What Is MSM
(Methylsulfonylmethane) All About And How Does It Relate To
Hailed as a great advance in nutritional science by some
experts, the substance methylsulfonylmethane
(MSM) is said by many in the supplement industry to be
one of the most versatile and beneficial of all
nutrients. It's also one of the most often overlooked.
In spite of the fact that sulfur is the fourth most abundant
mineral in our bodies, sulfur supplementation has never
received the attention it merits.
Let's take a closer look at what MSM is...
What Exactly is
This element is found in every cell of every plant and every
animal. Sulfur makes up 0.25% of human body weight. However
neither plants nor animals can use elemental sulfur directly.
Sulfur is not easily available to living organisms in its
MSM is a naturally-occurring nutrient found in normal human
diets. It gets into the diet through the sulfur cycle. For
example, ocean plankton release sulfur compounds which rise
into the ozone where ultra-violet light makes MSM and DMSO.
DMSO, dimethyl sulfoxide, is a precursor to MSM. MSM and DMSO
return to the surface of the earth in rain. Plants concentrate
MSM and return it to the earth and the sea. Evaporation into
the air results in their return to the earth.
How Does MSM Relate to
Nutrition? In Other Words, How Does MSM Work in Our
Picture it this way... The body is continuously at work
replacing old, worn out cells with new ones. The process goes
on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without stop. When all the
raw materials needed for cell-building are available, it is a
very efficient process. When there are deficiencies, the new
cells may be weak, rigid or deformed.
When you understand that sulfur
is a basic component of the proteins that form our
organs and muscles, you realize that one of the most
important raw materials for building healthy new cells
is the form of organic sulfur known as
Sulfur has an indirect importance, because sulfur compounds
play a role in many body organs and systems.
Methylsulfonylmethane MSM is the primary metabolite of DMSO
in humans, and is also a metabolite of sulfur-containing amino
MSM is believed to support healthy muscles, tendons, and
ligaments. It is also believed to normalize pressure inside
cells and remove toxins from cells. Insulin synthesis depends
There is a positive synergistic effect on building healthier
cells when MSM is available in the body in sufficient
quantities in combination with vitamin C. The new cells are
more pliable and permeable, allowing fluids to pass through the
tissue more easily. Internally this means more efficient
elimination of toxins, a reduction in inflammation and pain -
so you feel better. On the outside it shows up as a softer,
smoother complexion, stronger hair and nails - so you look
Beyond that, sulfur is crucial to many of the vitamins,
enzymes, hormones and antibodies that keep us alive and
healthy. Everything from our muscles and organs to our skin and
bones relies on organic sulfur in some way.
Without proper levels of MSM, our bodies are unable to build
good healthy cells, which can lead to problems such as lost
flexibility, scar tissue, wrinkles, varicose veins, hardened
arteries, damaged lung tissues, dry cracking skin, digestive
disorders, joint problems, and inability to defend against
allergic reactions to food, animals and plants.
New MSM (MethylSulfonylMethane)
To give you an idea of how new MSM is to the nutritional
sciences community, for the first time ever, a study on
methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) was published in a medical
journal in the April 2002 issue of The Journal of Alternative
and Complementary Medicine.
The study was conducted by the GENESIS Center for
Integrative Medicine and the American Institute for Biosocial
and Medical Research. It details how MSM, a form of
organic sulfur, helps people with seasonal allergic
rhinitis (SAR), which is commonly known as hay fever. Fifty
people participated in the study. They were given 2,600 mg per
day of MSM for 30 days. Within the first week, these
participants showed significant signs of improvement, which
continued to strengthen as the study proceeded.
Whole Food Sources of
Meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products such as yogurt
are the main sources of dietary sulfur. For the vegetarians and
juicers among us, sunflower seeds, cabbage, onions, garlic,
lentils, and soybeans also contain fairly high levels of
sulfur... however, it is important to note that a large amount
of the sulfur value in plant based foods is lost in washing,
cooking and/or steaming... and, of course, MSM levels decline
noticeably with age. Drinking cabbage juice (about one quarter
cabbage juice mixed with another juice such as celery, carrot,
or apple) and juices containing small amounts of garlic and
onion will help boost your sulfur intake.
(MSM) should NOT to be confused with
sulforaphane which experts believe can be a strong
cancer inhibitor. Interestingly, did you know that broccoli
sprouts contain 20 to 50 times more sulforaphane than the
average adult broccoli plant? In three days you can raise a
crop of broccoli sprouts containing as much sulforaphane as an
acre of broccoli would yield in a year. Imagine that!
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