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MSM And Osteoarthritis

Methylsulfonylmethane, otherwise known as MSM, is a colorless solid chemical that is considered inert. Primitive plants contain it, as do certain foods in small quantities. It has been marketed as a dietary supplement, but there are some question marks over its effectiveness. It is also said to be a natural source of sulphur, as the health industry tries to verify its usefulness.

Studies of the effects of MSM on humans and animals have yielded some interesting results. While it is clear that a huge number of tests still need to be carried out in order to prove that this chemical is beneficial as a medical therapy, it is clear that it has some positive effects, particularly in the treatment of osteoarthritis.

This is a group of diseases that affects the joints, causing pain, stiffness and creaking. It causes loss of cartilage, leading to damaged and exposed bone which causes pain simply through walking. It affects 27 million people in the United States, therefore, when something comes available that may alleviate the pain caused, it is seized upon.

MSM has been combined with glucosamine, a compound found naturally in the body, in healthy cartilage. The two are fused and sold as an arthritic pain reliever. The sulphur is believed to be the key, because it allegedly strengthens collagen. As we will see with other tests, the effects are inconclusive with more evidence being required.

A controlled study showed that 1500 mg of MSM a day had positive results on knee problems caused by osteoarthritis. However, these results are not to be taken as concrete evidence of the healing powers of this chemical. The researchers who conducted the experiment in India, had very little in the way of previous experience in trials of a clinical nature.

The biggest issue with these trials are the fact that the data is not presented with the Method, and the data also does not correspond with the Results and Discussion section. Statements are not supported by accurate citations, and the difference in baseline and Placebo group results is negligible, whereas in osteoarthritis tests there is generally an improvement of 30% or more in the Placebo group.

Another test involved a double-blind clinical trial involving MSM and osteoarthritis of the knee. 25 patients took 6000 mg of the chemical everyday, with another 25 taking a placebo, both for 12 weeks. Those who took the sulphur reported significantly decreased pain, better physical activity levels, and no side effects. However, there was no evidence of an anti-inflammatory effect being found.

Even those who conducted these tests admit that they are not conclusive evidence of the healing properties of MSM, nor do they show any potential side effects. They do state however, that doctors should look into using it for particular osteoarthritis patients, and it is worthwhile to conduct further tests as the above two are the only available tests at this moment in time.

These tests did not prove much other than the fact that MSM could be used in future to treat osteoarthritis. Two fairly minor tests provide nothing like conclusive evidence that this chemical provides genuine and welcome relief to sufferers of joint pain. Hopefully, further tests will prove or disprove the effectiveness of sulphur on joint pain.



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