10 Important Health Benefits of MSM

MSM  (methylsulfonylmethane) offers numerous health benefits  including reducing inflammation and offering immune system support. MSM provides the body with biologically active sulfur. Sulfur is the third most prevalent mineral in the body and is needed for numerous body functions. Sulfur is found naturally in foods like dairy, meat and vegetables.

Sulfur plays an important role in the body’s production of glutathione. Glutathione is an important antioxidant that your body produces. Glutathione serves numerous important functions for detoxification. Without sulfur, glutathione cannot work. So, although it is not an antioxidant on its own, part of its role is to improve your body’s ability to make its own antioxidants.

Sulfur plays additional roles in the body as well, including the creation of keratin in our hair and skin, function of joint cartilage and is critical for metabolizing an antioxidant defense in protecting the aging of the brain.


Top sulphur containing foods

There are many foods that contain sulphur such as dark leafy greens, radishes, chives, eggs and raw milk. In addition foods like algae and marine phytoplankton are another source of sulphur rich foods. So if you are looking to get some of your sulphur from foods, here’s a sulphur food chart:

Avocado Asparagus Brussel Sprouts Broccoli
Bok Choy Cauliflower Cabbage Garlic
Kale Mustard Greens Nuts Onions
Sweet Potatoes Tomato Turnip Watermelon


Farmer in a tractor spraying pesticides in a vineyard, Meursault, France

Modern farming is part of the problem

Can we get sulphur from the foods we eat? Yes and no. While the chart above lists foods containing the highest amount of sulphur, foods just don’t contain as much sulphur as they did before the event of mega farming. In addition, natural sulfur can be destroyed when the foods aren’t fresh, if they’re processed or are cooked at high temperatures.

Farming has shifted from many small local farms with diverse crops and crop rotation to mega farms. Mega farms usually grow a mono crop, with focus on yield. Herbicides and pesticides are frequently used, as well as synthetic fertilizers. Most fertilizers are high in phosphates and low in sulphur. All of this creates anemic, mineral depleted soil. Our foods are simply not as rich in sulphur anymore.


Health Benefits of MSM

So why should you consider adding MSM to your supplement routine? Mainly because its benefits are outstanding. According to Dr. Jockers, “MSM offers numerous benefits in helping people who struggle with asthma, allergies, chronic pain, headaches, cramps, etc.  It is also helpful for improving the integrity of the gastrointestinal lining and reduces irritable bowel symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating and constipation”.

Let’s take a look at some other benefits of MSM.

Muscle pain and spasms-MSM offers analgesic benefits that are beneficial to anyone who suffers with muscle pain.

Helps to manufacture glutathione-Glutathione is the body’s master anti-oxidant, it is in every cell and helps to protect DNA.

Aging– Glutathione plays a key role in the protection against free radical damage associated with aging.

Improves digestion– MSM can help to rebuild the intestinal lining and lower allergic reactions to foods.

Joint health– MSM dissolves calcium phosphate. It has the ability to break down unhealthy calcium deposits in the body, which are causative factors in many degenerative diseases. In addition by improving the body’s ability to metabolize calcium it also improves circulation and cell vitality.

Detoxifies-Because MSM can increase the permeability of the cells, it is easier for the body to flush toxins.

Collagen and keratin-MSM helps the body to produce collagen and keratin…necessary components for healthy skin, hair and nails.

Skin problems- MSM cream with silymarin used in this study helped to lower inflammation which contributes to rosacea, skin discoloration, allergies and slow wound healing.

Helps osteoarthritis and joint pain- In a clinical trial test MSM supplements taken over 12 weeks in combination with glucosamine resulted in improvements in pain, swelling and joint mobility. This is a great option as a natural treatment for arthritis.

Stress adaptor-Taking MSM before exercising, or stressful events can help you to bounce back faster.


Where to find MSM

MSM is available in numerous forms such as capsules, cream or powders. It can be found in health food stores and online.

MSM is traditionally well tolerated for most individuals.  MSM can cause mild side effects for some people, including indigestion, upset stomach or diarrhea.

It’s also not suitable for people taking blood-thinner medications. If you’re pregnant, you’ll want to speak with a doctor before taking it.


Additional Sources:

Schulz JB, Lindenau J, Seyfried J, Dichgans J. Glutathione, oxidative stress and neurodegeneration. Eur J Biochem. 2000 Aug;267(16):4904-11. PMID: 10931172

Mytilineou C, Kramer BC, Yabut JA. Glutathione depletion and oxidative stress. Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2002 Sep;8(6):385-7. PMID: 12217624

Reid M, Jahoor F. Glutathione in disease. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2001 Jan;4(1):65-71. PMID: 11122562

Kalinina EV, Chernov NN, Novichkova MD. Role of glutathione, glutathione transferase, and glutaredoxin in regulation of redox-dependent processes. Biochemistry (Mosc). 2014 Dec;79(13):1562-83. PMID: 25749165

Pappas, S. (2017, September 28). Facts About Sulfur. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://www.livescience.com/28939-sulfur.html


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