Methylsulfonylmethane is also known as MSM, methyl sulfone, dimethyl sulfone, and DMSO2. It is an organic compound that can be found in virtually all living things. It can also be made in a laboratory for use as a medicine, and is sold as a dietary supplement. It is used to remedy a myriad of ailments, including but not limited to obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes. It has no known adverse drug interactions, but anyone choosing to take this supplement is encouraged to speak first with their doctor.
a. Animal Sources
MSM is found in seawater, and therefore is present in seafood. In particular, mussels and shrimp contain measurable amounts of MSM.
It is found in a relatively high concentration in cow’s milk, and in lower amounts in goat’s milk. Cheese, butter, eggs, and yogurt also contain small amounts of MSM. Trace amounts are also found in lean beef and poultry.
b. Plant Sources
Green leafy vegetables like cabbage contain small amounts when consumed raw. Cooked vegetable have less because the cooking process breaks this compound down, but cooked beets and asparagus still have significant amounts of Methylsulfonylmethane. It is also present in tomatoes and other bright red, orange, and yellow vegetables. Apples and other popular fruits, as well as tropical fruits such as guava, are also good sources. Chocolate, coffee, and tea all possess quantities as well.
Benefits and Therapeutic Effects
Sulfur is one of the most plentiful minerals found in the human body. It is an important biochemical essential for sustaining life. Methylsulfonylmethane makes sulfur available to the human body and is used to treat a large number of physical disorders. As an anti-inflammatory, it fights symptoms associated with arthritis and fibromyalgia. It is also effective in the treatment of allergies.
Methylsulfonylmethane stimulates the immune system, making it an important supplement for patients with HIV and other autoimmune deficiencies. Animal testing indicates that it also has promise as a cancer preventative. Insulin needs sulfur to be biologically effective. Therefore, MSM is being studied and uses as a treatment for diabetes. It is also effective for treating many digestive tract issues. Methylsulfonylmethane is used to prevent and treat constipation, especially in elderly patients and laxative addicts. As an anti-parasitic, it works against roundworm and giardia infections.
Signs of Deficiency
Deficiencies in Methylsulfonylmethane can affect the immune system, hampering the body’s ability to fend off or recover from diseases. It can also cause chronic pain, low energy, and organ malfunctions.
The generally recommended dosage for arthritis relief is from 2 to 6 grams a day, divided between three doses daily. Dosage recommendations vary according to body weight, and introduction as a supplement should be done gradually. There are no reports of overdoses. The body takes what it needs and then clears out the rest. You should however discuss adding MSM as a supplement with your doctor.
Side Effects and/or Toxicity
Clinical trials and scientific studies have shown no serious side effects. The most commonly reported side effects are gastrointestinal problems like stomach pain and diarrhea. Some users have complained of rash, pimples, and headaches. There appear to be no allergies associated with this supplement.
Sulfur is an essential element for the proper functioning of numerous systems in the human body, and Methylsulfonylmethane is an important source of sulfur. It is recommended to take from 2 to 6 grams daily to receive the most benefit.