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MSM (methylsulfonylmethane)

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • Crystalline DMSO, dimethyl sulfone, DMSO2, methyl sulfone, methyl sulfonyl methane, methyl-sulfonyl-methane, methylsulfonylmethane, MSM, MSM Relief, OptiMSM® 650mg, sulfonyl sulfur.
  • Combination product examples: AR7 Joint Complex (sternum collagen, methylsulfonylmethane, cetyl myristoleate, lipase, vitamin C, bromelain) (Robinson Pharma, Santa Ana, CA); Flexmax™ Glucosamine with MSM (glucosamine sulfate potassium chloride, methylsulfonylmethane, maltodextrin, cellulose, stearic acid, modified cellulose, silica, glycerine); Flex-A-Min® Complete (glucosamine HCl, MSM, chondroitin complex, white willow, ginger, SAM-e, hyaluronic acid, collagen, Boswellia, citrus bioflavonoids); Osteo Bi-Flex: Plus MSM Smoothcap™ (glucosamine HCl, MSM/chondroitin complex, vitamin C, manganese, boron, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium carboxymethylcellulose, yellow 5 lake, crospovidone, magnesium stearate, yellow 6 lake, maltodextrin, dextrose, soy lecithin, sodium citrate, red 40 lake, blue 1 lake); Proctoial™ (hyaluronic acid, tea tree oil and MSM); Tenosan® (arginine L-alpha-ketoglutarate, MSM, hydrolyzed type I collagen, bromelain); MagPro™ (magnesium and MSM).

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, is a form of organic sulfur that occurs naturally in a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and animals. MSM is a normal oxidation product of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and is also known as DMSO2, methyl sulfone, and dimethyl sulfone. It arises from a series of reactions that begin on the surface waters of the ocean. MSM is a white, odorless, crystalline substance that is water-soluble and contains 34% elemental sulfur.
  • Evidence in support of MSM as a necessary part of a normal diet is lacking. Sulfur is considered an essential mineral, although evidence for an established dietary requirement is lacking. The use of MSM as a vital source of dietary sulfur is unsupported by published research.
  • In clinical trials, MSM has been associated with improvements in allergic rhinitis symptoms (1), osteoarthritis (2;3;4), antioxidant status (5;6;7), exercise performance (7), and healing of soft tissue injuries (6). However, high-quality research using MSM as a monotherapy is needed to define the role of this supplement in treating these conditions.
  • The nutrient is generally well tolerated; however, studies on the long-term effects of supplementation with MSM are lacking.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.