The Health Benefits of MSM -

The Health Benefits of MSM


The Health Benefits of MSM

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in all vertebrates, including humans.  This compound is the third largest nutrient found in the human body and it is in meat, dairy and vegetables.  MSM has an extraordinary array of remarkable health benefits.

Sulfur is a mineral that is present in every cell of the body. It plays a key role in liver metabolism, the function of joint cartilage and the creation of keratin in our skin and hair. It is also critical for metabolism and antioxidant defense systems that protect the aging patterns of the brain.

Sulfur Problems in the US:

Some of the healthiest cultures in the world have the highest levels of sulfur in their diet, while United States citizens have some of the lowest levels on the planet.  Icelanders are known for their low rates of depression, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Researchers are attributing much of this to the line of volcanoes that formed the island nation. These volcanoes are full of sulfur ash which blankets the soil after an eruption. This enriches the ground and makes drinking water, produce and meat products contain a dense supply of sulfur.

MSM is an integral part of the “sulfur cycle” in the biosphere in which sulfur is taken up from the soil by plants, is released into the atmosphere as the highly volatile dimethyl sulfide.  The dimethyl sulfide is than oxidized in the upper atmosphere to dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), which becomes the atmospheric source of MSM.  DMSO and MSM than return to the soil via rain and the sulfur cycle repeats itself.


The Problem with Modern Farming

Over the last 2 decades, the U.S. farming industry has shifted into highly technologized mega farms. These farms are entirely focused on producing high yields per acre and thus they have depleted many vital nutrients – such as sulfur – from the ground.

In addition, these farmers also apply artificial fertilizers to the soil. These fertilizers are enriched in phosphates and very low in sulfur.  These excess phosphates interfere with sulfur absorption.

mineral depletion

Sulfur Compounds and Human Health:

Sulfur amino acids are extremely important for the maintenance and integrity of the cellular systems. They strongly influence the ability to manufacture glutathione which is the bodies master anti-oxidant that is within every cell of the body and protects the DNA (1, 2).

Glutathione is a key player in the bodies ability to neutralize free radicals, reactive oxygen species and detoxify poisonous compounds.  Low levels of glutathione create a strong susceptibility for genetic damage and chronic inflammatory disease development (3, 4).


Glutathione Ratios within the Cell:

Glutathione has two major states within the body: reduced glutathione (GSH) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG).  Reduced glutathione is a linear tripeptide of L-glutamine, L-cysteine and glycine with a sulfhydryl (SH group on the cysteinyl portion.  The sulfhydryl group provides the strong electron donating character.

As electrons are lost the molecule becomes oxidized and a disulfide bridge forms creating GSSG.  This is reversed back to GSH upon re-reduction of electrons.

GSH and GSSG Ratios and Oxidative Stress:

The ratio of GSH and GSSG is under tight homeodynamic control both intracellularly and extracellularly.    The ratio of GSH to GSSG within the cells is often used by scientists and physicians as a measure of cellular toxicity and oxidative stress.  In healthy cells and tissues, more than 90% of the glutathione will be in the GSH form and less than 10% in GSSG.

The higher the ratio of GSH:GSSG the healthier the cell is and the lower this ratio the more susceptible the cell is to cellular organelle damage and genetic mutation.   The extracellular GSH:GSSG ratio signifies the overall oxidative status of the blood plasma to address oxidative stress in circulation (5).


MSM Helps to Recycle GSH:

MSM is able to donate electrons to GSSG and recycle the formation of GSH at a high level.  This has a favorable effect on the body’s ability to deal with oxidative stress.  This protects the intracellular organelles and the extracellular tissue components such as the blood vessel lining, the intestinal lining and the lining around the lung.  These are major areas that are affected by reactive oxygen species.

This anti-oxidant recycling ability makes MSM great for helping people struggling with asthma, allergies, chronic pain, headaches, cramps, etc.  It is also helpful for improving the integrity of the gastrointestinal lining and reduces irritable bowel symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating and constipation.


MSM Helps Improve Joint Health:

One of the signs of unsuccessful aging patterns is the formation of calcium deposits throughout the body.  This results in chronic joint degeneration and calcium based stones and blood vessel plaque formation.  MSM is a calcium phosphate dissolver in that it breaks up the unhealthy calcium deposits in the body that are causative factors in many degenerative diseases.

This characteristic of MSM is thought to be the agent that allows MSM to improve joint flexibility, reduce pain, stiffness and swelling.  By improving calcium metabolism it also improves circulation and cell vitality.


MSM Improves the Ability to Flush Toxins:

MSM has a significant effect at increasing the permeability of the cells which allows it to flush out excess fluids and toxins.  This is critical for a healthy resting cellular electrical potential for nervous system activity and for reducing oxidative stress in and around the cell.  This allows the cells to absorb nutrients more effectively and improves overall bodily energy levels.

MSM also provides the raw materials for the body to produce collagen and keratin.  These are vital for healthy skin, hair and nails.  This is why MSM is often referred to as the “beauty mineral” as it enhances the strength, thickness and shine of the skin, hair and nails.  It also helps the body heal eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, acne, dandruff and dermatitis.


Foods Rich in MSM:

MSM is found in dark green leafy veggies and sulfur rich vegetables such as radishes, garlic, onions and chives.   Organic, pastured eggs and raw milk from grass-fed cows are the best food sources of MSM.  This is even more the case if these animals consumed grass that was rich in organic sulfur compounds.  Marine phytoplankton and algae also contain high amounts of MSM.

MSM is water soluble and volatizes to gas very easily.  So when it is cooked at high temperatures it turns to steam.  Pasteurization cuts the MSM levels by over 50% so it is best to get milk, cheeses, eggs and sulfur veggies in the raw form if you are trying to get your MSM from diet alone.


Recommended Dosages:

Most individuals will do very well with a daily dosage of 1-2 grams of MSM supplementation daily.  This would be around a diet that was rich in sulfur compounds to begin with.  Someone with leaky gut, auto-immune or a chronic inflammatory disease should look to take 4-6 grams a day in 2-3 servings

Wellness and Performance Enhancement             1 gram        1-2x daily

Extreme Athlete, Asthma, Allergies                     2 gram        2x daily

Arthritis or Chronic Disease                                2 grams       3x daily


ContraIndications for MSM:

There has never been a documented case of MSM toxicity so it is extremely safe.  It is always advisable for a pregnant female to advice with her doctor concerning any new supplementation.    If you have any sort of reactions such as nausea, bowel problems, eczema, etc., than it is best to cut the dose in half and see if it continues.  If so, stop usage and see what effect that has on your body.

Another great way to get MSM into specific sore joints is to use it in an transdermal oil with magnesium citrate.  This combination is amazing for reducing inflammation and muscle spasm in certain joint structures.  I use this reguarly with my athletes and individuals with injuries and issues like plantar fascitis, bursitis, tendonitis, sprains, etc.  You can find this product here

Sources For This Article Include:

  1. Schulz JB, Lindenau J, Seyfried J, Dichgans J. Glutathione, oxidative stress and neurodegeneration. Eur J Biochem. 2000 Aug;267(16):4904-11. PMID: 10931172
  2. Mytilineou C, Kramer BC, Yabut JA. Glutathione depletion and oxidative stress. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2002 Sep;8(6):385-7. PMID: 12217624
  3. Glutathione, Oxidative Stress And Aging. Link Here
  4. Reid M, Jahoor F. Glutathione in disease. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2001 Jan;4(1):65-71. PMID: 11122562
  5. Kalinina EV, Chernov NN, Novichkova MD. Role of glutathione, glutathione transferase, and glutaredoxin in regulation of redox-dependent processes. Biochemistry (Mosc). 2014 Dec;79(13):1562-83. PMID: 25749165


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24 Responses to The Health Benefits of MSM

  1. Sue M August 10, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    Thank you for this article! I knew that MSM was important, however I didn’t realize why it was so important to our bodies. My chiropractor has been after me to get more glutathione to help with my immune system. You linked glutathione and MSM, along with the benefits of raw pastured milk and pastured eggs. I knew raw milk was better for me and my animals (yes, they get the benefits as well). You tied everything up in a nice package for me.

    Thanks again!!

    • Dr. Jockers August 18, 2014 at 9:14 am #

      Glad you liked the article Sue! Blessings!

  2. Dawn September 5, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    Love this article, it explains so much! Hoping this is something that could help me. Could you recommend a quality MSM supplement brand? I am unsure of where to look for this. Thank you!

  3. Mo Allibhai May 28, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

    This is a really informatice article of MSM, I have been using 99.9 Pure MSM crystals for a few months now, and the effects on my pain, and lack of energy have been nothing short of incredible. The taste is bitter but so worth it. I get mine from the Happy Body Store. They specialize in them . Regardless of where you buy use crystals they are way more effective then pills or powders.

  4. Marcia May 29, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    I have a large bottle of powered msm, it says it to take a half teaspoon, I have thyroid disease, celiac disease, I’m not sure what would be required for me to take and how.

    Thank you, Marcia

  5. Pat Phillips October 14, 2016 at 9:50 pm #

    I am interested in taking MSM but am hypothyroid and not sure if it would make my condition worse or not.
    Thank you, Pat

    • Dr. Jockers October 16, 2016 at 8:30 am #

      Hey Pat, It should help, since the sulfur compounds will help with phase II liver detox and the liver is the key organ that is responsible for 60% of T4-T3 conversion. Try a small dosage for a month and see how you do.

  6. Jeanine October 23, 2016 at 5:08 pm #

    I am taking Kelp and Iodine for my Hashimoto’s condition.
    I want to know if I can take Organic Sulfur at the same time I am taking Kelp and Iodine.
    Or, do I need to take Sulfur alone?

    Maybe Sulfur is a better option for Hashimoto’s than Kelp and Iodine?

    Thank you for your info!

    • Dr. Jockers October 26, 2016 at 8:50 pm #


      Too much iodine can be bad for Hashimoto’s so I wouldn’t overdo the kelp or iodine. Just small amounts and always with selenium.

  7. Paula February 1, 2017 at 6:04 pm #

    Still have a tiny speck of thyroid cancer remaining in the center of my trachea after thyroid was removed.

    I want to know if it would be safe for me to take your MSM , since that cancer cannot be ablated.
    Had the thyroidectomy in 2013, and am constantly being monitored with very good results.

    The3 reason I want to use your product is for relief of my arthritic knees, but I need to know if it’s safe for my situation.

    thank you

    • Dr. Jockers February 3, 2017 at 5:51 pm #

      Yes Paula,

      Thanks for asking. MSM or Magnesium w/MSM lotion is perfectly safe and healthy for your condition!

  8. Paula February 4, 2017 at 7:49 am #

    I was asking about taking the powder version. Sorry I was not clear in my post.

    Thank you Dr. Jockers

  9. Vicki February 13, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

    Thanks for this article Dr. David. Is MSM good for reducing uric acid?

  10. Galen Wanberg March 30, 2017 at 3:17 pm #

    After reading this article, I started supplementing 2 grams MSM, 2-3 times daily. For the first time in 15 years, I have survived February-March pollen season in Phoenix, AZ with absolutely zero asthma/allergy symptoms. In the past I have had to rely on Albuterol, Benadryl, Sudafed, Mucinex, and various prescription nasal sprays just to get through the season. I have seen references claiming 60-70% of asthmatics are completely relieved of symptoms through MSM supplementation. It definitely seems to be a life changer for me.

  11. John June 22, 2017 at 5:58 pm #

    Hi Dr. Jockers,
    Is it true that if we eat plants within 1 hour of their being alive we get a lot of MSM from them?
    JOhn S

    • Dr. Jockers June 26, 2017 at 9:51 am #

      Hey John, that sounds interesting but I haven’t heard anything about it!

  12. Sharon Norris July 29, 2017 at 7:14 am #

    I am hypothyroid I take 120 mg of Armor thyroid medication. My wight is a big problem. Dr now says I have high sugar and I’m type 2 diabetic not on medication yet for the Diabetics Would this be something good for me to take
    Thanks for your time

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