The Benefits of MSM Supplements
The words ‘miracle food’ or miracle supplements’ are regularly bandied about these days so I would forgive you for taking them with a large pinch of salt. But MSM supplements are actually one supplement that may be deserving of the name.
MSM supplements are known to reduce inflammation, combat stress, improve immunity, raise energy levels and so much more besides.
What is MSM?
MSM or methylsulfonylmethane is a sulfur-containing organic compound used to boost immune function, restore healthy tissye and reduce inflammation among other benefits. The reason that MSM is so beneficial is because it provides the body with a biologically active form of sulfur. Sulfur is responsible for a wide variety of important bodily functions and is actually among the most plentiful minerals found in the human body.
Health Benefits of MSM Supplements
MSM supplements can be taken orally or used on the skin as a topical medication. They are extremely popular among those trying to treat arthritis naturally because MSM helps in the formation of connective tissues. Other than arthritis there are plenty more benefits of this supplement ranging from immune health and digestion to skin and hair care.
1) For Joint Pain and Arthritis
One of the best known and well studied benefits of MSM is for the treatment of arthritis and joint pain. Research indicates that MSM can help to reduce inflammation in the joints, improve flexibility and boost the production of collagen.
Studies have also demonstrated that people suffering from rheumatism or osteoarthritis can benefit greatly from MSM supplementation from with major improvements in their symptoms and their quality of life.
According to research, MSM helps the body to form new muscle and joint tissues while also reducing inflammatory responses responsible for swelling or stiffness. The sulfur you get from these supplements helps to normalize cellular activity and benefits immune system health. Without the requisite sulfur, our cells are unable to release excess fluid and byproducts which may accumulate and result in tenderness and swelling.
One clinical trial published in 2011 looked at the effect of MSM alongside glucosamine in joint pain suffered by 118 volunteers with osteoarthritis. The results of the study were very promising and showed that compared to those who took a placebo, the MSM group benefited in a variety of ways.
After 12 weeks, those treated with MSM at a dose of 500 mg three times a day, experienced less pain and swelling and greater joint mobility. (1)
2) For Muscle Pain and Spasms
As well as helping to ease the pain from swollen joints, MSM can also help relieve muscle pain. Research seems to indicate that MSM has natural analgesic properties which can be put to good use against muscle pain and soreness. (2)
Researchers and experts have found that it can help the muscles to recover after exercise, help promote healing from injury and even following surgery.
So how does MSM work against muscle pain? The answer again lies in the role played by sulfur in your body. Sulfur is mostly stored in the tissues which make up the joints and muscles. MSM helps to repair damage to the tissue cells that occurs when we exercise or injure ourselves. Through this action, MSM helps prevent the tissues from swelling up for any lengthy period of time.
MSM also helps restore permeability and flexibility to the muscle cell walls. This means that nutrients are able to pass through your tissues easily, working faster and also removing the lactic acid that causes the burning feeling during exercise. This results on faster recovery time, less soreness and cramping.
3) Digestive Complaints
MSM helps to rebuild and strengthen the gut’s lining and also helps reduce inflammation and allergic reaction to food. It stops particles leaking from the gut and as a result is useful for treating conditions like leaky gut syndrome.
4) For Hemorrhoids
MSM supplements might also be a useful way of treating hemorrhoids. According to research published in 2012, a combination of a gel with MSM and tea tree essential oil is very effective. This natural treatment can reduce the swelling and pain caused by this painful condition. (3)
5) Skin Health
There is evidence from research that a topical cream made with MSM in combination with silymarin can help reduce the inflammation that contributes to rosacea, allergies, skin discoloration and slower wound healing.
According to research MSM may help treat rosacea by improving the tone of your skin, reducing redness and easing sensitivity. (4)
MSM may also help keep you looking younger, It might prevent wrinkles, sun damage, dark age spots and other blemishes. The reason it is believed to work is that MSM is needed for the production of collagen.
Collagen helps tone the skin and improve its strength preventing it from sagging, cracking or wrinkling. As we get older, we lose much of our collagen which becomes very evident in the health of our skin.
5) To Ease Stress
MSM acts much like an adopgen herb by helping the way your body reacts to stressful situations. According to research, MSM can improve a person’s recovery from exercise and help them to bounce back fast. It can also help you to recover from a stressful event and even recover faster from injury.
There is evidence that people who take MSM before they exercise have a reduced risk of muscle damage and other stress markers. MSM may also help relieve fatigue and exhaustion after a stressful event. According to research it might also improve mood, energy and digestion. (5) (6)
6) Hair Growth
If you are worried that you are going bald on top or your hair is thinning noticeably, there may be good news in the shape of MSM. That is because MSM can boost the production of both keratin and collagen, vital nutrients when it comes to forming new hair as well as nails and skin.
You will often see both heratin and collagen as ingredients in commercial hair products because they give your hair health, luster and strength but they can also reverse your hair loss. (7)
How to Use MSM
There are no recommended daily doses for MSM or sulfur because there are no known symptoms associated with sulfur deficiency. The appropriate dose will mostly depend on why you are taking the supplement.
A standard dose for arthritis is usually in the region of 500 mg MSM to be taken three times a day is often used for arthritis. Studies have demonstrated that a larger dose of between three and six grams a day is well-tolerated and safe.
MSM supplements are available in capsule, powder or topical cream form. It is most often available as a powder and it is often found as an ingredient in powdered supplements.
Make sure that you read the label very carefully. Start off with around a teaspoon or two of powder with water. You can increase the dose on you body is used the supplement as long as you did not experience any side effects.
Potential Side Effects
MSM appears to be safe and well-tolerated. There have been very few reports of adverse side effects to date.
One study published in 2006 used as much as 6 grams daily on patients with arthritis. Not only was the treatment effective but no side effects were observed.
MSM has however been known to cause some mild side-effects. These include indigestion, diarrhea and stomach upset.
It should not be used by people taking blood thinning medication.