By Frank Tabino | Category: Natural supplements, NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS
MSM (Methyl sulfonyl methane) is an excellent source of biological sulfur. MSM occurs naturally in the body as a result of the food we eat. Dietary sources of MSM are protein-containing foods such as meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, legumes and nuts. MSM is also in fresh fruits and vegetables. We excrete a portion of our sulfur stores each day, and scientists confirm that sulfur levels typically decline as we age.
Scientific research suggests that, in the body, a minimum concentration of sulfur must be maintained to insure optimum health. Sulfur is involved in many bio-chemical activities in the body. For the past twenty years, doctors have successfully used MSM for the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis, for allergy relief, and for maintenance of healthy hair, skin and nails. There can be no wonder why many alternative physicians call MSM “the body’s repair kit.”
The Many Roles of Sulfur
Sulfur is one of the body’s major minerals. Only potassium, phosphorous and calcium have more body stores. In our bodies, sulfur forms part of virtually all tissues, especially those highest in protein, such as red blood cells, muscles, skin and hair. Sulfur occurs in essential nutrients such as the amino acids methionine and cysteine. Sulfur plays an important role in the energy metabolism that takes place in the mitochondria – the power plant inside every cell in the body.
Sulfur plays a well-documented role in the shaping of proteins, the building blocks for every cell in our body. The sulfur-containing side chains of amino acids can link to each other, forming disulfide bridges, which stabilize the protein’s structure. Proteins are the primary components of enzymes, hormones, antibodies and the countless bio-chemical activities continually going on in your body.
Proteins also provide the structural raw materials for muscle, bones, hair, teeth, blood, brains, skin and every other organ of the body. Sulfur participates in many structural and functional aspects of our body. It is more than just raw material; sulfur contributes to the process of life. The construction of our body cells, the energy that sustains our physical activity and the neutralization of oxidants and toxins that can destroy our health require sulfur.
MSM Restores Permeability to cells
MSM is one of the most important materials for building healthy new cells. Since sulfur is a component of all cells, it is essential that the body have a plentiful supply in its usable form. With MSM supplementation, new cells become more flexible and permeable. Fluids pass through the tissue more easily, allowing life-giving nutrients to enter the cell and toxins and metabolic waste to exit the cell more quickly. These pliable new cells can have a positive effect on aging skin, fragile hair and nails, digestive disorders, toxic buildup and for the pain and inflammation of osteoarthritis.
MSM Can Relieve Pain & Inflammation
One of the most significant uses of MSM as a supplement is its demonstrated ability to relieve pain and inflammation. When rigid fibrous cells swell and become inflamed, pressure and pain result. Since MSM helps restore flexibility and permeability to cell walls, fluids pass through the tissues more easily and help to equalize pressure and reduce or eliminate pain. Harmful substances such as lactic acid and toxins are allowed to flow out while nutrients are permitted to flow into the cell. Scientists believe this property of MSM is why it is successful for eliminating inflammatory conditions.
MSM and Arthritis
Arthritis sufferers report substantial, long-lasting relief with MSM supplementation. Taken along with glucosamine sulfate, a vital substance in rebuilding cartilage, MSM can relieve pain and help repair worn or damaged cartilage in joints, ligaments and tendons with healthy, flexible new cells. A growing number of studies over more than two decades have indicated that sulfur levels in arthritic joints are lower than in healthy joints. These studies also indicate that the sulfur concentration in arthritic cartilage is about one third the level or healthy cartilage.
MSM offers long-term benefits for Osteoarthritis, especially when taken in conjunction with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Scientists believe that sulfur plays an important role in the rebuilding of arthritic joints through the effects of sulfur-containing compounds called glycosaminoglycans, which are abundant in cartilage and synovial fluid.
MSM- Natures Beauty Mineral
A body made up of healthy, and flexible cells will feel not only better, but also look better. Sulfur has been called “nature’s beauty mineral” because it is needed to keep the hair glossy and smooth, and the complexion bright and youthful. Sulfur is necessary for the synthesis of collagen and is also found substantially in keratin, a tough protein substance that is essential to health and maintenance of the skin, nails and hair. Skin, nails and hair are typically high in cysteine, one of the sulfur-containing amino acids that give keratins its stability and strength.
MSM Help Minimize Wrinkles and Skin Aging
Sulfur is responsible for the flexible bonds between cells, including those that makeup the skin. Sulfur helps to block undesirable chemical and physical cross-linking or bonding of collagen, which is associated with aging skin. MSM enhances tissue pliability and encourages repair of damaged skin. If there is insufficient sulfur in the body when new cells are being manufactured, the new cells will be rigid and less than permeable. This rigidity can contribute to cracking, wrinkling and unsightly scar tissue. When sufficient sulfur is available for new cells, the skin is noticeably smoother, softer and more flexible.
Allergens, Toxins Flushed Out More Easily
For allergy sufferers, MSM might make a vast improvement in quality of life. Over many years of treating pain patients with MSM, alternative physicians have discovered that the same MSM that relieved pain was proving to offer quick relief of symptoms of common allergies.
Patients using MSM report getting better results than with over-the-counter antihistamines and people using MSM experience none of the side effects associated with antihistamine use. According to doctor’s reports, with MSM supplementation, patients were able to reduce significantly, or eliminate conventional allergy medications. However, if you are on prescription medication, do not change your prescription without first consulting with your doctor.
The symptoms of allergies are related to inflammation and immune weakness. There is strong evidence that MSM is helpful in both. With allergies, MSM’s action is not as an antihistamine that inhibits the production of histamines, but it works by blocking histamine from entering sensitive tissues such as the mucus membranes of the nasal passage. This action prevents histamine from creating the inflammation and fluid buildup. MSM may also play a role in relieving allergy symptoms by providing necessary sulfur for the production of antibodies to combat allergens and enzymes to counteract inflammation.
Who Should Use MSM
Millions of people are taking NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) for relief of pain and inflammation. These over-the-counter drugs are marketed under different names but contain either ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin or acetaminophen. These medications have serious side effects associated with long-term use.
Statistics now show that nearly one-third of the population suffers from chronic painful conditions and more than half are partially or totally disabled. If you presently rely on NSAID’s for relief from chronic pain, MSM could help reduce your need for the pain reliever. Long-term use of NSAIDs may have a damaging effect on cartilage and will accelerate the progression of joint deterioration. Doctors report patients using MSM for pain relief get a positive side effect of smoother and more delicate skin. Because MSM can help the body manufacture softer and more flexible skin, it could be helpful in cases of acne and for accelerated wound healing.
How To Take MSM
MSM is very safe and considered to be no more toxic than water. Doctors agree it is safe for people of all ages from small children to centenarians. Because we are so different, we may need to experiment to find the dose that is right for us. For general maintenance and health, doctors recommend you should take somewhere around 1500-2000mg (2-3 capsules) per day. Over a span of twenty years, alternative physicians have seen clinical benefits in recommending between 2000-3000mg (3-4 capsules) per day. Optimum dose depends largely on body size, age, and the nature and severity of the symptom. You will need to find your comfort level, but there are some physicians that have recommended 10-20 times these amounts with no toxic effects. MSM ranks in the extremely low toxicity category with a toxicity profile similar to water. MSM, a member of the sulfur family, should never be confused with sulfa drugs to which some people are allergic.
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