7 Best Benefits of MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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While you may not know the name MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), it can play a part in better overall health if taken properly.

What is MSM?

Formally known as Methylsulfonylmethane, MSM is an organosulfur compound that is chemically inert but can be found in various foods and beverages. This compound has become popularized in some health circles because many people are believed to be deficient in sulfuric compounds, despite it not being considered an essential nutrient by some. While there are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in many foods, such as garlic, onions, cruciferous vegetables, eggs, seeds, and other protein sources, some people are still deficient in some of the most powerful sulfuric compounds available to us.

Food Sources of MSM

This compound has been isolated as a dietary supplement, but you can also get it from various food sources that include:

MSM Benefits

The many benefits of methylsulfonylmethane include its ability to reduce osteoarthritis pain, skin care, improve digestive health, and speed the healing process, among others.


One of the main benefits of this dietary supplement is to relieve inflammation throughout the body. Methylsulfonylmethane is able to reduce the symptoms of chronic conditions like osteoarthritis, gout, headaches, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), among others.

Digestive Problems

Some people use MSM for digestive issues, but it is only successful when used in moderate doses. If you are struggling with IBS, Crohn’s disease, indigestion, bloating, cramping, diarrhea or constipation, using this supplement may be able to kickstart your digestive system, which is where a large portion of our immune system functions.

Skin Care

As a known antioxidant compound, MSM is known to reduce the impact of free radicals and lower oxidative stress, which is largely responsible for acne, blemishes, wrinkles, age spots, and other inflammatory conditions on the skin.

Allergy Relief

By strengthening the immune system and regulating the inflammatory response of our body’s systems, this supplement is able to suppress the allergic reactions within the body and reduce chronic inflammation.

Muscle Spasms

Many people, particularly athletes, use this supplement to reduce the inflammation in the muscles, which can lower strain on the nervous system and help to reduce unwanted muscle spasms, particularly after a workout.

Hair Care

If you are struggling to keep the hair on your head, supplementation with methylsulfonylmethane may be able to help stimulate the growth of new hair, due to its impact on circulation, metabolism, and inflammation.

Healing Speed

Research has shown that this supplement is able to speed up the detoxifying powers of the body, which helps to speed the healing process by eliminating toxins and other unwanted compounds in the body, thus reducing the strain on the immune system.

How to Use MSM?

If you are recommended to use MSM supplements, it is important to only use the prescribed amount. For most cases of inflammatory conditions or joint pain, the prescribed dose ranges from 2-6 grams per day, usually divided into three different dosages per day. This compound also comes in powder form as a commonly used supplement, and the recommended amount of this diluted powder is 1-2 teaspoons per day.

MSM Side Effects

There are some side effects of using MSM that you should consider before adding it to your health regiments, such as complications with pregnancy and negative drug interactions.

  • Pregnancy: If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, there has been a limited amount of research done, so this compound is generally recommended to be avoided.
  • Drug Interactions: Use of this supplement is known to interact poorly with some drugs, particularly if you are taking medication for anti-inflammation, chronic pain or blood pressure problems. There is a limited amount of research on contraindications when it comes to this supplement.
  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Some reports have pointed to the negative effects of this supplement on the stomach, occasionally causing nausea, diarrhea or vomiting when used in excess.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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