Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

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MSM, Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

MSM, Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM

MSM or Methylsulfonylmethane 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.

MSM, Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

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.

MSM, Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

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.

MSM, Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

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 antioxidant 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).

MSM, Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

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.

MSM, Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

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, Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

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 antioxidant recycling ability makes MSM a great support 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, Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

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, Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

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 supports healthy skin and individuals with eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, acne, dandruff and dermatitis.

MSM, Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

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.

MSM, Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

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 may benefit from taking 4-6 grams a day in 2-3 servings.  While MSM is not FDA approved to treat any health conditions it can provide a great support for individuals to improve their health.  Here is how I like to use it:

Wellness and Performance Enhancement             1 gram        1-2x daily

Extreme Athlete, Asthma, Allergies                     2 gram        2x daily

Support For Arthritis or Chronic Disease             2 grams       3x daily

MSM, Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

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. While this isn’t FDA approved to treat any health conditions,  I use this regularly to support athletes and individuals with injuries and issues like plantar fasciitis, bursitis, tendonitis, sprains, etc.  You can find this product here

MSM, Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

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

MSM, Top 5 Health Benefits of MSM For Pain, Skin & Longevity

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  1. 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!!

  2. 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. 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. 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

    1. Hey Marcia,

      Sorry to hear about your health struggles. I would begin with 1/2 tsp and see how you respond. Then slowly add more and see how you respond over time.

      1. I bought at an online store in US in BULK. I repack and ship through EBay in Canada. Check it out !

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

    1. 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. 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!

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Dr. Jockers,
    I am having trouble with candidiasis, external fungus on legs and feet, including cracking between the toes that won’t go away no matter what antifungal cream or ointment I use. Will MSM help alleviate this? Is there anything else I can do?

  12. Dr. Jockers,
    I have tried these ingredients separately and some combined but not this mixture. I’ll try this and let you know. But what about the MSM, will it help the systemic fungal infection?

  13. Hi doc. I have thyroid issues which are being controlled by a natural supplement. I also have a slight goiter with noncancerous nodules. Just 2 months ago I was in so much arthritic pain triggered by painting my closet that it became crippling. I also was tired of my hair not growing and feeling like straw, so I read about the tremendous benefits of MSM and decided to try it. I started out at a low dose of 500 mg per day and 25 days later I am up to 2 grams per day. I have noticed tremendous pain relief from my bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, eye inflammation, and can now breath out of both nostrils of my nose during nighttime. MSM has also gotten rid of my severe edema in my ankles. I have been going through more detox symptoms right now. Do you think it was okay for me to be on MSM? I take it 30 minutes BEFORE I take my other supplements.

    1. It is hard to tell if the MSM is causing this Tracey. Glad to hear about the other benefits you have been experiencing! If you want to test this you could stop taking it for 2 weeks and see if your symptoms get any better.

      1. I think I might have been on the tail end of detoxing as today I am not having any symptoms of fatigue, just a dull annoying pain over my gallbladder area, but I can deal with that. Beet root tablets make that calm down.

  14. Great article and I appreciate your expertise in the medical/nutrition field! I currently deal with pretty bad anxiety and am taking medication for it currently. My energy levels are incredibly low along with pretty bad brain fog, fatigue, etc. Would organic sulfur help me with this or is there potential for OS to make my anxiety worse?

  15. I’ve used MSM off and on and sometimes in large amounts for years with no real noticeable results. At least it’s not expensive. Like most things the hype outweighs the actual benefit. I really doubt you’d post this. I’ve never seen a bad review on a product that someone is selling get posted on any of these sites. LOL

  16. Hi. I have been taking MSM for over a year for my RA. I don’t take any RA medication.. The Nsaids and DMARDS gave me a lot of nausea. MSM has really helped me. I just wanted to know if I could also take a collagen peptide supplement ? MSM is the foundation for collagen as you mentioned..Would it help with jpint proles? .. I’m nearly 50 now..

  17. Dr Jockers my fiancé has at this point an unknown illness causing high calcium which is giving him stones all the time.. He already had to have one large stone removed and a stint put in this past Dec and gave now discovered he has another too big to pass.. But my Q is would this help with the stones and high calcium problem & is it safe to take with High BP medicine (he’s on two one is norvasc)?!! I’m looking for anything that will help him!! Oh and we just heard that norvasc and the other BP medicine he is on is causing cancer and may be recalled?! Not 100% if that’s true. Next thing to look into… I appreciate any help/info!!!! Thank YOU!

  18. My son has extreme ulcerative colitis and has just started Humira injections. Would MSM be safe to use at this time?

  19. Aloha, Dr. Jockers. I started taking MSM after developing trigger finger in a single digit and discontinued just over a week ago after developing swelling and painful stiffness in nearly all of my fingers. My fingers are a little less swollen since discontinuing–with a noticeable return to fatigue–but the finger issue persists. I took MSM for 6 weeks, starting with 250 mg 2x/day and working up to 2,500 mg/day. I added a quality activated charcoal the final 2.5 weeks of MSM thinking that perhaps I wasn’t expelling the toxins quickly enough, but to no avail. Today I began MSM again with 500 mg/day (I miss the energy and great sleep!). Have you heard of MSM CAUSING inflammation and stiffness? Should I continue taking it, perhaps this time increasing the amount more slowly?

      1. What ratio of MSM would you use with magnesium sulphate (epsom salt bath)? Is there a problem mixing the two? I see they add MSM to magnesium citrate for transdermal use but what about magnesium sulphate?

  20. Hi Dr Jockers. I used to take MSM powder but it gave me bad breath so I stopped it. Any ideas why this would happen? Thanks

  21. Hey Dr. Jockers! I have quite bad RA, and the knockles on my hands look like
    small “balls”. I also have bunions…. Would MSM fix this? If not , do you know
    any other substance that would help?

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