Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, is a naturally-occurring sulfur compound that is found in humans, animals, and plants. It can als...Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, is a naturally-occurring sulfur compound that is found in humans, animals, and plants. It can also be produced synthetically in the form of a dietary supplement. In our bodies, MSM is concentrated in our nails and hair.
Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, is a naturally occurring sulfur compound that is found in humans, animals, and plants. It can also be produced synthetically in the form of a dietary supplement. In our bodies, MSM is concentrated in our nails and hair. MSM was popularized in the late 1900s due to the high antioxidant capacity and anti-inflammatory potential of the compound. Since then, a range of additional potential benefits has been linked to the supplement, which has grown in popularity.
Key health aspects of MSM powder
Unfortunately, research is in the early stages with respect to MSM as a dietary supplement. It is a naturally occurring compound however with a powerful antioxidant profile, which is believed to provide relief and anti-inflammatory effects in the body.
The widely adopted use of MSM as a nutritional supplement was due to the antioxidant capacity, especially after exercise. Although exercise is beneficial, when we exert ourselves, molecules known as reactive oxygen species accumulate in the body. This can impair recovery and reduce the overall adaptation from the exercise.
In one study, 50mg/day of MSM powder for 10 days led to reduced oxidative stress markers after exercise. In another similar study, supplementing 50 mg/day of MSM, for 10 days led to increased overall antioxidant activity. This also resulted in reduced overall damage to the muscle.
Inflammation is a natural response in the body, that is controlled by molecules known as cytokines. One of the lab-studied effects of MSM is the mediating role it may have on the release of these markers. In one study of 40 active men, supplementing with 3,000 mg of MSM reduced the release of inflammatory cytokines after exhaustive exercise.
MSM has been compared to glucosamine due to the potential benefits it can provide on joint pain and inflammation. One study found that in elderly patients, 1,200 mg of MSM for 12 weeks led to reduced joint pain and stiffness.