Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an increasingly popular supplement, particularly amongst people who do sports. It contains sulphur which is needed for many functions in the body. Sulphur is one of the major building blocks of glycosaminoglycans, such as glucosamine, which are needed for the production of cartilage. Cartilage cushions the joints and protects the bones. The effects of MSM include reduced inflammation, reduced joint and muscle pain, reduced oxidative stress, and increased antioxidant capacity (1).
MSM is used for joint health, recovery from exercise, inflammatory conditions and immune function, and is gaining popularity in the beauty industry for its benefits to hair, skin and nails.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of MSM.
MSM and Inflammation
MSM is useful in the treatment of inflammatory conditions including osteoarthritis, colitis, interstitial cystitis, and allergic inflammatory conditions (1).
MSM and Exercise
Prolonged exercise can result in muscle soreness caused by micro trauma to muscles and surrounding connective tissue leading to a local inflammatory response. MSM is effective against muscle damage and muscle soreness as it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects as well as providing sulphur for connective tissue. Taking MSM before or after exercise may reduce oxidative stress, muscle soreness and joint pain (1,2).
MSM, Joint Pain and Range of Movement
Joint degeneration is a common side effect of ageing. The main symptoms include pain, stiffness and swelling of joints with reduced mobility. MSM has been shown to relieve symptoms associated with joint degeneration including improving joint function and quality of life in aging populations (3). It also improves range of motion and physical function due to its beneficial effects on cartilage preservation and inflammation.
MSM and the Immune System
MSM plays a critical role in supporting the immune response to stressors including pathogens and exercise.
MSM and Seasonal Allergies
MSM may improve respiratory symptoms in those with hayfever.
MSM and Skin Health
MSM acts as a sulphur donor to keratin which leads to an improvement in skin quality, texture and appearance. Ingestion of MSM mitigates signs of skin ageing including reducing facial wrinkles and skin roughness and improving skin firmness, elasticity and hydration (1,4).
Uses of Tom Oliver Nutrition’s MSM:
- Post exercise recovery to reduce muscle soreness and inflammation
- To prevent degeneration of the joints and arthritic conditions
- For allergic reactions such as hayfever
- To support the immune system
- To improve the condition of the skin and reduce wrinkles
Safety of MSM
MSM is recognised as a safe supplement for most people at doses up to 4mg a day with few side effects. People who are sensitive to sulphur may not tolerate it well.
MSM is found in small quantities in fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy products and grains. However, the MSM found in supplements is a much more concentrated form with more potent effects.
The following can be used alongside MSM to support post exercise recovery, joint health and the immune system:
- Tom Oliver’s Vitamin D with K2
- Tom Oliver’s Magnesium
- Tom Oliver’s Glucosamine with Vitamin C
- Tom Oliver’s Omega 3
- Tom Oliver’s Curcumin
- 2017 Mar 16;9(3):290. Methylsulfonylmethane: Applications and Safety of a Novel Dietary Supplement. Butawan M et al.
- J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Jul 21;14:24. Effects of Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) on exercise-induced oxidative stress, muscle damage, and pain following a half-marathon: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Withee ED et al.
- Int J Biomed Sci. 2015 Jun;11(2):54-60. Evaluation of the Effect of Mega MSM on Improving Joint Function in Populations Experiencing Joint Degeneration. Xu G et al.
- Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2020 Feb 21;1-10. Beauty from within: Oral administration of a sulfur-containing supplement methylsulfonylmethane improves signs of skin ageing. Muizzuddin N et al.