Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an organic sulfur compound that occurs naturally in some plants, animals, and even in humans.
Biologically active sulfur is found in all body tissues and it plays an essential role in anti-aging due to its effect on skin, hair, and nails. It is vital for connective tissue and energy production. Additionally, it helps alkalize and detoxify the body, as well as protects it against toxins and bacteria.
FOOD SOURCES OF SULFUR
You can find sulfur in, protein-rich foods, eggs, and cruciferous and allium vegetables:
- Protein-rich Foods: fish, poultry, meats, nuts and legumes, are good sources of sulfur, with cysteine and methionine being the main sulfur-containing amino acids. Amino acids are fundamental for the building and preservation of healthy muscle, skin, hair, and nails.
- Eggs: high in sulfur as well as protein.
- Allium Vegetables: garlic, onions, leeks and chives, which contain organosulfur compounds, appear to be cancer-preventative agents.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, turnips, bok choy, and kohlrabi. They have glucosinolates, sulfur-containing substances with a pungent aroma and slightly bitter taste that show anticarcinogenic activity.
Sulfur can be extracted from the food we eat, but lamentably the amount extracted may not be significant. Fruits and vegetables nowadays have less vitamins and minerals than decades ago due to soil depletion (intensive agricultural methods, pollution, and pesticides strip nutrients from the soil). At the same time, most of the sulfur is lost when vegetables are cooked.
Fortunately, organic sulfur can be made through the reaction of dimethyl sulfoxide and hydrogen peroxide, which gives birth to MSM (also called dimethyl sulfone, DMSO2, and methyl sulfone).
BENEFITS OF MSM
- Inflammation: Some research has concentrated on MSM’s anti-inflammatory properties, specifically involving inflammasome activation, a multiprotein cytoplasmic complex that lead to pro-inflammatory cytokines. Studies show that MSM significantly attenuated NLRP3 inflammasome activation and reactive oxygen species (ROS), and inhibited pro-cytokine expression. In other words, MSM combats certain inflammatory markers and ROS which are associated with obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancers, and aging.
- Joints and Connective Tissue: Sulphur is a key component of healthy joints and cartilage. MSM provides sulphur that is easily assimilated and used by the body to help support joint health. It helps to minimize wear and tear on the body and protect cartilage. It improves joint flexibility by reducing the inflammatory markers that break down cartilage. Research has shown improvement in pain and physical function in patients dealing with osteoarthritis of the knee.
- Physical Performance: MSM has been known as a potent antioxidant booster, believed to resist oxidative damage and swelling, especially after exercise and strenuous activities. A study showed it’s impact on recovery. Soreness and fatigue post-workout can be attenuated by taking MSM prior to exercising. Another study showed increased antioxidant levels and decreased muscle damage related to exercise when consuming MSM.
- Immune Support: MSM benefits the immune system by supporting cell regeneration and permeability which is needed to maintain cell functioning and effective immune responsiveness. Sulfur is also required for the synthesis of glutathione, a critical antioxidant that stimulates white blood cells, natural killer cells, and prevents damage caused by free radicals and heavy metals.
- Detoxification: Sulfur increases cysteine availability and glutathione synthesis that protect the liver from oxidative damage and chemically induced toxicity. Research suggests that MSM pretreatment could even alleviate liver damage induced by toxicity.
- Skincare: Not only aging breaks down collagen and elastin but toxins and unhealthy lifestyles deteriorate the state of your skin. A study showed that MSM can help improve skin texture, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and protect the integrity of the skin.
You can incorporate sulfur-containing foods into your diet but to get an adequate dosage, you should supplement. Here are a few of the best MSM products on the market:
Happy Body Organic Sulfur Crystals: Minimum of 99% Pure MSM without fillers, additives or Binders. 1 teaspoon offers 500 mg. Start with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon morning and night with a little water or juice.
No Boundaries Health and Wellness MSM Capsules: Containing 500 mg 99.9% pure MSM sulfur powder, without synthetic anti-caking agents or fillers. These capsules are 99.9% pure and independently tested.
Kala Health MSM Pure Muscle & Joint Comfort Cream: Absorbs easily, starting the healing process, improving joint function and mobility, reducing joint pain and stiffness, protecting cartilage, and decreasing swelling and inflammation.
- Kala Health MSM Skin & Facial Gel : This MSM gel helps strengthen extracellular collagen, improving firmness and elasticity, and controlling acne and inflammation. It is great for sun burn and insect bites too.
As you can see MSM is fantastic! It provides biologically active sulfur, a mineral needed for many critical bodily functions. It is amazing for immunity, detoxification, joint health, joint pain, digestive problems, skin health and rejuvenation, physical performance, and adaption to stress.
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor