Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is essential in maintaining optimum health. It nourishes our hair, skin, muscles, joints and nails; it can reduce pain and inflammation; it also has been shown to increase blood circulation, strengthen capillary walls and thus heal varicose veins; and it can be helpful in treating many other conditions such as arthritis, asthma, emphysema, tendinitis, diabetes, acne, carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic fatigue, constipation, digestive disorders, parasite infestations, allergies, toxic build-up and ulcers.
One well-known advocate of MSM, Stanley W. Jacob, M.D., co author of “The Miracle of MSM,” records having cared for over 18,000 patients with MSM. Some of the conditions that he claims to have successfully treated with MSM include myasthenia gravis, lupus, fibromyalgia and snoring. Another prominent spokesperson for MSM, Robert M. Herschler, Ph.D., has found MSM to be an effective “ameliorating agent” against many of the physiological responses to stress.
In experiments that have been performed with mice, MSM effectively reduced arthritis related joint deterioration, deformities and swelling. Other animal studies have shown that MSM has a potential for treating breast cancer, colon cancer and anemia. Studies done on humans showed MSM comparing favorably against a placebo when tested for effectiveness against such ailments as osteoarthritis of the knee and also hay fever.
MSM is a naturally occurring organic sulfur compound. It is present in fresh fish, meat, plants and fruit. That being the case, is there any need for MSM supplementation? Herschler states that the MSM that is in those substances is lost with even a modest amount of processing such as drying or heating. Since most people who live in North America rely heavily on processed foods, there may be little or no MSM in their diet. And as it is a crucial component in one’s health, the need for supplementation becomes clear.
Why is MSM so conducive for good health? It is a sulfur compound and sulfur is an essential mineral for the body. Sulfur is a component of bones, teeth and collagen (the protein in connective tissue.) The sulfur mineral is needed in the manufacture of many proteins, including those that form hair, muscle and skin. Thus all of those body parts are strengthened through the use of MSM.
How much MSM does one need to take and how often? Some of the research that has been conducted on MSM indicates that one needs to take a steady supply of it for it to help maintain one’s health. Phyllis and James Balch, in their book “Prescription For Nutritional Healing,” recommend that one should start with a dosage of 1,000 milligrams of MSM a day. That should eventually be raised to 2,000 milligrams a day. There has been no evidence of any toxicity build up or harmful side effects from the regular use of MSM at those dosages. However, it is generally advised that pregnant women and nursing mothers should avoid MSM.
MSM is available for use in capsules and tablets. It is also available for application to the skin as a lotion, cream or gel.