WHAT IS MSM?
THE DISCOVERY OF MSM
NATURAL SOURCES OF MSM
MSM AND HUMAN HEALTH
WHY DO HUMANS NEED
Cell Membrane Permeability
WHY DO HUMANS NEED MSM?
Preferred Dietary Source of Sulfur
Protection of the Mucosa
WHAT CAN MSM DO FOR YOU?
Constipation and Stomach Acidity
FOR WHOM IS MSM INTENDED?
DOSAGES AND USAGE
HOW SAFE IS MSM?
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WHAT IS MSM?
is an abbreviation of methylsulfonylmethane, an organic form of
sulfur. The chemical formula of MSM is CH3SO2CH3.
It is the form in which sulfur appears in nature in all living
organisms, and in which it is biologically active. MSM is an
odorless, white, crystalline powder that is highly soluble in hot
water and in a wide range of organic solvents (1). Biologically
active sulfur has incredible preventive and therapeutic
medicinal properties of biological sulfur are profound, and they
are also based on obvious principles.
Because of these characteristics, the discovery of
biological sulfur’s role in health, and the process that enabled
its successful delivery in supplemental form, are generally
considered among the biggest advances in orthomolecular medicine
in the second half of this century.
THE DISCOVERY OF MSM
forty years ago, Dr. Stanley Jacob and Dr. Robert Herschler,
chemists with the pulp and paper plant Crown Zellerbach
Corporation, were asked to find a use for lignin, one of the
primary waste products of the plant. Oxidation of lignin in a
reactor was shown to result in the formation of DMSO (Dimethylsulfoxide),
a natural, organic form of sulfur. This water soluble compound has
a strong and bitter taste, and is absorbed rapidly through the
skin. According to
George Bergstrom, who later went into business manufacturing
biological sulfur for medicinal use, workers coming in contact
with the DMSO-saturated wastewater noticed their perspiration
began smelling like DMSO, and they tasted its bitterness in their
mouths. Moreover, the water appeared to have special medicinal
qualities. Many stories about miraculous recoveries and benefits
still go around, but they can not be authenticated. It became
clear, however, that cuts, scrapes, burns and sprains recovered
more quickly when dipped in this water. Several workers also
noticed that conditions caused by arthritis and asthma improved
when they came in contact with the DMSO water.
its original discovery, several thousand articles and publications
have appeared in the United States discussing the medicinal
properties of DMSO. Because of its bitter taste and penetrating
odor, DMSO never became very popular with the general public.
Another problem with DMSO was that it sometimes caused skin
irritation when applied topically. For these reasons, researchers
began looking to engineer a less repellant derivative of DMSO that
would contain all of its positive health benefits without its
negative qualities. Oxidation of DMSO was found to produce MSM, a
much more stable, organic sulfur compound with medicinal
properties at least equal to DMSO, but without the odor and skin
irritation complications (4, 8, 9).
NATURAL SOURCES OF MSM
is the natural form in which sulfur makes a cyclical journey from
the food chain into the earth and back again, known as the
earth’s “sulfur cycle” (3). Algae and several forms of
plankton are capable of absorbing massive amounts of inorganic
sulfur from seawater, and of converting this into a simple,
organically-bound form. When these algae and planktonic
organisms die, enzymatic processes result in the breakdown of the
organic molecules into DMS, or Dimethylsulfide. This compound is
volatile and poorly soluble in water. It collects in the
stratosphere, where it is oxidized under the influence of
ultraviolet light into DMSO (Dimethylsulfoxide), and further
converted into MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane). DMSO and MSM are
highly soluble in water, and therefore concentrate easily in
atmospheric water vapor, returning to earth in the form of rain.
Plant roots rapidly collect and concentrate these sulfur sources.
Laboratory research has shown, that a one ppm mixture of
radioactive labeled DMSO and MSM, can concentrate hundred fold in
plant roots within hours (4).
of this process, rainwater contains a lot of MSM. It is also
abundantly found in fresh fruit and vegetables in amounts
generally ranging from 1 to 4 mg/kg (3). Raw milk from cows which
graze in pastures contains 2 to 5 mg/kg MSM. Due to the volatile
nature of MSM, it is rapidly lost when consumables are heated
during food preparation or pasteurization. Pasturized milk
therefore contains less than 0.25 mg/kg MSM, roughly the same
amount found in milk from cows fed dried, artificial food (3).
MSM is also lost when vegetables and fruit are frozen for a
lengthy period of time, or when they are irradiated. Due
to the realities of the modern food industry, in which a great
portion of everything consumed is either heated, irradiated, or
frozen for a period of time, most people in post-industrial
societies suffer from a chronic shortage of MSM.
MSM AND HUMAN HEALTH
natural level of MSM in the circulatory system of an adult human
male is about 0.2 mg/kg. Normal adults excrete 4 to 11 mg MSM per
day in their urine. Several studies suggest that the systemic
concentration of MSM drops in mammals with increased age, possibly
as a result of changing diet or body metabolism. Some research
suggests that there is a minimum concentration of MSM that must be
maintained in the body to preserve normal physiological function
and the molecular structure of our musculoskeletal systems (8, 9).
Low concentrations of MSM in our bodies have been linked with
unspecified complaints of fatigue, depression, high sensitivity to
physical and psychological stress, and with a large number of
degenerative diseases (5, 6). MSM is an important source of
sulfur, but also has unique properties related to its chemical
structure and biological activities. To understand the preventive
and therapeutic properties of MSM, a distinction needs to be made
between the questions of "why humans need sulfur" and
"why humans need MSM."
WHY DOES THE HUMAN BODY
calcium and phosphorus, sulfur is the third most abundant mineral
in the body. A grown man of average height and weight has
approximately 140 grams of sulfur distributed through their system
(6). Nearly half of all sulfur is contained in muscular tissue,
skin, and bones (5).
plants absorb MSM from rainwater, they convert it into sulfur
containing the amino acids methionine and cysteine. Taurine and
cystine, the other two known sulfur amino acids, are synthesized
from cysteine. The body manufactures about 80% of the amino acids
it needs, and these are classified as nonessential. The remaining
20%, called essential amino acids, must be obtained from food.
Methionine and cysteine are considered two of them. There are
approximately 28 known amino acids. Each type of protein is made
up of a unique collection of amino acids in a specific
combination. Two molecules of cysteine can oxidize and bond
together through sulfur (-S-S-) bonds (5). These sulfur bonds are
the key factors that hold proteins in shape, and determine the
form, properties, and biological activities of proteins.
and hair primary consist of a tough protein with a high sulfur
content, known as keratin. Flexible tissues like connective tissue
and cartilage contain proteins with flexible sulfur bonds.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and a major
component of all connective tissue. In skin, collagen works with
fibers of another protein called elastin, to give skin its
elasticity. In cartilage, the sulfur containing proteoglycans
glucosamine and chondroitin form with collagen, a fibrous protein
substance that give cartilage its structure and flexibility (5,
importance of the connective tissue for the body goes beyond
simply keeping cells together. The first biophysical regulatory
model was developed by Prof. Pischinger, which he termed the
"Vegetative Building Structure." This theory was further
developed by Prof. Heine, who described proteoglycans and
glycosamines, and by Dr. Popp, a biophysicist, who showed the
importance of electromagnetic fields in bio-information. Their
research has demonstrated that the soft, connective tissue, the
extracellular matrix that surrounds cells, serves more than simply
structural and connective purposes. It also is important in the
transport of nutrients, electrolytes, signal compounds and atomic
and subatomic particles. Thus, the soft connective tissue forms an
essential communication network within the body through the
transfer of fine matter bio-information (13 -16).
many people notice later in life, the flexible tissues lose their
elastic properties. A shortage of sulfur is the likely cause of
this problem. The consequences are stiffening of muscles and
joints, rippling of the skin, and decreased elasticity of lung
tissues and arterial blood vessels. Without a doubt, the transfer
of bio-information through soft connective tissue decreases as
well, and the occurrences of diseases at advanced age may well be
linked to a decrease in communication between cells and body
Cell Membrane Permeability
cells (and all organelles within cells) are surrounded by
membranes. A membrane consists of two layers of molecules situated
opposite of one another and consisting of an essential fatty acid
on one end, and a sulfur containing amino acid on the other end.
The amino acids are interconnected in such a manner that they form
a surface into which the proteins and other membrane constituents
are inserted and secured. These proteins are necessary for the
transport through the cell membrane of many types of nutrients and
bridges form flexible connections between the cells and the
surrounding connective tissues. This allows the cells to retain
their elasticity. When sulfur is in short supply, the cell wall
hardens, and the cells lose their elasticity. The transport
proteins of the membrane become locked, and the membranes become
less permeable. This results in a reduced transport of oxygen and
nutrients into the cells as well as reduced excretion of waste
products from within the cells. This causes a shortage of oxygen
and nutrients, and an accumulation of toxic metabolic waste
products inside the cells. Reduced vitality and eventually
degenerative diseases are the result.
insight in free radical pathology has shown that the thiol (-SH)
groups of sulfur containing amino acids can protect cell membrane
protein chains from oxidation. But that is not all. Studies by Dr.
Johanna Budwig have demonstrated that sulfur containing amino
acids in cell membranes resonate with the double connections of
the fatty acids, resulting in the release of electrons. Electron
clouds are formed, which can move along the fatty acid chains. In
this manner, electrical currents evolve which form the basis of
all electrical energy in the body. This energy can be measured in
heartbeat, nerve stimulations, and muscle contractions; in short,
in all chemical and electrical reactions which make life possible.
are proteins that control all-important life functions. For
example, they regulate all metabolic processes in our bodies.
Sulfur bridges are responsible for the spatial structure of
enzymes. Without sulfur bridges, enzymes would lack biological
activity due to deviations in their spatial structure. Shortages
in sulfur cause reduced production of biologically active enzymes,
which results in a reduction of many metabolic processes. Sulfur
is important for the cellular energy production in which glucose
is metabolized under the release of energy.
important, sulfur plays a role in the electron transport system,
as part of iron/sulfur proteins in mitochondria, the energy
factories of the cell. Furthermore, sulfur participates in the
vitamin-B Thiamine (B1) en Biotin. These vitamins are essential
for converting carbohydrates into energy, by burning glucose.
Insulin is a hormone excreted by the pancreas, and mainly
functions to regulate the blood sugar level. Insulin therefore
plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism. Each insulin
molecule consists of two amino acid chains, connected to one
another by sulfur bridges (Figure 4). These sulfur bridges are
very important for the proper functioning of insulin. Without
these bridges, the hormone loses its biological activity.
WHY DOES THE HUMAN BODY
Preferred Dietary Source of
scientific consensus held that in humans, the sulfur-containing
amino acids methionine and cysteine are the most important sources
of sulfur. However, since the discovery of the earth's sulfur
cycle, this theory is increasingly brought into question (3).
Several hundred million years ago, algae in the oceans started
producing simple organic sulfur compounds, which led to the
formation of MSM. This biologically active sulfur was probably the
most important source of sulfur for all subsequently developing
life forms. This gives credence to the hypothesis that higher
forms of life most likely are genetically preprogrammed to use MSM
as a primary source of sulfur. This theory is further enhanced by
the discovery that MSM can be ingested by all organisms
investigated so far in almost unlimited quantities without causing
any toxic effects. The same cannot be said about the sulfur
containing amino acids methionine en cysteine, which can be
consumed in small quantities, but which can cause undesired toxic
responses in larger doses (3).
using MSM containing radiolabeled sulfur (35S) have
shown that following ingestion, MSM releases its sulfur to form
collagen and keratin, the basic ingredients of hair and nails, as
well as the essential amino acids methionine and cysteine, along
with serum proteins (8, 11). It appears abundantly clear that the
importance of MSM as a source of sulfur has been grossly
underestimated. The reason for this is likely in large part due to
the realities of the modern food industry, which, as earlier
explained, causes to the loss of the majority of naturally present
MSM. It is therefore for good reason that MSM is referred to as
"The Forgotten Nutrient" (6).
Protection of the Mucosa
Additional experiments with MSM containing
radiolabeled sulfur demonstrated that after ingestion, MSM is bound to the
mucosa. Apparently, MSM is binding to receptor sites at the mucous
membrane surface in the intestinal and urogenital tracts and the
respiratory system. By doing so, it presents a blocking interface between
host and environment (4). There are many health-benefitting implications
to such natural interactions. Allergens and parasites cannot bind to the
mucosa, toxins are oxidized, and free radicals are eliminated.
WHAT CAN MSM DO FOR YOU?
in biological sulfur can result in the less optimal functioning of
each cell, tissue and organ in the body. Inorganic sulfur is
poorly assimilated. Organic, biologically active sulfur is
therefore extremely important for the health of every living
organism. MSM is the natural source of biological sulfur to which
we are adapted through our evolution. Use of MSM has the following
the most remarkable discovery regarding MSM is that it is an
effective pain killer. MSM
works for many types of chronic pain. In March 1999, Stanley
W. Jacob, M.D., and Ronald M. Lawrence, M.D., Ph.D., published
“The Miracle of MSM: The Natural Solution for Pain”. Their
book was based on their experience as medical doctors and MSM
researchers. Dr. Jacob is the head of the DMSO Pain Clinic
in Portland, OR, and a Professor at the Oregon Health Sciences
University, and Dr. Lawrence was the founder of the International
Association for the Study of Pain and the American Association for
the Study of Headaches. Combined,
they have over 20 years of experience with fighting pain with MSM.
They concluded that of more than 18,000 patients that suffered
from chronic pain, about 70% experienced benefits from the use of
MSM, finding that pain either diminished or disappeared
types of pain which have been treated successfully with MSM
injury due to accidents, burns, etc.
and rheumatoid arthritis
elbows and other sports injuries
(Repititive Strain Injury)
due to burns, operations, accidents, etc.
way MSM impacts pain is currently explained by the following
is a natural analgetic: it blocks the transfer of pain
impulses through nerve fibers (C-fibers).
blocks inflammations and inflammatory processes. MSM enhances
the activity of cortisol, a natural anti-inflammatory hormone
produced by the body.
improves the permeability of cell membranes. This
improves the uptake of nutrients and many vitamins and the
elimination of waste products and excess cellular fluids.
dilates bloood vessels, enhancing the blood circulation.
This, too, helps to eliminate waste products from the body,
which speeds up healing.
is a muscle relaxant. This is an important and often
overlooked benefit of MSM. Many chronic pains are aggrevated
by chronic muscle tension in the body.
aids the natural defense mechanisms in the body by regulating
the prostaglandin metabolism, and regulates the formation of
anitbodies and immune complexes.
slows down and restores crosslinking in collagen.
Crosslinking in collagen is a natural process in scar formation,
causing hard and often painful scar tissues. This may lead to
chronic pain, particularly in the case of burn scars, in which
large surface areas may be affected. MSM heals scar tissue, making
the skin more flexible. People who have treated burn scars with a
MSM ointment and seen their scars almost disappear, and have
eliminated associated pains, form dramatic examples of MSM’s
potency in this regard.
is considered a potentiator of most vitamins and other nutrients,
such as vitamin C, Coenzyme Q10, all B- vitamins, vitamin A, D en
E, amino acids, selenium, calcium, magnesium en many others. MSM
improves the cellular uptake of these nutrients, and prolongs
their lives (5, 6, 8). The body can better utilize the nutrients,
and taking dietary supplements is more efficient. Additionally,
fewer dietary supplements need to be taken.
is a strong antioxidant, capable of binding and inactivating free
radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules and atoms with
unpaired electrons, which, by force of nature, attract electrons
from their surrounding environment. Free radicals are not all
harmful; actually, life without free radicals is impossible.
They are needed for cellular energy production. The liver
produces free radicals during the breakdown of harmful substances,
and the body's immune system uses free radicals to kill viruses
and bacteria. The body houses antioxidants that bind and
deactivate free radicals. The normal production of free radicals
in a healthy human is therefore harmless. However, the
overproduction of free radicals can be very harmful. They can
begin a chain reaction that can eventually cause great harm to
cell membranes and chromosomes. Overproduction of free radicals is
caused by physical and mental stress, malnutrition, air pollution,
heavy metals and organic contaminants in drinking water and food,
radiation and cigarette smoke. In such cases the body needs extra
antioxidants from food. MSM is such an antioxidant.
a major sulfur donor, MSM is essential for the proper functioning
of the body's anti oxidation system. When neutralizing free
radicals, the body uses a variety of antioxidant enzymes that
contain sulfuric amino acids.
These derive their structure and biological activity from
sulfur bonds (S-S). MSM provides the sulfur for the amino sulfur
acids methionine, cysteine and taurine, which are considered
powerful antioxidants. When split off, the thiol (-SH) groups of
these amino acids are capable of neutralizing free radicals (17).
Sulfur is also necessary for the formation of what is considered
the most powerful nutritional antioxidant, glutathion (5). And as
stated before, MSM potentiates the effect of well known
nutritional antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, coenzyme Q10,
selenium, and others. (5, 7). MSM itself also appears to act as an
antioxidant (7). The mucosa contains a carbon-sulfur bond cleaving
enzyme, termed C-S lyase. Studies suggest that when bound to the
mucosa, cleavage of MSM provides an electron deficient group CH3SO2which can neutralize free radicals (4).
dissolves in many organic and inorganic compounds (1). Bound to
the mucosa and split into an electron deficient group CH3SO2.,
MSM reacts with toxins, affects inactivation and speeds excretion
(4). Furthermore, MSM enhances the permeability of cell membranes,
making it easier for nutrients to be taken up by the cells, and
waste products to be eliminated. Practically speaking, MSM
drastically increases the ability of cells to excrete toxic waste
products. Many health practitioners working with MSM will state
that it is the most powerful detoxifying nutraceutical or
pharmaceutical agent they have ever worked with.
recent example shows the dramatic detoxification action of MSM. A
young artist sought help in a psychiatric institution for severe
mental complaints. Antidepressants worsened his complaints to such
degree that he decided to look for alternative care. Microscopic
examination of his blood using the Life Blood / HLB test showed
that the man suffered from heavy metal poisoning caused by the
paints which he used in his art work. This person subsequently
sought the help of various traditional and alternative medical
professionals who prescribed various pharmaceutical drugs,
homeopathic and orthomolecular detoxifiers as well as bioresonance
therapy. After one and one half years of detoxification the blood
picture had somewhat improved, but he still exhibited severe
toxicity symptoms (Figure a).
and one half years later, his blood had improved somewhat but his
basic complaints had remained unchanged. On the advice of the
author, this man stopped taking the medications received so far,
and was put on high dosages of MSM (15 grams/day), supported by
weekly Ayurvedic sweat baths to stimulate waste discharge. Two
months later a microscopic examination showed that his blood had
returned to normal (Figure b), and he indicated that, for the
first time since seeking treatment, he had noticed a significant
improvement in his condition.
brain is extremely sensitive to the effects of toxic materials
such as heavy metals and organic compounds. Many of these
compounds tend to accumulate in nerve cells where they can cause
severe oxidative damage. Neurological disturbances may be the
result. MSM is one of the few antioxidants which can easily pass
the blood-brain barrier. It prevents and repairs oxidative damage
and restores cell membrane elasticity and permeability. This
allows the nerve cells to start excreting waste products.
powerful action of MSM is illustrated in the following example. An
older woman suffered from poisoning caused by exposure to
aluminum. This heavy metal had accumulated in her brain and caused
severe neurological damage. The woman had been confined to her bed
for six years, unable to communicate with her surroundings. All
this time she had not spoken a word. Medical doctors could no
longer help her and had given up on her. She was completely
dependent on her husband who took complete care of her needs. A
natural health care practitioner advised two teaspoons of MSM
(about 15 grams) daily. The MSM passed the blood brain barrier,
and restored the permeability of the brain cell membranes,
allowing her brain cells to purge the heavy metal poisons. Two
weeks later, the orthomolecular physician prescribed a warm bath
to help her eliminate the released poisons through the skin. After
twenty minutes in this bath, the woman suddenly smiled and said
"Gee, I feel much better now." These were the first
words she had spoken in years. Several months later, the woman was
capable of leading a normal life again (7).
alleviates the symptoms of a large number of allergies, including
food allergies, contact allergies, inhalation allergies, and
others. The major anti-allergic characteristic of MSM caused by
its ability to bind to the mucosa and present a natural blocking
interface between hosts and allergens. Besides, MSM alleviates
allergies through detoxification and elimination of free radicals,
and improvement of cell permeability. A direct correlation between
concentration of MSM used and resistance to allergens has been
established. Several authors have noted that MSM works as a
histamine inhibitor at least as well as the traditional
antihistamines, without the negative side effects (5, 6, 7).
very effectively fights inflammations resulting from autoimmune
reactions (in which the body's immune system turns on itself). For
example, people who suffer from arthritis often benefit greatly
from MSM. Several studies have shown that supplementation of MSM
significantly reduces joint degeneration and inflammation. In one
study, 24 people with symptomatic osteoarthritis were treated with
either a regular (NSAID) drug, or with 3 grams of MSM daily. After
one month, both groups noted equal improvements in pain and
stiffness( 6). In another experiment, mice with a predisposition
to rheumatoid arthritis-like joint lesions were studied.
found that two-month old mice who were given water containing a 3%
solution of MSM for a period of three months suffered no
degeneration of articular cartilage. In the control group of mice
receiving only tap water, 50% of the animals were found to have
focal degeneration of articular cartilage. Nearly all (95%) of the
control animals had inflammatory reaction in the synovial tissues,
compared to less severe inflammatory reaction in 50% of the MSM
group (8, 10). The beneficial effect of MSM is due in part to its
ability to improve cell permeability, allowing harmful substances
(lactic acid, toxins) to flow out while permitting nutrients to
flow in, thereby preventing a pressure buildup in cells that
causes inflammation in the joints (5).
prone to the development of Autoimmune Lymphoproliferative Disease
(ALD) were fed, beginning at the age of one month, a diet that
included a 3% solution of MSM as drinking water. The mean life
span of the control group was 5.5 months, whereas the mean life
span of the MSM group was extended to more than 10 months of age.
The MSM group showed decreased anti-nuclear antibody responses and
significant diminution of lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly and anemia
development, thus suggesting that MSM provided significant
protection against the development of the autoimmune disease ALD
(12). Other experiments were conducted on mice bred for their
propensity to acquire the autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus
experiments showed MSM to have a protective effect both before and
after the onset of the disease. Mice that were maintained on a
diet including 3% MSM in their drinking water from the age one
month suffered lower death and liver damage rates than control
groups drinking only tap water. After seven months, 30% of the
control group had died, while all the MSM mice were still alive.
Also, when mice seven months old and already showing signs of
advanced lupus were fed the MSM diet, 62% of the animals were
still alive after nine months, compared to 14% for the control
group that received only tap water (8).
experiments have shown that oral administration of MSM can protect
rats against the onset of cancer. In one study, rats specially
bred to be susceptible to breast cancer when given certain
carcinogenic compounds were fed a diet containing MSM for a period
of eight days. The control group did not receive MSM. Following
this preliminary period, all rats were given oral doses of
cancer-causing agents. There was no statistical difference in the
number of tumors developing in the two groups. However, the MSM
diet rats developed their first tumors some 100 days later than
the control rats, and these tumors became cancerous some 130 days
later than those in the control group. Considering a two-year
average life expectancy of rats, 100 days are the equivalent of
about ten years in human life (8).
another experiment, rats received MSM as 1% solution in their
drinking water throughout the duration of the study. The control
group received only tap water. One week after the start of the
dietary regimen, all rats were injected with dimethylhydrazine, a
chemical that induces colon cancer. Over the nine months that the
experiment was conducted, the number of bowel tumors occurring in
the rats was statistically the same for the two groups. However,
the time of appearance of the first bowel tumors was considerably
longer in the MSM treated rats. The researchers concluded that MSM
significantly lengthens the time of tumor onset compared to the
of the most amazing discoveries on MSM is its anti-parasitic
action against Giardia, Trichomonas, roundworms, nematodes,
Enterobius and other intestinal worms (5). Animal studies include
laboratory mice determined to have pin worms (Enterobius) by fecal
cast examination. They were given commercial food and drinking
water, both containing 2% MSM by weight. After 17 days, fecal
examination indicated the feces were free of worms and eggs. The
blood level of MSM in one animal examined exceeded 30 ppm or mg/kg
(3). Human studies include a man with confirmed Giardia lamblia,
apparently contacted from contaminated water in a primitive area.
He was given 500 mg MSM three times a day for 14 days. By the
eighth day he was free of symptoms, and two stool specimens
collected one week later were free of the organism (3). In another
study, Trichomonas vaginalis was successfully treated by
oral dosage of 1 gram MSM a day, and a daily topical application
of 5% aqueous MSM for one week (3).
major antiparasitic property of MSM stems from its ability to bind
to the mucosa and present a natural blocking interface between
hosts and parasites. It's as though MSM puts down a coating on the
mucosa, which parasites find impenetrable and can't cling to.
Unable to stick, the parasites are simply flushed out of the body
(5, 9). In vitro research has shown the antiparasitic, antifungal
and antibacterial action of MSM concentrations. MSM concentrations
of 1 mg/mL and less demonstrated no significant inhibition of Giardia
lamblia. However, at 20 mg/mL concentrations it was strongly
inhibitory, and concentrations above 40 mg/mL promptly killed the
organism. According to Dr. Herschler, one can safely administer up
to 1-2 grams of MSM per kilogram of body weight on a daily basis.
One therefore builds a safely tolerated blood level up to 4000 ppm
(mg/kg), a level highly toxic to many infective organisms yet
harmless to the host (3).
growing number of natural physicians are expressing concerns about
parasites. It is becoming increasingly clear that they can be a
continuous source of poisoning which can spread throughout the
body and affect the immune system. It is an intriguing thought
that MSM may be nature's original means of protecting us against
sulfur-containing B vitamin biotin is a critical part of
glucokinase, the enzyme involved in the utilization of the sugar
glucose. Sulfur is also a component of insulin, the protein
hormone secreted by the pancreas that is essential to carbohydrate
metabolism. Lack of nutritional sulfur in the diet can result in
low production of biologically active insulin. Studies indicate
that MSM improves cellular glucose uptake by improving cell
permeability, thus balancing blood sugar level and returning the
pancreas to normal functioning (5).
Muscle Soreness and Cramps
in combination with vitamin C, MSM has demonstrated remarkable
ability to reduce or eliminate the incidence of muscle soreness,
leg and back cramps. MSM is particularly successful with geriatric
patients who have such cramps during the night or after long
periods of inactivity. Many people with stiff muscles and joints
have reported a marked improvement after using MSM for some time.
Several cases have been reported of people who suffer from carpal
tunnel syndrome, who have been cured by using MSM. An elderly
woman was slated to have an operation performed on both wrists. On
the advice of the author she started using MSM. A month later her
symptoms had all but disappeared, and the operation was no longer
who compete vigorously can learn from trainers of million-dollar
racehorses. For many years and with great success, trainers
administered MSM to their prize horses before a race to prevent
muscle soreness, and afterwards to lessen the risk of cramping and
improve physical recovery (4). The physical fatigue syndrome
following intense athletic activity in competitive sports, which
usually persist for 8-10 days in athletes, was gone in 2-3 days in
individuals who had ingested 1-2 gram MSM per day for the
preceding six months (3)
Constipation and Stomach
study revealed that at least 75% of individuals taking one or more
antacids or H2 histamine receptor antagonists against
stomach acidity were able to sharply reduce or eliminate such
medication within a week of initiating MSM as a dietary
supplement. In another study, twenty-one subjects with a history
of constipation were given 500 mg daily doses of MSM together with
1 gram of ascorbic acid. All subjects with abnormal colon function
returned to normal and remained normal while MSM was part of their
diet (5). These studies indicate that MSM often gives more relief
from stomach acidity and constipation than commonly prescribed
medication. Many people have reported that one of the most
exciting and rewarding benefits of taking MSM is the prompt and
continued relief from stomach acidity and constipation problems
allows the body to more effectively take up oxygen. In the first
place, it improves the elasticity of the lung cells and the
permeability of long cell membranes, allowing more air to be
breathed and oxygen to pass through the membranes into the blood
stream. Secondly, MSM prevents and corrects the clotting of red
blood cells, allowing the blood to absorb more oxygen. Moreover,
by improving the cell membrane permeability, cells throughout the
body can take up more oxygen from the blood, and hence produce
more energy. People suffering from lung dysfunctions may benefit
greatly from treatment with MSM. In one study, seven human
subjects with respiratory deficiency were given MSM in amounts
ranging from 250 - 1.500 mg/day. Five had emphysema, and two had
lung tumors with additional function impairment due to pleural
fluid accumulation. Both were on radiation chemotherapy prior to
including MSM in their diet, but without apparent benefit. Before
and during the test period, the five subjects with emphysema
walked a measured distance compatible with their physical
capabilities. Within four weeks of beginning the ingestion of MSM,
all emphysema sufferers had at least doubled their 'comfortable'
walking distance. The two subjects with lung tumors were assessed
by attending physicians and nurses as more alert and with a better
attitude than before the test. Most strikingly however, the lung
fluid had disappeared during the first months of the test period
people using MSM have reported feeling better and stronger and
capable of increased endurance. During a test with 14 persons
using MSM for periods from seven months to over one year, none of
them became ill (3). One stress study involved two groups of 25
goldfish, which were removed from a large aquarium and placed in
two identical, small aquariums. One group was fed ordinary
goldfish food, and the other group received the same food with 2%
by weight of MSM added. Movement confinement, temperature changes
and marginal oxygenation stressed the fish in both aquariums
equally. After five days, only one fish of the MSM group had died,
against 11 (almost 50%) of the control group (3).
is a common practice in intensive cattle breeding to add
antibiotics to animal feed in order to promote growth and prevent
the outbreak of stress-related diseases. Animal products such as
meat, milk and eggs contain residues of antibiotics, which pass
into the consumer. The abundant usage of antibiotics is largely
responsible for the creation of resistent bacteria strains. Well
known examples are the "hospital bacterium" MRSA (meticillin
resistant Staphylococcus aureus), and the VRE's (vancomycin-resistant
enterococci). Today, increasing resistance of bacteria is
considered one of the major threats to human health. It is an
intriguing thought that adding MSM to animal feed might reduce
stress and improve animal health to a level where the usage of
antibiotics can be strongly reduced.
is called nature's "beauty mineral" because it keeps
skin smooth and youthful and hair glossy. Sulfur is necessary for
the production of collagen and keratin, proteins necessary for the
health and maintenance of skin, nails and hair (6). Several
experiments have shown that several dermatological disorders,
including those that are allergy-related, respond favorably to a
diet supplemented by MSM. Oral dosages of MSM have shown to be
effective against acne, Rosaceae, and dry, scaly or itching
skin(3). When used topically in the form of an ointment or lotion,
MSM is helpful in treating skin disorders including acne,
psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, dandruff, scabies, diaper rash and
certain fungal infections (1, 6). Scars resulting from operations
and from burns also respond well to topical application. New scars
can heal so perfectly that they are almost invisible. Old scars,
too, can improve markedly.
FOR WHOM IS MSM INTENDED?
DOSAGES AND USAGE
is intended for everyone who appreciates good health.
Sport enthusiasts and athletes can use it to improve their
performance and speed up recovery after workouts. People with
degenerative diseases can use it to drastically improve their
health and quality of life.
MSM is not a cure-all for solving every health
problem. It is a food supplement that people in pre-modern
societies received through their diets.
Most people today, however, suffer from chronic MSM
deficiencies, due to its inability to endure the realities of the
modern food and drink industry. MSM
gives the body the tools it needs to better cure itself and
maintain its vitality. MSM cannot do this by itself. The basis for
good health is maintaining healthy living conditions, including a
healthy and balanced diet, good lifestyle choices, and exercise.
optimal dosage depends on the nature and intensity of the
complaints. In most cases, it is sufficient to take an initial
dose of three 1-gram tablets twice daily.
Children ten and under should take a tablet twice daily,
while those between ten and eighteen should take two tablets twice
daily. After several months the adult dosage can be reduced to two
tablets twice daily, though maintaining a higher dose certainly
won’t hurt. People with serious ailments have been shown to
benefit from higher dosages, up to four 1-gram tablets three times
daily. Such a high dosage may be advised to fight parasital
infections. Case studies have been reported in which patients did
not show noticeable improvement until they received a daily dosage
of 30 grams (6). Such extreme dosages are not generally
recommended for most people, although no negative effects were
using MSM should make all changes to their dosage gradually.
They should not increase their dose as long as
detoxification symptoms persist. Although uncommon, these symptoms
may include nausea and headaches (see below). MSM is best taken
with a glass of water one half hour prior to eating. As it tends
to stimulate energy levels, it is generally advisable not to take
it prior to bed.
HOW SAFE IS MSM?
MSM is similar in toxicity to water. When MSM was
administered to human volunteers, no toxic effects were observed at intake
levels of 1 gram per kg of body weight per day for 30 days. Intravenous
injections of 0.5 grams per kg body weight daily for five days a week
produced no measurable toxicity in human subjects. The lethal dose (LD50)
of MSM for mice is more than 20 g/kg body weight; this means that the
average lethal dose of MSM for humans is more than one and a half kilograms;
about six times the lethal dose of table salt. MSM has been widely tested as
a food ingredient without any reports of allergic reactions. An unpublished
Oregon Health Sciences University study of the long-term toxicity of MSM
over a period of six months showed no toxic effects. More
than 12,000 patients were treated with MSM at levels above two grams daily,
without toxicity (8).
practice, most people who use MSM notice very little at the onset,
or may experience slight detoxification symptoms. These symptoms may
include mild forms of diarrhea, skin rash, headache and fatigue.
After one week, these symptoms usually disappear. Fewer than 20% of
users of MSM may feel moderately sick in the first few days of using
MSM. Generally, the stronger the symptoms are, the more toxins had
been stored in the body, and the more MSM was needed for its
purification. If more moderate symptoms of detoxification are
experienced, it may be advisable to reduce the dosage of MSM, and to
gradually rebuild it once the symptoms disappear.
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