Methylsulfonylmethane, commonly known as MSM, is a naturally occurring organic sulfur compound that is becoming increasingly recognized as necessary for good health. MSM occurs naturally in the human body, largely as a result of the food we eat. Originating in seawater, MSM collects in the stratosphere where it is oxidized by ultraviolet light into dimethylsufloxide (DMSO) and further converted into MSM. Returning to earth along with rain, MSM is rapidly absorbed by plant roots and concentrated within the plant, which then converts MSM to sulfur-containing essential amino acids. MSM is abundantly found in raw, green plant foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and in seafood and animal products, especially when allowed to have their natural diet.
Along with calcium and phosphorus, sulfur is abundant in human body cells. Most is held in muscle tissue, skin and the skeletal system. High sulfur content is also found in hair and nails and in cartilage, collagen and connective tissues. Sulfur is vital to many biochemical processes and has remarkable biological, preventative and therapeutic properties, which help us to stay youthful and energetic. The many key functions of MSM include cellular energy production, collagen synthesis, detoxification and relief of pain and inflammation. Unfortunately, due to its volatile nature, most of the MSM found in food is lost during processing. Heat, pasteurization, irradiation and freezing for long periods of time results in poor food content of this very helpful and necessary chemical element.
Research shows that our bodies need a constant supply of MSM for optimal good health, as sulfur has beneficial effects on the normal function and structure of the human body. Studies show that most of us could benefit from supplementing with MSM, which is believed to quickly deliver elemental sulfur to the body in a usable way, especially when combined with vitamin C. Although outright deficiency is uncommon, science shows that joint degeneration, often seen in the aging population, parallels decreased sulfur content of cartilage. Critical to good joint health, sulfur strengthens joint tissues and is one of the fundamental building blocks of joint cartilage. MSM supplementation as an adjunct to a healthy diet has been studied extensively, and published peer-reviewed clinical research has shown that MSM is a safe and effective anti-inflammatory agent, resulting in increased joint comfort, reduced swelling, support for a normal range of motion and reduced muscle soreness.
MSM is believed to support the body’s own repair and maintenance systems. In addition to its detoxifying potential, health benefits may include alleviation of allergy symptoms, as MSM helps to stabilize and increase the permeability of cell walls, allowing for removal of toxins and allergens. MSM may be useful in treating asthma due to its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to regulate the exchange of gases. MSM plays an important role in the production of glutathione, a very important antioxidant. Sulfur aids in the production of collagen and keratin, which are vital for healthy hair, skin and nails. MSM, or biologically active sulfur, has been widely tested as a food ingredient without any reports of allergic reactions or toxicity. As deficiencies can result in less than optimal functioning of cells, tissues and organs, there’s good reason to supplement with this “forgotten nutrient.” Dietary supplements are rich sources of beneficial biologically active sulfur, an oft overlooked nutrient considered extremely important to overall health and wellbeing.
Now that you know about the importance of MSM, here are some suggestions for high quality supplementation:MSM Powder by Pure Encapsulations – This popular joint health formula contains patented MSM, which provides 34% elemental sulfur that is crucial to maintaining connective tissue health. Also available in capsule form. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation. MSM 1000 mg by Designs for Health – This supplement provides 1000 mg of pure, premium MSM in support of overall health. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Kosher and Halal-certified vegetarian formulation. Also available as MSM Ultra Lemon and MSM Powder formulas. MSM + Vitamin C by Douglas Laboratories – Each tablet provides 500 mg of MSM along with 100 mg of vitamin C and 25 mcg of cofactor molybdenum to assist in proper metabolism of sulfur. This well absorbed formula supports connective tissue health and aids in detoxification. Soy free vegetarian formula. MSM by Biotics Research – This supplemental source of pure MSM provides 830 mg per capsule. Gluten free formulation. Also available as MSM Powder. References: MSM Guide. Online. http://www.msmguide.com/facts/safety/ Efficacy of MSM. Online. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16309928