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Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an organosulfur compound, which is mostly found within meanoma cells in our bodies. As a matter of fact, it can also be found in some primitive plants and even the in atmosphere above marine areas. Thanks to its polarity and thermal stability, MSM is industrially used as a solvent for both inorganic and organic substances.

However, nowadays it's popularly used in conjunction with such supplements as glucosamine and chondroitin to treat and prevent osteoarthritis, as well as other inflammatory health problems.

methylsulfonylmethane msm

Fig 1. Methylsulfonylmethane (msm)

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Stanley W. Jacob is responsible for making MSM popular, since he co-authored a book promoting this compound as a natural way to get in biologically active sulfur for the treatment of various health ailments.

However, methylsulfonylmethane's benefits were discovered earlier in 1982 by a biochemist called Robert Herschler. He came up with the idea to use MSM for stress, inflammation, allergies, and stomach issues. Furthermore, Robert Herschler has also concluded that diets heavy in processed foods, frying, dehydrating, pasteurizing, and radiation were deficient in sulfur, as well as other necessary minerals and elements. Hence, if you know anyone who eats only processed foods, you may notice that they usually suffer from arthritis and inflammation.

How it Works

Sulfur is an essential element for all forms of life, and serves as both fuel and respiratory electron acceptors. Moreover, sulfur is an important part of enzymes in certain antioxidant molecules. Therefore, it is an extremely vital element in the human body, and this is where MSM comes into play, since it works by supplying sulfur to other chemicals in the body.

Years of environmental and farming abuses have led our produce to be grown in depleted soils, most of which lack sulfur. Furthermore, as mentioned already, our diets are rich in processed food, which is deficient in sulfur. As a result, our risk of degenerative diseases increases. Hence, the only way to compensate this lack of sulfur is through supplementing with MSM.

Research and Medical Uses

Clinical studies have proven, without a doubt, that MSM is beneficial to both animals and humans at helping with osteoarthritis; especially in large joints, such as the knees.

Moreover, MSM has shown itself to be an effective aid in the treatment of chronic pain, hair loss, wrinkles, scar tissue, stretch marks, muscle cramps and pain, and even wound healing. In fact, there are even nose drops that contain MSM to help with snoring.


Bodybuilders lift a lot of weights, and tend to workout even when their bodies tell them to stop. One of the most nagging injuries known to lifters is the dreaded joint discomfort. This typically starts out during a workout, where you feel uncomfortable, then turns into some pain, which leads to inflammation, and over time it will become chronic arthritis.

The body's defense mechanism is to release inflammation in an attempt to repair what it thinks is an injury (and in many cases it is one), so lifters will try to stop the pain associated with that inflammation by taking anti-inflammatories. However, this strategy is dangerous because over time, it will suppress the body from being able to repair and recover from grueling workouts. What starts out as a small problem, has now become chronic and permanent, and it will be difficult to heal after that.

MSM can help solve this problem before it becomes major because it will naturally help repair and recover joints and inhibit inflammation. Once this domino effect gets started, MSM will also help reverse the problem. Thus, if you are starting to notice joint problems, then MSM needs to be taken immediately. It should be a staple in the supplement regime of all bodybuilders and weightlifters; especially those who run anabolic compounds, such as masteron or winstrol, which are notoriously famous for drying out the joints.

Side Effects

MSM is absolutely safe to take for periods of time under 4 weeks, and it can be used for a longer time as long as proper dosages are used. Like all supplements, if overdosed, you can expect the usual side effects like stomach upset, headache, or bloating. Remember, even though MSM is a safe supplement, it should be dosed and used properly because more isn't always better.


When used by itself, people will run up to 2 or 3 grams of MSM per day. Nonetheless, best results can be achieved only when MSM is stacked with other joint supplements, since they work in synergy. In such case 750-1000 milligrams (mgs) per day will be sufficient.

Where to Find

MSM is found over the counter in vitamin shops and health food stores. With other supplements in the same category, it works best for athletes when taken as part of a complete supplemental stack. So if you can find a supplement containing many different compounds in a single bottle, that would be a major money saver in comparison to buying different supplements. N2Joint Rx contains 950mg of MSM per serving, and it has other ingredients that are all designed for the athlete. It can be found at N2BM.com.

MSM can also be found in certain foods, but at very low amounts. Some of these foods are onions, garlic, nuts, seeds and eggs.

Other Names

Crystalline DMSO, Dimethylsulfone, Diméthylsulfone, Dimethyl Sulfone MSM, DMSO2, Methyl Sulfone, Methyl Sulfonyl Methane, Methyl Sulphonyl Methane, Méthyle Sulfonyle Méthane, Méthyle Sulphonyle Méthane, Méthylsulfonylméthane, Metilsulfonilmentano, MSM, Sulfone de Diméthyle MSM, Sulfone de Méthyle, Sulfonyl Sulfur.


Want to read about Methylsulfonylmethane on our forums? check out these threads:


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Written by
Steve Smi (Also known as Steve Smith), has over 12 years of experience in the bodybuilding and fitness industry. He's the co-Host of the popular Evolutionary Radio Podcast - over 500,000 listens! He has been a personal trainer and writer for the last 10 years with over 1000 articles written. He's been a moderator on forums for over 10 years. Steve holds the following certifications and records: NASM Personal Trainer NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist Florida Local Powerlifting champion Top writer for 2019 Fitness rated

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