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MSM or methylsulfonylmethane is a naturally occurring form of organic sulfur found in living organisms that is commonly used to treat osteoarthritis. In humans, sulfur is present throughout the body in several organic compounds and is a factor in a number of different processes in the body. Sulfur is used to produce vital nutrients such as amino acids, some of which are involved in detoxification and pain relief. MSM holds our basic connective tissues together, forming the elemental structure of proteins, and is required for a number of enzymatic functions. This is where MSM’s application in osteoarthritis is so crucial.
MSM is primarily used to reduce the symptoms of knee pain and reduced physical function in osteoarthritis due to its anti-inflammatory and connective tissue supporting activities. It may also help reduce muscle pain and cramps due to its ability to reduce lactic acid production. MSM is also useful for ameliorating the symptoms of seasonal and other types of allergies.
Evidence supports a role for MSM in helping to relieve osteoarthritic and joint pain.
|Serving Size: 1 Capsule||Amount||% Daily|
|Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)||1000 mg|
sodium stearyl fumarate. Capsule: hypromellose.
AOR™ guarantees that all ingredients have been declared on the label. Contains no wheat, gluten, corn, nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, sulphites, mustard, soy, dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish or any animal byproduct.
Take 1 capsule three times daily with food, or as directed by a qualified health care practitioner. Use for a minimum of 4 weeks to see beneficial effects.
Do not use if pregnant or breastfeeding. Consult a health care practitioner if symptoms worsen. Mild gastrointestinal bloating, constipation or indigestion may occur. Avoid taking at bedtime.
The information and product descriptions appearing on this website are for information purposes only, and are not intended to provide or replace medical advice to individuals from a qualified health care professional. Consult with your physician if you have any health concerns, and before initiating any new diet, exercise, supplement, or other lifestyle changes.
Methyl Sulfonyl Methane (MSM) is a naturally occurring form of organic sulphur found in living organisms. It is present in low concentrations in body fluids and tissues, human milk, and a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains. However, when foods are processed, heated or dried, the essential MSM is readily lost. The development of MSM as a dietary supplement stemmed from research on DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide). As a stable, odourless dietary metabolite of DMSO, MSM possesses certain properties similar to DMSO together with additional biological activity not possessed by DMSO.
Sulfur plays an indispensable role in human nutrition that is commonly overlooked. It is responsible for the conformation of body proteins through the formation of disulphide bonds, thereby holding connective tissues together. Thiol (i.e. sulphudryl) groups are vital to the catalytic functions of numerous enzymes.
Purified MSM can be applied topically or administered orally for effective bioavailability. MSM is of exceedingly low toxicity to all forms of plant and animal life.
MSM has a broad and profound beneficial effect in ameliorating diverse allergic responses. MSM ameliorates allergic reactions to inhalant, ingestant, contact and infectant allergens. Subjects find a direct correlation between concentrations of MSM used and resistance to allergies. Although MSM alone may not totally eliminate allergic responses, the majority of subjects report a significant reduction in concurrent anti-allergy medication. Besides environmental allergies (such as house dust, pollen, and animal hair), food and drug allergies (such as aspirin, NSAIDs, antibiotics, dairy, cereals, and shrimp) are afforded considerable protection by MSM.
Gastrointestinal Upset (GI)
MSM is effective in ameliorating GI upset such as that produced by ingesting certain pharmaceuticals (e.g. aspirin or Motrin) or due to parasitic infections. Symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, nausea and hyperacidity are all reported to improve.
Pain from Inflammatory disorders
Pain and inflammation from various sources, such as arthritis and other musculo-skeletal disorders, were relieved by MSM significantly. MSM significantly reduced night leg cramps, back cramps and muscle spasms. Reduction in lactic acid buildup is one of the functions of MSM. This would be useful in sports nutrition.
MSM demonstrates activity against a variety of parasites of the intestinal and urogenital tracts, among them Giardia lambia (“traveller’s diarrhea”), Trichomonads, and round worms. MSM may affect such infections by competing for binding sites at the mucous membrane surface, preventing or blocking interface between host and parasite.
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot clinical trial which was conducted on fifty men and women, 40-76 years of age with knee OA pain, it was found that 3g of MSM given for 12 weeks in total improved the symptoms of pain and physical function of the participants without any adverse events as compared to the placebo group during the treatment period. MSM also produced improvement in performing activities of daily living when compared to placebo.
In another preliminary study of methylsulfonylmethane, this double-blind small-scale study found that more than 80 percent of those who took 2250 milligrams of MSM daily for six weeks reported an average 82% improvement in pain relief, compared to an 18% improvement reported by those receiving the placebo.
MSM and Allergies
A study conducted to evaluate the efficacy of MSM in the reduction of SAR-associated symptoms found that MSM supplementation at an amount of 2,600 mg/day for 30 days may be efficacious in the reduction of symptoms associated with SAR. Also important to note is that few side effects are associated with the intake of MSM.
Most people use MSM to help reduce joint pain, to assist the body in the detoxification process, to reduce allergy symptoms and to promote the health of skin, nails and hair.
AOR’s MSM provides an effective dose of this very important and beneficial form of sulphur.
Barrager E, Veltmann JR Jr, Schauss AG, Schiller RN. (2002) “A multicentered, open-label trial on the safety and efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis.” J Altern Complement Med Apr; 8(2): 167-73.
Jacob SW, Herschler R. (1983) “Dimethylsulfoxide; after twenty years”. Ann N Y Acad Sci; 411:xiii-xvii.
Lawrence RM. (1998) “Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM): A double-blind study of its use in degenerative arthritis”. Int J Anti-Aging Med. Summer; I(I); 50.
Moore RD, Morton JI. “Dimminished inflammatory joint disease in MRL/1pr mice ingesting Dimethlysulfoxide (DMSO) or Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM).” Fed Proc 1985 Mar; 44(3): 530 (Abs 692).
Morton JI, Larrain B, Nairn CS, and Siegel BV. “IgG3 Cryoglobulinemia in MRL/1pr mice and its modification by DMSO and DMSO2 therapy.” FASEB J 1992 Fe26; 6(4): A1450 (Abs 2979)
Murav’ev IuV, Venikova MS, Pleskovskaia GN, Riazantseva TA, Sigidin IaA. (1991) “Effect of dimethyl sulfoxide and dimethylsulfone on a destructive process in the joints of mice with spontaneous arthritis”. Patol Fiziol Eksp Ter Mar-Apr;(2):37-9
Efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in osteoarthritis pain of the knee: a pilot clinical trial.
Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 2006;14(3):286-294.
L.S. Kim, L.J. Axelrod, P.Howard, N. Buratovich, R.F. Waters.
Objective: Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and the second most common cause of long-term disability among middle-aged and older adults in the United States. Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a popular dietary supplement used as a single agent and in combination with other nutrients, and purported to be beneficial for arthritis. However, there is paucity of evidence to support the use of MSM.
Methods: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted. Fifty men and women, 40-76 years of age with knee OA pain were enrolled in an outpatient medical center. Intervention was MSM 3 g or placebo twice a day for 12 weeks (6 g/day total). Outcomes included the Western Ontario and McMaster University Osteoarthritis Index visual analogue scale (WOMAC), patient and physician global assessments (disease status, response to therapy), and SF-36 (overall health-related quality of life).
Results: Compared to placebo, MSM produced significant decreases in WOMAC pain and physical function impairment (P < 0.05). No notable changes were found in WOMAC stiffness and aggregated total symptoms scores. MSM also produced improvement in performing activities of daily living when compared to placebo on the SF-36 evaluation (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: MSM (3 g twice a day) improved symptoms of pain and physical function during the short intervention without major adverse events. The benefits and safety of MSM in managing OA and long-term use cannot be confirmed from this pilot trial, but its potential clinical application is examined. Underlying mechanisms of action and need for further investigation of MSM are discussed.
A multicentered, open-label trial on the safety and efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane in the treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis.
J Altern Complement Med 2002 Apr; 8(2): 167-73.
Barrager E, Veltmann JR Jr, Schauss AG, Schiller RN.
BACKGROUND: Seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) affects more than 23 million Americans annually, and current epidemiologic studies indicate that its prevalence within the United States is increasing. Numerous clinical observations and case studies have led researchers to hypothesize that methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) may help ameliorate the symptoms associated with SAR.
OBJECTIVE: The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of MSM in the reduction of SAR-associated symptoms. This study also examined possible adverse reactions associated with methylsulfonylmethane supplementation. Finally, this study attempted to elucidate the method of action by which MSM elicits its effect on allergy symptoms.
DESIGN: Fifty-five (55) subjects were recruited for the study. All met the criteria for participation in the study. 50 subjects completed the study. Those subjects completing the study consumed 2,600 mg of MSM orally per day for 30 days. Clinical respiratory symptoms and energy levels were evaluated by a Seasonal Allergy Symptom Questionnaire (SASQ) at baseline and on days 7, 14, 21, and 30. Immune and inflammatory reactions were measured by plasma immunoglobulin E (IgE) and C-reactive protein at baseline and on day 30. An additional inflammatory biomarker, plasma histamine, was measured in a subset of subjects (n = 5).
RESULTS: Day 7 upper and total respiratory symptoms were reduced significantly from baseline (p < 0.01 and p < 0.005, respectively). Lower respiratory symptoms were significantly improved from baseline by week 3 (p < 0.001). All respiratory improvements were maintained through the 30-day visit. Energy levels increased significantly by day 14 (p < 0.0001); this increase continued through day 30. No significant changes were observed in plasma IgE or histamine levels. The results of this study are promising. It would be worthwhile to conduct a larger, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to establish further if MSM would be a useful agent in the treatment of symptoms associated with SAR.
CONCLUSION: The results of this study suggest that MSM supplementation of 2,600 mg/day for 30 days may be efficacious in the reduction of symptoms associated with SAR. Furthermore, few side effects are associated with the use of this compound. Recent acute and subacute chronic toxicologic data on the same source of MSM as used in this study, further validate the safety of this product.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM): A double-blind study of its use in degenerative arthritis I
nt J Anti-Aging Med. 1998 Summer; I(I); 50.
A preliminary study of methylsulfonylmethane, MSM, a phytonutrient that supplies biologically-active sulphur, indicates that it may offer a safe, non-toxic way to help ease the pain of arthritis. This double-blind small-scale preliminary study found that more than 80 percent of those who took 2250 milligrams of MSM daily for six weeks reported an average 82% improvement in pain relief, compared to an 18% improvement reported by those receiving the placebo.
IgG3 Cryoglobulinemia in MRL/1pr mice and its modification by DMSO and DMSO2 therapy.
FASEB J 1992 Fe26; 6(4): A1450. (Abs 2979)
Morton JI, Larrain B, Nairn CS, and Siegel BV.
MRL/1pr and C3H/1pr mice and their F1 hybrids show massive lymphadenopathy and high antinuclear antibody titers by 20 weeks of age. Although these 1pr strains uniformly develop hyperglobulinemia and elevated levels of PEG-precipitable immune complexes (IC), the MRL/1pr strain alone develops severe IC glomerulonephritis with early deaths and a rheumatoid arthritis-like joint disease. This pathology may be related to the unique development in MRL/1prs of marked cryoglobulinemia (cryo) (MRL/1pr, 4.0 mg/ml serum; C3H/1pr, 0.40 mg/ml; F1, 0.90 mg/ml; normal strains, 0.10 mg). By ELISA, 85% of MRL/1pr cryo was IgG compared to 55% of C3H/1pr, and 42% of MRL/1pr cryo was IgG3 vs 25% of C3h/1pr. Total serum Ig and non-cryoprecipitable IC were similar in quantity for the two strains, as were their Ig class and isotype composition. Continuous ingestion of 3% DMSO or DMSO2 results in protection from MRL/1pr disease. Although hyperglobulinemia and levels of IC were barely altered, treatment reduced cryo by 90% at 14 weeks of age; and in 9-week-old mice its IgG fraction was decreased by 25% and IgG3 by 65%. In vitro incubation with these agents led to solubilization of half of MRL/1pr cryo by 2.5% DMSO¬2, but not by DMSO or by 0.25% DMSO2. However, class and isotype composition were unchanged. These studies tend to further implicate IgG3 cryoglobulinemia in MRL/1pr immunopathology and may explain the protective effects of DMSO and DMSO2.
Dimminished inflammatory joint disease in MRL/1pr mice ingesting Dimethlysulfoxide (DMSO) or Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM).
Fed Proc 1985 Mar; 44(3): 530. (Abs 692)
Moore RD, Morton JI.
MRL/1pr strain mice have been identified as a model for the spontaneous development of rheumatois arthritis-like joint lesions. Anecdotal information has suggested that topical application of DMSO may alleviate the manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis in the human. In the present study, a 3% solution of DMSO, or its in vivo oxidation product, MSM, was administered in the drinking water, ad libitum from two months until 4- to 5-months of age. Knee joints from 18 water-drinking, 28 DMSO-treated, and 14 MSM-treated mice were examined. Focal degeneration of articular cartilage was present in 50% of the controls, 14% of the DMSO-treated, and none of the MSM-treated mice. Although proliferation of synovial lining cells was present in all control animals, 82% of DMSO-treated and 71% of MSM-treated mice, it was less marked in the experimental groups. 95% of control animals had an inflammatory reaction in the synovial tissues, compared to 43% of the DMSO-treated and 14% of the MSM-treated mice. Pannus was usually minimal in the experimental animals. This decrease in inflammatory joint disease in DMSO- and MSM-treated MRL/1pr mice may be associated with previously described decreases in autoantibody titers and abnormal T-cell proliferation in similar animals.
Dimethylsulfoxide; after twenty years.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1983; 411:xiii-xvii.
Jacob SW, Herschler R.
A DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) review of scientific studies is beyond the scope of this discussion. Therefore only a few areas of special interest have been selected. The literature teaches that DMSO can strongly influence the development of cellular structures. However, studies with DMSO have not progressed as projected 20 years ago. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has blocked DMSO in medicine. The cost of the drug approval process is prohibitive. The government needs to intervene and remove DMSO from FDA regulation. One product of DMSO appears to have a bright scientific and commercial future: the stable metabolite methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). MSM occurs naturally in the body and some foods. Unfortunately, unless our diet is almost solely milk, it appears that our bodies have a possible deficiency. Our research suggests that a minimum concentration in the body may be critical to both normal function and structure. Also, limited studies suggest that the concentration of MSM drops in mammals with increasing age. Conditions seen in the clinic have responded to oral MSM in doses of 250-750 mg/day:
Allergies: Oral MSM moderates a variety of allergic responses (pollens, foods, etc.). Antiallergy medication and desensitization may be sharply reduced.
Hyperacidity: MSM relieves symptoms without serious, untoward side effects.
Drug Hypersensitivity: individuals sensitive to aspirin, non-steroidal anti-arthritic agents (i.e., Naprosyn, Indocin, Motrin or ibuprofen), and antibiotics were drug tolerant when MSM was given within an hour before or concurrent with the sensitizing drug.
Constipation: To date, over 50 subjects with chronic constipation have gained prompt and continuing relief by supplementing with 100 to 500 mg of MSM per day.
Restricted lung function: limited objective and strong subjective evidence suggests that MSM is a useful dietary supplement to reduce lung dysfunction.
Antiparasitic action: in vitro and in vivo tests suggests that MSM has activity against a variety of medically important parasites, including Giardia, Trichomonads, and round worms.
Research continues on the action of MSM in other medical problems as well. One fascinating aspect of this work is that MSM appears to be pharmacologically inactive in normal situations. Only when abnormality is present does MSM influence a return towards normalcy, defined as being within the measurable parameters of good health. It is not possible to directly compare DMSO and its derivative, MSM, though of the same chemical family. MSM is a dietary factor; DMSO is not. DMSO has certain unpleasant attributes not possessed by MSM. Each contributes to the well-being of mankind, but in differing ways. Both have important implications.
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