MSM (short for methylsulfonylmethane) is a white crystalline powder that offers the most biologically active form of the element sulfur. Sulfur is found in plants and almost all living organisms, and it plays a vital role in every cell of the human body. According to the Weston Price Foundation, U.S. soils are depleted of sulfur because of over-farming. Sulfur in foods is also destroyed when food is pasteurized, heated at high temperatures or frozen.
Low levels of sulfur in the body are linked to irregular metabolism and insulin function. Sulfur insufficiency also increases your risk of heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s and chronic fatigue syndrome. Not only does MSM provide highly bioavailable sulfur, but also it improves cellular uptake of nutrients from food. It’s also been proven to help prevent and treat several diseases, improve musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health, detoxify the body and give your nails, hair, and skin a nutritional boost.
1. Dissolves Plaque and Calcification in the Body
Calcification is when calcium builds up in your blood vessels, organs or body tissue. It causes hardening, which leads to pain and inflammation. These calcium deposits disrupt normal bodily functions wherever they occur. This can be anywhere since calcium travels through the entire bloodstream. The worst places calcium can build up is in arteries, heart valves, the brain, joints, and tendons. Causes of calcification vary but can include chronic inflammation, infections, calcium metabolism disorders and genetic or autoimmune disorders involving the musculoskeletal system.
MSM dissolves calcium deposits by converting them to calcium sulfate, which your body then easily excretes. This eliminates calcified plaque in the arteries, on bones and in muscle and organ tissue, and in turn, reduces inflammation and other imbalances that occur from calcification.
Calcified plaque in the arteries is the leading cause of heart disease and atherosclerosis. In fact, your risk of heart disease can be predicted by a simple CT scan that looks at calcification in the blood vessels. People with calcification in the spine and neck have a higher risk for strokes and neurological conditions. By removing calcification in the body, MSM can be a powerful protector of heart and brain health, and regular supplementation may reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and other health problems linked to calcification.
2. Reduces Inflammation and Joint Pain
MSM is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. It works by improving cell membrane permeability and flushing away calcium deposits, thereby softening hardened areas in the body that cause inflammation. Inflammation in the brain is a known factor in neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. Besides protecting the brain, MSM’s anti-inflammatory action also improves musculoskeletal health. It can help people with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, joint injury pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. By boosting levels of collagen in the body, MSM also improves joint health by strengthening and restoring tendons, ligaments and connective tissue.
3. Increases Cell Permeability
MSM makes cell membranes more permeable so that elements can enter and exit the cells fluidly. In this way, MSM helps detoxify cellular waste, which has a cleansing and restorative effect on the entire body. It can even assist in removing toxins and heavy metals. MSM increases the ability of nutrients to get inside cells, making it an important supplement to help shore up or prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
4. Beautifies Hair, Skin and Nails
Keratin and collagen are structural proteins that make up hair, nails, and skin. MSM is shown to increase the body’s production of both these nutrients, helping you build stronger nails, more hair strands, and new skin cells. In a study on mice with removed hair, MSM and magnesium together increased the speed of hair regrowth, compared to a control group.
Collagen is often used in anti-aging skin products because it’s responsible for skin firmness, elasticity, and even skin tone. By boosting collagen production, MSM can help prevent your skin from sagging and forming wrinkles and dark spots. Collagen production naturally declines with age, so supplementing with MSM may help you maintain a more youthful appearance.
5. Enhances Strength and Recovery for Bodybuilders and Athletes
Bodybuilders and athletes put a lot of stress on their joints, cartilage, and tendons. MSM reduces the high impact stress of weight lifting and high-intensity workouts, helping to prevent injuries, swelling and muscle tearing. It also speeds up workout recovery by reducing muscle aches, pain, and soreness caused by inflammation. By acting as a precursor for the utilization of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, it helps you build muscle.
One study gave healthy men with a strength training regimen either 1.5 grams or 3 grams of MSM per day for 30 days. In measuring exercise performance and recovery, researchers found that MSM reduced oxidative stress, inflammation, muscle soreness and fatigue in both groups.
You can take MSM in powder form by mixing it into a glass of water and drinking it first thing in the morning or between meals. Or, you can take capsules that contain the powder inside. If you’re looking to eliminate calcification in the body, you’ll want to take up to 2-8 grams of MSM per day. However, you don’t want to start out with such a high dose of MSM when you haven’t been taking it. Instead, start with 2 grams per day and slowly work your way up to higher doses. Taking too much won’t cause toxicity, but you may experience abdominal discomfort, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue or headaches due to the detoxifying effects of MSM.