Believed by some to be a
miraculous cure for arthritis, MSM is still something of a mystery.
The few tests that have been conducted using it have yielded
positive, but inconclusive results. Even if it is discovered that
this chemical is not a monumental breakthrough, its effects are
still well worth investigating.
Besides helping to ease the
pain endured by those with osteoarthritis, gout, and rheumatoid
arthritis, proponents of MSM also claim that it is effective when
battling allergies, snoring, and constipation. It does not seem to
have the ability though, to stop cartilage and joints from being
destroyed. Also, thus far, it appears that any positive effects
associated with the chemical will cease once you stop taking the
You can find it in foods
such as milk, fish, vegetables and fresh fruits. Clearly then,
anyone who eats a healthy diet should benefit positively from MSM.
However, this is not the case. When these foods are processed in
your digestive system, the chemical is destroyed. It is white,
tasteless, odorless, and soluble in water.
As the human body does not
contain it, it is instead marketed and advertised as a supplement
and sold as a compound taken from DMSO. This was the miracle cure
for arthritis in the 1960s, then it was discovered that it contained
nasty side effects and caused possible health problems. Now that
DMSO has virtually disappeared from the public consciousness, MSM
has replaced it.
The whole furore over the
potential of this chemical for medical use, stemmed from successful
animal testing. These studies showed significant positive effects
for animals, such as the removal of symptoms similar to rheumatoid
arthritis in mice. However, thus far, evidence of these effects
benefiting people in the same way is thin on the ground. There have
been only a couple of controlled, clinical tests involving humans.
It is sold for oral
consumption, that is, in solution, capsule or tablet form. It has
been combined with Vitamin C and various other dietary supplements.
Also, it has been sold as a cream to be applied to your skin.
If you decide to take MSM,
first of all inform your doctor, just to make sure that they
approve. Due to the scant nature of human testing, there is no
definite knowledge of how it reacts to particular medications,
herbal medicines, or supplements. Ensure that you only purchase the
product from a manufacturer that is approved by US Pharmacopoeia
standards. Remember, there are numerous brands, each will contain
differing amounts of the chemical.
When taking MSM, be careful
and consume only the recommended daily dose. The Arthritis
Foundation believes that it is advisable to begin with a low dosage
of 1000 mg a day, taken in two 500 mg doses. After a period of time,
you can increase this to 1000 mg twice a day.
If you notice any side
effects of any kind, immediately notify your doctor. It is essential
that any negative elements of MSM be picked up on as soon as
possible. At the same time, you should remember that any effects,
good or bad, could take some time to become apparent. Decide with
your doctor a reasonable timeframe for the usefulness of the
chemical to take effect. If nothing happens within this period, you
should seriously consider abandoning the use of it, and explore