The health benefits of MSM are worth learning about. If you are interested in finding out more about this popular nutritional supplement, read on to find out how it can benefits your health and potentially make your life a little easier.
Understanding the Health Benefits of MSM
MSM, like many other nutritional supplements, is advertised all over the place, offering us a panacea for all that ails us. "Just take a pill," they say, "and all of your aches and pains will go away. Easy peasy!" Those of us who know better than to buy into advertising claims do a little research first to find out if miracle drugs will actually make a difference in our lives. Will MSM do all that the commercials claim it will do? Or is that vitamin store sales person yanking your chain?
What Is MSM?
First off, what exactly is MSM? MSM is short for methyl-sulfonyl-methane, which is manufactured from a compound called DMSO. A type of sulfur, MSM is supposed to aid in all sorts of health conditions, such as osteoarthritis, allergies, joint pain, snoring, and more. Scientists are busy researching the effects of this supplement, and every day more and more research is being produced that both credits and discounts claims that MSM is truly a miracle compound.
What Does It Do?
Supplement companies spend millions of dollars each year espousing the health benefits of MSM, saying that it will cure everything from anxiety to yeast infections. Are these claims true? Here are some of the health problems you might treat by taking an MSM supplement:
- Degenerative arthritis
- Chronic joint pain, such as knees, elbows and back
- Tendonitis and bursitis
- Hair loss
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Weak fingernails
- Sallow complexion
Let's look at the research and see what the scientific community is saying.
MSM and Osteoarthritis
Many claim that MSM can help to treat arthritis with a recommended daily dose of 1500 mg. A clinical trial was run in India but the study's findings are suspect as the researchers had little experience in clinical trials. Soon after, another group of researchers conducted a similar study on the effects of MSM and osteoarthritis, and the results were more conclusive. This study suggested that doctors should consider MSM as a treatment for some patients suffering with osteoarthritis, but that the long term safety of the supplement in unknown at this time.
MSM and Allergies
Can MSM be used to treat seasonal allergies? A recent study looked at 25 subjects who were prescribed MSM for a month to treat hay fever, versus those taking a placebo. Those who took the MSM supplement did experience an improvement in their allergy symptoms, though the study was not performed in a blinded manor, and other compounds in the patients blood work showed that inflammation may have still been present.
MSM and Snoring
A study was recently conducted where scientists explored the possibility that an MSM throat spray may be helpful in treating snoring. Studies showed that those treates with such a spray did indeed experience a decrease in snoring symptoms.
Foods High in MSM
If you are not interested in paying for a supplement but are still interested in the potential health benefits of MSM, you're in luck! There are many foods that contain high concentrations of MSM, so you can get it entirely from your diet without having to buy a bottle of expensive pills. Here are some foods known for being high in MSM:
- Raw cabbage
- Raw broccoli
- Raw fruits
- Raw fish
Note: MSM deteriorates rapidly in foods once they are cooked, so you will get a lot more of this nutrient from your diet if you eat these foods raw.