MSM and Joint Health
- 02-28-2008, 06:44 PM
- 02-28-2008, 06:52 PM
Just what is MSM?
MSM is the short name for a dietary supplement known as Methylsulfonylmethane. MSM is generally thought of as a product additive for arthritis related joint discomfort due to joint pain, but it historically has had many other uses.
The key issue with MSM is what kind of effect it has on the body and why you would take it. Unlike Glucosamine, you already get some MSM from your diet. Strictly speaking, MSM is the biologically available (organic) form of sulfur. Sulfur is one of the major components of food and one of the most prevalent materials in the body. Most likely due to its chemical similarity to sulfur, MSM has shown to be effective at relieving inflammation and some would argue that MSM is far better than some of the other COX2 drugs or NSAIDS out there. So that then begs the question...
Is there clinical proof that MSM works?
Compared to glucosamine, there have been fewer MSM studies done. This does not mean it is not helpful for certain conditions, it just means that we need more information and more studies done. When you look at substances to rebuild and reconstitute cartilage, MSM shows little clinical evidence that says it can do that, where as glucosamine simply has a longer track record. MSM might dull some of the pain in the muscles of your body. Therefore it is advised that you use it in combination with glucosamine and chondroitin and you will find it to be highly effective as a synergistic ingredient that helps the glucosamine work better and promote faster relief.
What is MSM used for?
MSM is used for muscle pain. It has shown some clinical evidence that it can be helpful for arthritis related joint discomfort due to joint pain, but it is usually used in combination with other, more effective joint supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin. MSM, like omega 3 and niacinamide are synergistic ingredients for arthritis related joint discomfort due to joint pain, meaning it helps the glucosamine do its job more effectively.
What are the side effects, if any, of MSM?
DMSO, a similar substance to MSM can induce strong body odors but this does not happen with MSM due to its different chemical form. Some people have developed allergies to sulfa drugs, but remember, MSM is essentially a form of dietary sulfur, and not a drug. If you know you are allergic to sulfa drugs, you should note MSMís organic sulfur form and to be on the safe side, be advised to avoid MSM. Normal, healthy individuals consume sulfur everyday with no problems so it is unlikely that MSM will cause any issues. You eat sulfur daily in many common foods, and is already present (in minute amounts) in our bodies, particularly our joints. Most people will experience little to no side effects with MSM.
Should I take MSM?
There are some products out there (e.g. the ones that contain just MSM) that will argue that you absolutely must have MSM or else you will be forever stricken with joint discomfort. This is entirely not accurate. Some (albeit unscrupulous) people tout MSM as the wonder arthritis cure, which is certainly untrue. No known product or drug can cure arthritis, but MSM can certainly be extremely helpful for arthritis and joint pain. Before you decide that MSM alone is as great as some people claim, be sure to consider the other synergistic ingredients. MSM might help with muscle pain, but it does nothing for the disease, and it will not rebuild damage that has already occurred. Other forms of pain will not be eased by MSM alone. That is why you need Glucosamine and Chondroitin as well if you are going after muscle, joint discomfort, or arthritis related flexibility issues.
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