Mysterious MSM - the Substance that Boosts Your Beauty, Enhance Your Workouts, and Soothes Your Pain
Okay, I’ll admit I’ve been shying away from blogging about this ingredient for some time. Read a little here and there about it, but while I have been basking around in Sinai sun I’ve taken the opportunity to research it in-depth and guess what, I own a big bag of it now.
MSM is sometimes described as "miracle supplement" and " nature's beauty mineral", not least because of Stanley W. Jacob's book "The Miracle of MSM: The Natural Solution for Pain", describing the drug as a safe, natural, side-effect-free remedy to treat dozens of illnesses, painful symptoms and to heal damaged skin.
You can eat it; use it in skin care and as a compress on the skin for wound healing or for pain relief.
MSM is a helper. This supplement in itself is not a big miracle worker, but it helps boost other nutrients and it opens the doors for better absorption and transportation, so to speak. And it’s been proved particularly effective in treating rheumatism and pain, increasing exercise results and improving skin, hair and nails.
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What is MSM?
Though the name sounds intimidating, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is basically sulphur and it is in our bodies, as well as in some plants. It is composed of sulphur, oxygen and methyl.
MSM is formed from plankton in the oceans. When its organic sulphur substances evaporate, taken up into the outer atmosphere where ozone and ultraviolet light transform it into dimethyl sulphide and MSM. It’s returned to the earth in rainfall, and taken into the root systems of plants. As such, MSM can be found in small quantities in a variety of foods in humans and most other mammals.
MSM is that it is a source of much-needed sulphur in the body. Sulphur is used for dozens of biological functions, such as detoxification and regulation of inflammatory responses. Sulphur is present in over 100 bodily compounds and is found in every kind of cell.
Sulphur levels can drop as we get older, when we’re stressed and if we normally eat a low-nutrient diet.
MSM is a transport molecule that ensures that there is sulphur available throughout the body where it is needed.
One of the most notable attributes of MSM is that it helps accelerate healing and detoxing processes in the body by improving how chemicals enter and leave our cells.
MSM essentially makes cells more penetrable, releasing certain built-up minerals that can cause problems (like calcium, for example), heavy metals, waste and toxins, while also helping usher in nutrients and water.
This helps keep us hydrated and lowers inflammation, which is the root of most diseases.
MSM also stabilizes cell membranes, improves the body’s antioxidant abilities, slows or stops leakage from injured cells and scavenges free radicals. (1)
Also importantly, MSM’s sulphur plays an important role in the production of glutathione, considered to be a “master antioxidant” and an important agent for detoxification.
7 MSM Beauty & Health Benefits
Most people working with racing horses have known the benefits of MSM for many years, as it reduces inflammation, soreness, and improves average training time. Furthermore. Horses fed with MSM supplement seems to get better hair coats, faster, and healthier hoof growth, and quicker recoveries after exercise. (2)
Moreover. What works for horses seems, after more and more scientific studies, also to work for humans.
1. Treats Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain
A well-researched benefit of MSM is that it helps decrease joints inflammation, improves flexibility and restores collagen production. Research shows that many patients with arthritis, joint pain, stiffness, knee/back problems and a limited range of motion experience a reduction in symptoms and improved quality of life when taking an MSM supplement.
MSM supplements are beneficial for helping the body form new joint and muscle tissue while lowering inflammatory responses that contribute to swelling and stiffness. An MSM supplement is a natural and effective anti-inflammatory because of how sulphur impacts the immune system and facilitates normal cellular activity. Sulphur needs to be present for our cells to release many by-products and excess fluids that can accumulate and cause swelling/tenderness.
2. Heals Leaky Gut Syndrome
MSM can help rebuild the lining of the digestive tract and lower inflammation/allergic reactions to certain foods. It’s also useful for healing leaky gut syndrome since it can help stop particles from leaching out the gut through small junction openings, where they can enter the bloodstream and ignite an inflammatory response. This is due in part to the sulphur in an MSM supplement, which is important for digestion. (2. 3.)
3. Improves performance
A daily supplement of MSM might be worth considering if you are serious about your training.
Exercise causes muscles to secrete extra lactic acid and intensive training passes stresses the muscle cells and creates inflammation.
As horse trainers, as mentioned above, have known for years, MSM can shorten recovery time, improve performance, and support the repair of muscle tissue and joints. (4)
More and more research on humans provides similar results. Using MSM supplements is tied to better immune function, accelerated healing and reduced pain, because it helps counteract certain by-products (like lactic acid) that contribute to the feeling of soreness, stiffness and inflexibility. This is one reason why some athletes and very active people choose to use an MSM supplement to improve recovery time, performance, the process of rebuilding new, healthy muscle and joint issues.
4. Boosts skin, hair and nails
MSM holds on to a youthful appearance and more and more anti-aging brands incorporate MSM into their products, as it seems to help prevent wrinkles, scarring, dark spots, and sun damaged skin.
There are 7 reasons for that (among other things):
- MSM has the ability to enhance collagen.MSM is necessary for collagen production, and collagen is what helps keep skin from becoming saggy, wrinkled, cracked and dry.
- MSM helps form the connective tissues. (8)
- MSM has been shown to help boost keratin levels also a “youthful” compound we absolutely need to form new hair strands, rebuild strong nails and skin cells. It works like this. Keratin, present in the skin, hair, and nails, is particularly high in the amino acid cysteine, which is found in sulphur. Apparently, it is the sulphur bond in keratin that gives it greater strength.
- Sulphur is also present in two B vitamins, thiamine and biotin. Interestingly, thiamine is important to skin and biotin to hair.
- Sulphur is important to cellular respiration, as it is needed in the oxidation-reduction reactions that help the cells utilize oxygen.
- MSM may help other active ingredients penetrate the skin. It is said that because MSM makes the cells more permeable, it thus enhances the absorption of nutrients.
- There also seems to be a credible connection between MSM and hair growth. One study looked at the effect of Methylsulfonylmethane on hair growth. The researchers administered a constant 7.5 percent magnesium ascorbyl phosphate MAP (a form of vitamin C) to the backs of mice with MSM solutions of 1 percent, 5 percent and 10 percent and concluded that the hair growth on the mice was proportional with percentage of MSM given to each test group.
You can get even more results using MSM on your skin when you combine it with other antioxidants, including vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A, which all help build new, healthy skin cells.
Treating the skin with MSM can also help ease:
- Acne - In the olden days sulphur soap was common treatment for acne.
How to Use MSM supplement
You can either buy an MSM supplement in powder form, cream form or capsule/tablet form. Powder is believed to be the most absorbable kind.
Make sure you get a genuine and organic product and read the directions carefully.
You can add it to you skincare products.
I add a little to my cleanser, my masks and sometimes I use it as an exfoliator.
Exfoliate and Polish:
I use my MSM beauty polish face kit for this:
- Take a pinch of MSM powder in the palm of your hand.
- Add a 2 tsp. of oil serum and
- Mix it together in your palm, with your fingertips.
- Rub hands together and gently apply to the skin in light sweeps.
- Remove with a warm wet cloth.
- Spray the mist over the face
- Follow with your favourite moisturizer.
- ½ cup aloe vera gel
- 1 tsp of vitamin-C powder
- 2-3 tbsp. MSM-powder
- 20-60 drops essential oils like:
- Pop it in a glass jar with lid for storage.
- Use it on the skin as needed or as a facemask.
Non-toxic Organic Sulphur Topical Pain Gel:
For muscle, joint, sciatica and arthritis pain
- Use a spoon to stir up the ingredients in a small bowl.
- It might take a few minutes of vigorous stirring and whisking
Tip! It will ease the mixing process if you ground the MSM powder first.
The mix is effective as it is, but you can enhance the benefits of the MSM with 20-60 drops essential oils.
- Pop it in a glass jar with an airtight lid for storage.
- Use the gel as needed to the affected areas.
- You can also use it on open wounds or bruises to speed up the healing proses
Hair mask for hair growth:
- Massage into hair and scalp.
- Wrap hair in a warm towel for 1-2 hours
- Wash it out
MSM is one of the least toxic substances. Deadly dose for mice is over 20 grams per day / kg body weight. This corresponds to the fact that an adult man must take more than one kilo at a time to have 50% risk of dying from it.
No serious side effects have been reported. In comparison, ordinary table salt is much more toxic.
The normal dose of MSM is 1-2 grams twice a day, but you can easily take up to 5 grams twice a day. There will be no stronger effect if you take more than that. There is no harmful accumulation of MSM in the body, as excess MSM is flushed out of the body after about 12 hours.
Start slow, just a few milligrams to begin with, and then gradually increase your dose as you build tolerance. MSM can sometimes be hard on the stomach.
A good way to ingest MSM is to make MSM water:
- Mixing a half-gallon of purified water with 5 tablespoons of MSM in a glass jug.
- Shake well and allow 30 minutes for the MSM granules to dissolve.
- Then keep the mixture in the refrigerator to use daily.
- Drink 3-5 tablespoons of this “water” every day for health maintenance.
Be sure that the water that you use is chlorine-free, as chlorine will tend to neutralize the effectiveness of the MSM.
Finally, avoid taking any kind of organic sulphur if you are also taking a blood thinner or high doses of aspirin.
For treating osteoarthritis
500 milligrams of MSM, taken three times daily, is the starting dose recommended for treating osteoarthritis. Other reports show that up to three to six grams daily (divided into three doses normally) seems to be safe and well tolerated.
Some people, MSM might cause nausea, diarrhoea, bloating, fatigue, headache, insomnia, itching, or worsening of allergy symptoms.
All information in this blog is strictly for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. The statements made in this blog have not been evaluated by The Danish Health Authority. The products linked to in this blog and any information published in this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided by this blog is not a substitute for a face to-face consultation with your physician, and should not be construed as medical advice. The entire contents of this blog are based upon the opinions of Hanne Robinson. By reading and using this blog, you agree to only use this publication for personal informational use and not as a substitute for medical or other professional advice.