Methylsulfonylmethane, often abbreviated as MSM, is a natural compound in our bodies. It circulates throughout the body through blood plasma. It is now recommended in nutritional supplementation.
A benchmark asset for the relief of inflammatory pain, MSM has replaced another natural anti-inflammatory drug used for many years: DMSO for dimethylsulfoxide. Very popular in the 1960s and 1970s for relieving the symptoms of osteoarthritis, arthritis, and gout, DMSO consumption was reduced due to associated adverse effects. In particular, taking DMSO was known to leave a garlic taste and smell in the mouth
MSM has quickly established itself as an alternative to DMSO for two main reasons. First, unlike DMSO, MSM does not induce the sensation of eating garlic. Second, these two molecules share a similar structure and properties. These similarities are due to the fact that MSM is just a derivative of DMSO: DMSO 2 for dimethylsulfone.
As mentioned above, msm is a compound derived from DMSO. Despite the body’s ability to produce MSM naturally, additional supplementation may be helpful in increasing levels and taking full advantage of its anti-inflammatory properties. Treatment is often recommended when pain is due to inflammation, such as gout, osteoarthritis, or arthritis.
There are several sources for MSM. This compound is particularly present in certain plants such as horsetail, as well as in various foods such as cow’s milk, beets, cabbage, tomatoes, coffee, tea, or beer. However, the MSM levels of these products remain relatively low. That is why food supplements have also been developed.
Appearance, composition and format
Methylsulfonylmethane is generally in the form of a white crystalline powder. This is preferred as an alternative to DMSO powder because it does not smell.
- MSM powder can be found in powder or in capsules or tablets. It can also be integrated into creams for topical use.
- MSM can also be combined with other active ingredients like glucosamine or chondroitin, especially as part of a cure for rheumatism.
- MSM’s interest in supplementation is related to its high sulfur content: it is composed of 34% elemental sulfur. Bioavailable, elemental sulfur is free and can be used by the body.
This characteristic has a significant advantage because sulfur is a trace element that participates in different functions of the human body.
Investigated properties and effects
MSM owes its reputation to its ability to regulate the inflammatory response. This anti-inflammatory activity confers benefits in case of:
Rheumatism: the best known and most widespread use of MSM is its therapeutic indication against rheumatism, such as osteoarthritis and arthritis. In fact, several studies have shown that taking MSM can help reduce inflammatory pain, as well as joint stiffness and swelling.
Inflammatory diseases: Due to its anti-inflammatory activity, MSM is also of interest in the treatment of other inflammatory disorders. One study noted that it could be effective for patients with interstitial cystitis. Other studies are interested in its use for the treatment of allergic rhinitis, especially seasonal. It appears that MSM may be effective in reducing associated symptoms, including respiratory symptoms.