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Methyl Sulfonyl Methane (MSM)

Update: 2015/4/16      View:
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MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane) 
Other Name: Dimethyl Sulfone (DMSO2)
Principal Proposed Uses
  • Osteoarthritis
Other Proposed Uses
  • Improving Growth of Nails and Hair; Interstitial Cystitis; Rheumatoid Arthritis; Snoring; Sports Injuries
MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane) is a sulfur-containing compound normally found in many of the foods we eat. It is chemically related to DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), a popular (although unproven) treatment for arthritis. When DMSO is applied on the skin or taken orally, about 15% of it breaks down in the body to form MSM.
Therapeutic Uses
Two small double-blind, placebo-controlled studies indicate that MSM may be helpful for osteoarthritis. Small, unpublished trials have been used to claim that MSM is effective for the treatment of snoring, aiding the growth of nails and hair, and assisting in recovery from sports injuries. However, the design of each of these studies was substandard, and the results were not subjected to any proper statistical analysis; therefore, they cannot be taken as meaningful evidence of efficacy.
One study in mice found positive effects of MSM in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Other animal studies hint that MSM might have cancer preventive properties. Human studies on these potential uses of MSM have not been reported.
MSM has also been proposed as a treatment for interstitial cystitis, an inflammation in the wall of the bladder that causes frequent and painful urination. When prescribed for this condition, MSM is usually instilled directly into the bladder, although oral use has also been suggested. However, no clinical studies on this use have been performed: the only evidence for this treatment comes from case studies and anecdotal reports. Since interstitial cystitis is known to respond very positively to placebo,these reports mean little.
MSM has also been advocated for allergies (including drug allergies), scleroderma, excess stomach acid, and constipation, but there is no meaningful evidence whatsoever to support these proposed uses.
Safety Issues
MSM is a natural component of the foods we normally eat and is not believed to be toxic. A laboratory study examining doses up to 8 g per kilogram of body weight per day (about 250 times the highest dose normally used by humans) reported that no toxic effects were seen.
Maximum safe doses for young children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with liver or kidney disease are not known. Possible drug interactions are also not known.
Therapeutic Dosages
Dosages of oral MSM used for therapeutic purposes range from 1500 mg to 10,000 mg daily, usually divided up into three daily doses.
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