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MSM was isolated by Robert Herschler and Dr. Stanley Jacob of the University of Oregon Medical School in the early 80's. Their research revealed that MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, is a natural sulfur compound found in all living things. It is actually one of the most prominent compounds in our bodies, just behind water and sodium. A 160 pound man has approximately 4 pounds of sulfur as body weight.Why is MSM Important?
Scientists almost missed MSM when studying nutritional needs because it plays such a small part in our food chain. However, in his research, Dr. Jacob determined that the sulfur in MSM, called sulfonyl, is as safe and as important as vitamin C in our diet, unlike the bad sulfurs: sulfas, sulfates, sulfites and sulfides.
MSM originates in the ocean and reaches the human food chain through rainfall. It is the prime source of bio-available sulfur, which is lost from our food by processing, drying, cooking and preserving. MSM is an important nutrient (not a drug or medicine) and is a component of over 150 compounds. It is needed by the body for healthy connective tissues and joint function, proper enzyme activity and hormone balance, along with the proper function of the immune system.Why is it lacking in our diet?
Because bio-nutritional sulfur plays such a major role in these healthy body functions and others, it was found that supplementation with MSM improves many health problems such as: allergies, asthma, emphysema, lung disfunction, arthritis, headaches, skin problems, stomach and digestive tract problems, circulation, cell osmosis and absorption.
MSM acts as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory. It also inhibits muscle spasm and increases blood flow. MSM is critical to the formation of connective tissue of all types. MSM is a natural form of organic sulfur found in all living organisms, including human body fluids and tissues. Sulfur is found in many common foods, including raw milk, meat, fish and a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains.
However, processing, heating, storage, and preparation of foods destroys essential MSM sulfur. Without sufficient MSM sulfur in the body, unnecessary illness of varying types may result. Research has shown that MSM is helpful in improving joint flexibility, reducing stiffness and swelling, improving circulation and cell vitality, reducing pain and scar tissue, and in breaking up calcium deposits. According to Earl L. Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., MSM makes cells more permeable, enabling the body to flush out undesirable foreign particles."MSM softens the cell walls, allowing allergens, foreign proteins and any free radicals to be moved out of the system," Mindell states in his book, The MSM Miracle: Enhance Your Health with Organic Sulfur.
MSM is an odorless, water-soluble, white crystalline material that supplies a bioavailable form of dietary sulfur, which plays a major role in stabilizing and promoting numerous body functions. MSM is responsible for the flexible bond between cells, including those that make up the skin. It acts to block undesirable chemical and physical cross-linking or bonding of collagen which is associated with tough, aging skin. Approximately half of the total body sulfur is concentrated in the body's muscles, skin, and bones. It is present in keratin, the tough substance in the skin, nails and hair. Sulfur is necessary for making collagen, the primary constituent of cartilage and connective tissue, but it is also responsible for the conformation of body proteins through the formation of disulfide bonds, which hold connective tissue together. MSM does this in conjunction with vitamins and amino acids, and the process is going on 24 hours of every day. The body never stops making new cells, and this calls for an unceasing supply of MSM and all other essential nutrients. Tests conducted with laboratory animals indicated that wound healing occurred faster with a group receiving MSM, but even faster with both MSM and vitamin C supplementation. Beth M. Ley, in her book, MSM: Our Way Back to Health With Sulfur, lists common signs of sulfur deficiency, including slow wound healing, scar tissue, brittle hair or nails, gastrointestinal problems, arthritis, acne, depression, and more. "The body is in a constant state of repair, but if we do not have all the necessary 'parts'", says Ley, the body will "produce weak, dysfunctional cells."Think of it in terms of making concrete: one man brings water, one guy brings sand, and the other guy brings the cement. You have what you need to make concrete, but the guy bringing the cement keeps taking a break because he's tired. The final mixture or product you have is adobe and not concrete. Similarly, when cells need replacement and you're not giving your body the right balance of building materials, you start losing flexibility in body cells and start building up foreign proteins and free radicals in both cells and body fluids. MSM insufficiency can result in a diverse array of disorders.
MSM is non-allergenic, non-pyretic, and has no interfering or undesirable pharmacological effects. You cannot overdose with MSM - the body will use what it needs and flush out the rest without harm. Because it is also a free radical and foreign protein scavenger, MSM cleans the blood stream, so allergies to foods or pollens can be eliminated, sometimes in just a few days.
MSM is not a vitamin, nor a drug. It is a member of the sulfur family but should never be confused with sulfa drugs or DMSO. MSM is odorless, and does not produce intestinal gas or body odor, which may occur with other forms of sulfur. The formation of Keratin for hair and nail growth is dependent on MSM. MSM is also necessary for the catalytic functions of many enzymes, as they work with glutathione to regenerate vitamin C. MSM is therefore more important in the 'antioxidant network' than previously understood.
Studies suggest that the level of MSM in the body decreases with aging. As a dietary supplement, MSM is recommended for neutralizing and eliminating toxins as well as alleviating conditions of environmental and food allergies, pain from inflammatory disorders, gastrointestinal ailments, and infection."MSM works - that's true," says pain expert and assistant clinical professor at the UCLA School of Medicine, Ronald Lawrence, M.D., PhD. "But how it works ... has not been proven." In a double-blind study of MSM's impact on degenerative arthritis, Lawrence found that patients who ingested 2,250mg(two to three capsules) of MSM a day for six weeks felt an improvement in their pain reduction by 82 percent, on average. "I've been practicing medicine for 50 years, and in all those years, I've never seen a substance like this," he says. Researchers are not sure if MSM is so effective for arthritis because of its sulfur content, because of its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, or because of some yet-undiscovered mechanism. Some researchers are pointing to MSM as the possible explanation for why some cancers go into spontaneous remission. The answer here may lie in MSM's ability to assist in moving free radicals and foreign proteins out of the system.
A study published in 1986 showed that MSM was "effective in the chemoprevention of ... mammary cancers." (Study by Dr. D. McCabe, Dr. P. O'Dwyer, Dr. B. Sickle-Santanello, Dr. E. Woltering, Dr. H. Abou-Issa and Dr. A. James, published in the Archives of Surgery, 12/1986
According to a recent book by Lawrence, Jacob, and Zucker, entitled The Miracle of MSM, MSM can be a natural remedy for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis and bursitis, muscular soreness and athletic injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, post-traumatic inflammation and pain, heartburn and hyperacidity, headaches and back pain, and allergies. People taking MSM may notice other benefits, including softer skin, harder nails, thicker hair, and softening of scar tissue. Unlike aspirin, which offers immediate pain relief, MSM may take 2 - 4 weeks before you have significant improvement. "Except in rheumatoid patients - they've felt differences in just one day, and certainly by three or four days," according to Dr. Lawrence.
Dr. Lawrence has treated more than 1,000 patients with MSM. According to Lawrence, "It's safer than water." Patients at the Oregon Health Sciences University who have received oral MSM as part of their treatment show no toxic build-up, even after years of ingesting more than 2,000mg of MSM each day. It appears that the body uses what it requires and flushes out the rest within 12 hours. "The effects of MSM on rheumatoid arthritis almost mimic that of cortisone," says Dr. Lawrence, "and it's more effective for allergies than antihistamines - without the side effects." More info on MSM and allergies here.
Scar Tissue: Burn victim Bill Rich discovered MSM when a veterinarian friend had him try MSM. Bill's skin was flat, purple and leathery, up and down a majority of the right side of his body. After only a few days of taking MSM, Bill noticed an increase in stamina and energy, and, in time an astonishing effect on his scarred skin as it begam to heal, turn pink, and fill in. As of this writing, Bill had little more than a 2 inch section of skin that is still barely detectable after having more than 60 feet of skin graft scars.
Wrinkles: When the body replaces old skin cells, if there is a deficiency of MSM, the new cells are stiff and contribute to wrinkling. MSM supplementation helps the body replace bad cells with good, healthy, elastic cells. In time, wrinkles go away. Brown and black spots and skin tumors can be arrested and reversed as new cells replace the "insuffucient" cells.
Damaged Skin: It is the MSM in Aloe Vera leaves that sooths and repairs skin that has been cut, scraped, burned or damaged. The body then repairs the skin with the proper raw materials. MSM can be added to water, aloe vera gel, and other preparations for application to the skin. Best results are obtained when MSM is applied topically and taken internally.
Lung Dysfunction: Emphysema is not always caused by smoking. Horses and dogs get emphysema, and they don't smoke: It is a deficiency of MSM that causes this condition(welding fumes, smoke, etc. are an aggravation), and supplementation with MSM can reverse it. John Booth of Portland Oregon, states: "I worked in the shipyards as a welder down in the hull and smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day. I got emphysema; I was coughing and hurting most of the time. I started taking MSM, and after a year I have strong lungs that allow me to breathe easily. The MSM made it possible for me to continue on with my work and my life."
Diabetes: Even diabetics can benefit from MSM supplementation. Self-regulation of blood sugar can occur because MSM allows for proper absorption of blood sugars and insulin, and even repair of a damaged pancreas. When there is an MSM deficiency, cell membranes become less permeable, the pancreas overworks and ultimately fails, while blood sugars saturate the blood stream instead of entering the cells to provide nourishment and energy.
Sore Joints and Muscles: Testimonials of many athletes point to the ability of MSM to increase athletic stamina and eliminate sore muscles. This is because MSM increases the ability of the body to eliminate wastes and toxins at the cellular level, where good health begins.
Actor James Coburn is one person among many who are sold on MSM for arthritis pain.
Candida Yeast: This organism belongs in the large intestine, where it co-exists with acidophilous and prevents the take-over of harmful bacteria. When acidophilous is damaged or eliminated by antibiotic use, Candida can overgrow to the extent that it becomes "systemic", i.e. gets into the blood stream, where it competes for nutrients and emits waste materials that produce myriad symptoms of disease. MSM, by balancing the pH of the blood stream and tissues of the body, prevents Candida from living anywhere outside the intestines, where it belongs. More info on Candida and GSE, here.
Ulcers: Can be life-threatening. See a physician. Ulcers caused by too much stomach acid can be reversed by MSM supplementation.
Ulcers caused by h.Pylori bacteria can be treated with GSE.
MSM in powdered form is very easy to use. MSM is a white, crystalline powder that is odorless and somewhat bitter tasting. It mixes in water more easily than sugar, and just barely affects the taste. In juice or other beverages, it is undetectable.
More research on MSM and other sulfur-containing compounds is being conducted in clinics and laboratories all over the world.
Many find that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin with MSM is an even better source of relief from joint pain.
Search the National Library of Medicine:
There are over 23,000 abstracts on sulfur.
Take one to six capsules daily. Or take one to six grams of powder(one-quarter teaspoon equals just over one gram). For bulk MSM, a certificate of analysis is available. Our MSM is Certified 99.452% pure. The rest is moisture. (Capsules are made of gelatin and contain a very small amount of rice powder as a filler.)