Methylsulfonylmethane is a naturally occurring chemical found in green plants, animals and humans. It is used as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) under a variety of names including dimethylsulphone, methylsulphone, sulfonylbismethane, organic sulphur or crystalline dimethylsulfoxide There is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for MSM.
How does it work in the body?
It is believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can be applied therapeutically for the improvement of many different conditions. It is believed to have therapeutic uses for improving the quality and texture of the skin and also for the maintenance and regeneration of cartilage within joints.
a double-blind, placebo-controlled primary clinical trial randomised 20 female participants to receive 3 g per day of MSM or placebo for 16 weeks. The study found that MSM regulates key genes responsible for skin health and the prevention of ageing (Anthonage et el, 2015). In the same study, MSM supplementation showed statistically significant improvements over placebo in terms of skin firmness, tone and texture (Anthonage et el, 2015). The study concluded that MSM supplementation appears to promote skin health, mainly the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
Recovery from exercise:
research shows that, when administered at 3.0 grams per day, MSM can help improve recovery in terms of post-exercise fatigue and muscle soreness after exercise (1).
MSM in the form of dimethylsulphone (DMSO2) has also shown promising results in the treatment of interstitial cystitis (2).
Research shows that taking MSM can slightly reduce pain and swelling and improve function in people with osteoarthritis (3).
Our opinion on how MSM supplements can help you
The use of supplements that restore cartilage or prevent further degradation has the potential to reduce pain and inflammation and increase joint mobility, or reduce further deterioration, so a supplement such as MSM may be useful for those seeking to reduce symptoms and improve the prognosis of arthritis and overall joint health.
Recovery from exercise
Muscle soreness and fatigue can be a common problem after exercise. Taking an MSM supplement can help combat these effects, helping to improve exercise performance.
MSM can help improve skin firmness, tone and texture, as well as reduce fine lines and wrinkles. An MSM supplement may, therefore, be useful for those wishing to achieve a younger, healthier appearance.
Safety and side effects
MSM is well tolerated by most individuals at dosages of up to four grams per day, with few known mild side effects. There is no established tolerable upper intake level for MSM.
- Kalman D. S., Feldman S., Scheinberg A. R., Krieger D. R., Bloomer R. J. Influence of methylsulfonylmethane on markers of exercise recovery and performance in healthy men: a pilot study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2012;9(1, article 46) doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-46. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/1550-2783-9-46
- Childs SJ, 1994; Dimethyl sulfone (DMSO2) in the treatment of interstitial cystitis. Urol Clin North Am. 1994 Feb;21(1):85-8. PMID: 8284850
- Debbi EM, Agar G, Fichman G, Ziv YB, Kardosh R, Halperin N, Elbaz A, Beer Y, Debi R, 2011; Efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane supplementation on osteoarthritis of the knee: a randomized controlled study; BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011 Jun 27;11:50. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-11-50. PMID: 21708034