earth’s rain cycle and, can be found in various fruits and vegetables, in certain meats and seafood, as well as in cow’s milk. It is widely marketed as a dietary supplement.

Why take MSM supplements?

Purportedly, sulfur is an important nutrient that the body needs in order to stay youthful and energetic. Since sulfur is lost when food is cooked, we end up lacking this nutrient. When our diets become deficient in certain nutrients as we age, we begin to see the signs of aging as cells become rigid and the body becomes stiff. Skin sags and wrinkles, joints creak and ache, and toxins build up in the body.

MSM supplements are a promising answer not only to the signs of aging, but also to allergies, arthritis, and other inflammations. Studies are even being conducted to explore the potential of MSM for cancer prevention and scleroderma.


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MSM Supplements Benefits

Aside from the various benefits we have already discussed, MSM supplements have been shown to provide further benefits:

– Promotes skin health: MSM is a vital ingredient in the production of collagen. As collagen is increased, the body is able to build new, healthy skin tissues.

– Promotes stronger nails and hair: MSM contributes not only to the production of collagen, but keratin as well. These two ingredients are what promote thick, healthy nails and hair.

– Detoxes the body: MSM makes the cells more permeable, allowing a free flow of toxins out of the cells and nutrients and hydration into the cells.

– Naturally boosts energy: Since the body is expending less energy on expelling toxins, users feel more energy.

– Accelerates healing: When the body is able to expel more waste at the cellular level, recovery time is dramatically reduced. Plus, the body has more energy to repair and rebuild, a point that bodybuilders will also gain from.

Unfortunately, little research has been done to validate the purported benefits of this supplement. Independent studies have been conducted; however, the FDA does not support any claims of therapeutic benefits that MSM might provide.

MSM Supplements Side Effects

In clinical studies, some side effects were noted including nausea, diarrhea, bloating, headache, and insomnia. It was noted, however, that these side effects occurred just as commonly in participants who only received a placebo.

So while the jury is not yet in on the true effectiveness of MSM supplements, there are many people who feel that they have been greatly benefited by them. Known side effects are negligible; therefore there is likely little harm in taking MSM.

Related Resources:

About.com MSM Supplements

Wikipedia – MSM Supplements