MSM: The Forgotten Nutrient
MSM is becoming an increasingly popular food supplement. Due to the multitude of incredible benefits MSM has for our health and body, many refer to it as ‘the beauty mineral’ and ‘the healing mineral’.
What is MSM?
Methyl-sulfonyl-methane, more commonly known as MSM, is an organic sulphur compound which is naturally found in all living organisms. Sulphur composes 34% of MSM and acts as a vital mineral for our bodies’ strength and healthiness; it is also the third largest nutrient found in the human body. MSM is the purest form of sulphur available, as well as being one of the least toxic substances found in nature (studies show that it is as toxic as water), meaning it is safe to consume.
MSM is naturally derived during the earth’s ‘sulphur cycle’. Sulphur is absorbed from seawater by plankton and algae, or from soil by plants and animals, and then released into the atmosphere when these organisms die. Several natural processes lead the sulphur to form into MSM, which returns to the earth through rain and is then absorbed by plants and animals - and so the cycle continues.
MSM is an essential mineral for the regeneration of cells, and due to this, it is one of the most important nutrients for us to remain healthy, youthful, and strong, and has the ability to benefit many organs and systems within our body.
Sources of MSM & MSM Deficiency
MSM is naturally-occurring in most of the food we consume, primarily raw fruits and vegetables. Some of the richest supplies are found in cow’s milk, cabbage, broccoli and garlic.
However, whilst MSM is present in many of our food sources, modern food handling techniques massively reduce it’s levels. MSM is a volatile substance, and so it is quickly lost when heated, frozen, or irradiated - which much of the food we consume is. Fresh cow’s milk, for example, contains 2 to 5 mg/kg of MSM. However, nowadays pasteurised milk contains less than 0.25mg/kg of MSM. Furthermore, levels are affected by the soil in which fruit and vegetables are grown, and the diet of the cows who produce our milk.
Due to this, it is likely that the amount of MSM we consume is inefficient. Therefore, there can be much to gain through taking additional food supplements in order to ensure your body receives enough MSM. Some symptoms of MSM deficiency include:
- sore joints and muscles
- dry and damaged skin, hair and nails
- conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and allergies
Benefits of MSM
MSM has many beneficial effects on our health and bodies, and the list is constantly growing as it’s use becomes more widespread and research into it grows. Some of the main benefits are as follows:
Strong bones & joints
Some of the positive effects of MSM on our bones and joints are flexibility, strength, and reduced pain and swelling. This is mainly due to MSM’s anti-inflammatory effects. MSM improves the flexibility and permeability of cells, which allows waste toxins and fluids to pass out and nutrients to flow in more easily. This prevents a buildup of pressure which would cause inflammation, which in turn prevents joint stiffness, pain and weakness. Many studies have shown MSM to be effective in treating many conditions which derive from unhealthy bones and joints, such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. MSM also assists in breaking up unhealthy calcium deposits in the body, which helps to prevent degenerative bone diseases.
MSM can have a detoxifying effect on the body, which is due to the fact that it improves cell permeability. As mentioned above, this means that cells become more capable of releasing excess toxins out of our system and allowing essential nutrients into our system. This improves the overall functioning of our cells and means that our bodies are more capable of healing and of fighting off illness and disease.
MSM’s ability to speed up the elimination of waste products from the cells of the body leads to some pain relieving properties. For example, muscle pain and soreness following exercise is caused by a build up of lactic acid; MSM helps speed up the release of such acids and toxins, and so speeds up recovery. Furthermore, many bodily pains, such as joint pain, muscle pain, and headaches, can be caused by inflammation. MSM has been proven to be greatly successful in reducing inflammation, and thus pain.
By making it easier for fluids to move in and out of cells, MSM causes the body to requires less energy to combat excess fluids and toxins. This means that this energy can instead be directed towards activity and healing. Furthermore, the increased permeability means that nutrients are absorbed by the body quicker and easier, which means that less energy is used on digestion. Considering that digestion is the biggest energy consumer of the body, this can have a great impact on our energy levels.
Strong, healthy hair & nails
Sulphur is essential to the production of collagen and keratin. These are the basic ingredients of hair and nails and vital for them to be strong and healthy. MSM has been shown to have a fast- working and long-lasting impact on hair and nails, causing them to become thicker, stronger, and shinier in appearance.
Collagen is also vital for skin health; a lack of collagen results in dry skin and wrinkles. MSM assists in the formation of collagen and can thus have a great impact on skin health, leading skin to become stronger and more youthful in appearance. Furthermore, M.S.M. has been shown to have positive effects on skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, acne and rosacea.
Although research is yet to be done into all the different effects of MSM, many have claimed it to be beneficial for a variety of ailments as well as what it is conventionally used for, such as:
- headaches & migraines
- PMS symptoms
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- Mindell, E.L.. The MSM Miracle. Enhance Your Health with Organic Sulfur. 1997; Good Health Guides.
- Richmond, V.L.. IncorporaHon of Methylsulfonylmethane into Guinea Pig Serum Proteins. 1986; Life Sciences, vol. 39, pp 263-268.
- Total Health Magazine. MSM. Feb/Mar 1998; Vol. 20 No. 1. pp. 30-31.
- Williams, S.. NutriHon & Diet Therapy (8th ed.). 1997. h^p://all-natural.com/natural-remedies/msm/#references h^p://arHcles.mercola.com/sites/arHcles/archive/2013/03/03/msm-benefits.aspx h^p://www.msmguide.com
- h^p://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-522-msm %20methylsulfonylmethane.aspx?acHveingredienHd=522