Methylsulfonylmethane or MSM is a naturally occurring compound found in plants, mammals, and laboratory-formulated supplements. Some dietary supplements for arthritis, including glucosamine and chondroitin, have added MSM to the mix, as the latter can also help with joint inflammation. The health benefits of MSM are still undergoing research, but use of the compound indicates many ways in which it can be used to improve wellness. In addition to inclusion in joint remedies, MSM is a separate dietary supplement.
MSM is related to DMSO, a compound used for arthritis relief. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties address joint pain and stiffness, and the substance is often combined with others to provide a stronger effect. While it can help improve motion, MSM also helps with aches and pains in the joints and muscles. MSM can also help prevent the breakdown of cartilage, slowing the progression of joint difficulties; it may even play a role in reversing the damage.
MSM can provide relief during allergy season and is most effective when used before the seasonal allergens are widespread, to prevent overactivation of allergic responses. The compound could be one of the most successful natural remedies for allergies. Alternative medicine researchers reported positive results in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.
Some people may be able to ease the symptoms and effects of premenstrual syndrome or PMS with MSM. In particular, headaches and PMS-related pain have been reported to improve, along with alleviation of depression. More generally, MSM can reducing swelling and pain throughout the body.
One useful side effect of MSM is mood elevation. The correlation between mood disorders and inflammation is under discussion in the medical world recently, and MSM is a recognized anti-inflammatory, even reducing inflammation in the brain. A 2018 article in the Psychiatric Times discussed the issue of inflammation and mental health in clinical detail.
Not only can MSM support of a healthy lifestyle through exercise recovery improvement and joint health, reports indicate that people taking MSM can also experience improved weight loss. The supplement is involved in the production of insulin, may increase energy levels, and improve overall metabolism, all of which support this concept. Further research will confirm or disprove any direct effects on weight loss.
People taking MSM have reported reductions in blood pressure levels. This is likely a result of reduced inflammation, lower pain levels, and increased blood flow. MSM could also benefit those with high cholesterol levels. Improving both these issues can address many cardiovascular concerns.
MSM can help with headaches, insomnia, and lack of concentration, which in turn helps with everyday work and relaxation. People often note this enhanced feeling of wellbeing when they are taking MSM for other reasons; unfortunately, the supplement seems to exacerbate head pain in people who already experience migraines. While pure MSM can be discontinued to address the issue, people who take joint supplements including MSM should also be aware of this potential side effect.
MSM may positively affect the immune system by restoring balance and improving immune response. This is particularly important when it comes to supporting the body's viral defenses without the use of antibiotics, and individuals must rely in large part on their bodies to fight infection. MSM can work both preventativly and reactively, following a major viral infection.
Conditions such as "leaky gut syndrome" are reportedly caused by the transmission of small, inflammatory particles making their way into the bloodstream. People with leaky gut may find relief by supplementing with MSM, thanks to the compounds addition of sulfur to improve the digestive process.
You may have heard about MSM in the media for its effects on pain. Though researchers are still exploring the reasons behind this effect, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are likely responsible. One study reported that MSM helped with induced muscle damage from exercise, and experts are likely to discover more ways MSM can treat pain in the future.
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