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 dimethyl sulfone, methyl sulfone, sulfonylbismethane, organic sulfur, or crystalline dimethyl sulfoxide There is no Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) for MSM.
How does it work in the body?
Methylsulfonylmethane is believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can be applied therapeutically for the improvement of many different conditions. It is believed to have therapeutic uses for the improvement of skin quality and texture and also for the maintenance and regeneration of cartilage within the joints.
Skin Health/ Anti-aging– A primary double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial randomized 20 female participants to receive either 3 g per day of MSM or placebo over 16 weeks. The study found 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 compared to placebo in skin firmness, tone, and texture (Anthonage et el, 2015). The study concluded MSM supplementation appears to benefit skin health, primarily the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles.
Exercise recovery– research shows that when provided at 3.0 grams per day, MSM may help to improve recovery in terms of post-exercise fatigue and muscle soreness following exercise (1).
Interstitial cystitis– MSM in the form of Dimethyl sulfone (DMSO2) has also shown promising results in the treatment of interstitial cystitis (2).
Osteoarthritis. Research shows that taking MSM can slightly reduce pain and swelling and improve function in people with osteoarthritis (3).
Our take on how MSM supplements may help you;
Joint Health/ Arthritis- The use of supplements which restore cartilage or prevent further degradation has the potential to reduce pain and inflammation and increase joint mobility, or reduce further deterioration and therefore a supplement such as MSM may be useful for those looking to reduce symptoms and improve the prognosis of arthritis and overall joint health.
Exercise Recovery- muscle soreness and fatigue can be a common problem following exercise. Taking an MSM supplement may help to combat these effects, helping to improve exercise performance.
Anti-ageing- MSM may help to improve firmness, tone and texture of the skin as well as reduce fine lines and wrinkles. An MSM supplement may, therefore, be beneficial for those looking to achieve a more youthful and healthy appearance.
Safety and side effects
MSM is well-tolerated by most individuals at dosages of up to four grams daily, with few known and 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