Methylsulfonylmethane for Joints
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Methylsulfonylmethane, commonly known as MSM, is one of the most popular dietary supplements among people with joint pain. It’s a natural compound found in many plants, animals, and humans. MSM has been described to have various health benefits particularly joint-related issues such as osteoarthritis.
In this article, we’ll explore everything about Methylsulfonylmethane and how it can help with joint-related conditions. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is Methylsulfonylmethane?
- Methylsulfonylmethane for joints
- How does MSM work for joints?
- Other health benefits of MSM
- Forms of MSM supplements
- How to take MSM
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is Methylsulfonylmethane?
Methylsulfonylmethane, popularly known as MSM, is typically a nutritional mineral that’s naturally found in a wide number of fresh foods including vegetables, fruits, and meats. It is also formed by an organic sulphur called dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO).
Other names of MSM include methyl sulfone, dimethyl sulfone, organic sulphur, crystalline dimethyl sulfoxide, and sulfonylbismethan.
Methylsulfonylmethane is widely used alone, or in combination with other nutrients, as a supplementary nutraceutical agent to treat a variety of health conditions including joint and muscle pain, inflammation, and oxidative stress.
Methylsulfonylmethane for joints
MSM has been found to have strong anti-inflammatory properties that can significantly reduce pain and inflammation often associated with osteoarthritis, Gout, rheumatoid arthritis, and exercise-related muscle damage.
Studies have found that MSM suppresses IL-1b (interleukin 1-beta) and TNF-a (tumour necrosis factor-alpha) in joints. Therefore, MSM is not only beneficial for reducing inflammation, but also preventing cartilage degeneration in joint-related issues such as arthritis.
With its antioxidant actions, MSM is also helpful in reducing exercise-related muscle damage, particularly when taken before endurance exercises.
Various available evidence shows that MSM has a noticeable effect in improving swelling and joint pain as well as the overall quality of life in people who have joint-related issues such as arthritis.
How does MSM work for joints?
MSM shows strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions. It is rich in sulphur, which is an essential building block for joints and bones. It plays a key role in the formation of collagen, which is vital for healthy joints.
Sulphur also plays a significant role in the immune system. It helps produce immunoglobulins (antibodies) that are critical in immune response for identifying and binding numerous antigens such as viruses and bacteria.
Other health benefits of MSM
Since MSM bears tremendous anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, research supports its use in the treatment of a variety of health conditions.
The most common benefits of MSM may include, but not limited to:
- Relieving allergy symptoms
- Preventing or treating ulcers
- Reducing skin conditions such as acne and rosacea
- Treating gastrointestinal issues such as chronic constipation and haemorrhoids
- Managing bladder issues such as interstitial cystitis
- suppressing cancer cell growth
Forms of MSM supplements
MSM alone works well and reduces swelling, stiffness, and pain in joints. It helps improve overall functional wellbeing in people with arthritis. But, in certain studies, when MSM was combined with other nutrients such as glucosamine, the effects were greater.
Therefore, MSM is often combined with other beneficial components, such as –
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Boswellic acid
Some multi-ingredient joint formulas may add many other nutritional components to produce more beneficial effects for joint health. MSM-containing topical creams are also available in the market.
How to take MSM
According to the Arthritis Foundation, a dosage of 1000 mg to 3000 mg of MSM supplement per day can improve joint health as well as overall wellbeing. After starting, allow a decent amount of time to see any positive benefits.
Since MSM is an effective dietary supplement and may impact whole bodily functions, it’s highly recommended to ask your healthcare provider before taking the MSM supplement.
Precautions and side effects
Clinical trials suggest that MSM is safe and well-tolerated in the treatment of joints for short term uses up to 3 months even with higher doses. International regulatory agencies like FDA have put MSM in the GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) category.
Different toxicity reviews have been done for analysing the safety of MSM and higher doses up to around 5000 mg a day appear to be safe.
Only mild adverse effects have been reported in very rare cases. The most common noted side effect is gastrointestinal discomforts such as bloating, nausea, and diarrhoea.
On topical applications, MSM may cause mild irritation on the skin or eyes. The side effects for long term uses of MSM haven’t yet been reviewed.
Interactions of MSM with other supplements, prescription medications, over the counter medications, or herbal medicines are possible but not well-known. MSM has been reported to increase the efficacy of glucosamine in reducing swelling and pain in joints.
Besides, MSM may increase alcohol sensitivity in the body and cause overdosing adverse reactions when applied in combination with other sulphur-containing molecules often used to combat alcoholism. Though the relationship between MSM and alcohol has not yet been studied extensively, it’s best to seek direct supervision from a qualified healthcare professional while taking MSM with alcohol.
Finally, whenever you consider buying an MSM supplement, make sure the manufacturer is reliable. Since the amount of active ingredients widely vary in different brands, it’s important to choose a quality and reputable brand.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) has been found an effective agent to treat a wide variety of conditions related to joints and immunity. Studies suggest it can benefit in lowering inflammation, reducing swelling and joint pain, decreasing allergies, improving skin health, and speeding muscle recovery after exercise.
Though MSM supplement is considered safe and well-tolerated in most people, the requirement of MSM supplement may widely varies from person to person depending on the underlying conditions.
Therefore, it’s strongly recommended to consult with a licensed healthcare professional prior to using Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) supplement to check whether this supplement is right for you.
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Disclaimer – This is an awareness article, hence, doesn’t contain any medical advice. To use any information from this article, check with your doctor.