Just what is MSM?
MSM is the short name for a dietary supplement known
as Methylsulfonylmethane. MSM is generally thought of as a
product additive for arthritis related joint discomfort due
to joint pain, but it historically has had many other uses.
The key issue with MSM is what kind of effect
it has on the body and why you would take it. Unlike Glucosamine,
you already get some MSM from your diet. Strictly speaking,
MSM is the biologically available (organic) form of sulfur.
Sulfur is one of the major components of food and one of the
most prevalent materials in the body. Most likely due to its
chemical similarity to sulfur, MSM has shown to be effective
at relieving inflammation and some would argue that MSM is
far better than some of the other COX2 drugs or NSAIDS out
there. So these thoughts prompt the following questions:
Is there clinical proof that MSM
Compared to glucosamine, there have been fewer MSM
studies done. This does not mean it is not helpful for certain
conditions, it just means that we need more information and
more studies done. When you look at substances to rebuild
and reconstitute cartilage, MSM shows little clinical evidence
that says it can do that, where as glucosamine simply has
a longer track record. MSM might dull some of the pain in
the muscles of your body. Therefore it is advised that you
use it in combination with glucosamine and chondroitin. That way you will find it to be highly effective as a synergistic ingredient
that helps the glucosamine work better and provide faster
What is MSM used for?
MSM is used for muscle pain. It has shown some clinical
evidence that it can be helpful for arthritis related joint
discomfort due to joint pain, but it is usually used in combination
with other, more effective joint supplements such as glucosamine
and chondroitin. MSM, like omega 3 and niacinamide are synergistic
ingredients for arthritis related joint discomfort due to
joint pain, meaning it helps the glucosamine do its job more
What are the side effects, if any,
DMSO, a similar substance to MSM can induce strong
body odors but this does not happen with MSM due to its different
chemical form. Some people have developed allergies to sulfa
drugs, but remember, MSM is essentially a form of dietary
sulfur, and not a drug. If you know you are allergic to sulfa
drugs, you should note MSM’s organic sulfur form and
to be on the safe side, avoid MSM. Normal, healthy
individuals consume sulfur everyday with no problems so it
is unlikely that MSM will cause any issues. You eat sulfur
daily in many common foods, and is already present (in minute
amounts) in our bodies, particularly our joints. Most people
will experience little to no side effects with MSM.
Should I take MSM?
There are some products out there (e.g. the ones
that contain just MSM) that will argue that you absolutely
must have MSM or else you will be forever stricken with joint
discomfort. This is not accurate. Some (albeit unscrupulous)
people tout MSM as the wonder arthritis cure, which is certainly
untrue. No known product or drug can cure
arthritis, but MSM can certainly be extremely helpful for
arthritis and joint pain. Before you decide that MSM alone
is as great as some people claim, be sure to consider the
other synergistic ingredients. MSM might help with muscle
pain, but it does nothing for the disease, and it will not
rebuild damage that has already occurred. Other forms of pain
will not be eased by MSM alone. That is why you need glucosamine
and chondroitin as well if you are going after muscle, joint
discomfort, or arthritis related flexibility issues.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Be sure to visit the Glucosamine Product Guide for a review of commercially available glucosamine products broken down by 9 different categories such as price per month, quality and type. Learn what the best products out there are and what criteria was used to ranked each.