MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane): Benefits, Sources, Deficiency

Methylsulfonylmethane, usually abbreviated as MSM is a naturally occurring form of the mineral sulfur – and is thus referred to as an organosulfur compound.

The active biological sulfur that is required by the body has a natural source in MSM – the mineral is found naturally in primitive plants, in the air above marine regions, and in the human body too (in melanoma cells).

MSM is a crucial building block and is important to ensure proper absorption of nutrients – it is responsible for making the cells more permeable and hence, it makes it easier for nutrients to pass through. 

Apart from this, it works in tandem with amino acids and various vitamins (especially vitamin C) in order to help build healthy cells. It also plays an important role in ensuring the proper functioning of organs and is needed in order to maintain healthy skin, hair and nails.

While it is available through natural sources, there may be problems with its bioavailability – which is why supplement forms of MSM are also available.

Benefits of MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

MSM provides benefits with respect to both treating different kinds of ailments, as well as boosting overall health. It is known to provide a certain amount of relief in some chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and arthritis, while also helping with some acute conditions such as the presence of parasites, and constipation.

While doing so, MSM helps fight stress and reduces the amount of pain the body has to go through. 

MSM is very effective with regard to aiding the skin. It helps counteract skin conditions such as burns, rashes and eczema. It sometimes helps with regard to easing the skin-related symptoms due to allergies as well – either to pollen or certain kinds of food. It can help reduce wrinkles and scar tissues, effectively making the skin soft and supple.

Apart from this, it helps in the growth of healthy hair and skin. Other benefits include how it increases energy, stamina and alertness levels – therefore improving the ability to concentrate. MSM also helps control acidity in the stomach, and subsequently, in the absorption of food.

It is a dietary supplement which when taken in combination with glucosamine or chondroitin helps with preventing osteoarthritis. When used in nasal sprays, it is effective in reducing snoring.


Sources of MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

MSM can be obtained through both plant and animal sources – but there is a difference between the two that needs to be noted. The concentration of MSM available in plants often depends on the concentration of sulfur in the soil.

Hence, it can be concluded that animal sources are the more reliable ones. Animal sources of MSM include meat, poultry, fish and eggs, while plant sources include garlic, asparagus, onions, kale, Brussels sprouts, and different kinds of leguminous plants.

There is a tendency of people to stick to conventional cooking methods – and this has an adverse effect on the amount of MSM that is available to the body; it is lost during the cooking process – and so are the benefits it can provide. 

Hence, the supplement form of MSM is also available, which is more potent in nature.

Deficiencies of MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

As sulfur is important for maintaining many aspects of health, its deficiency can cause a number of problems too. The deficiency increases susceptibility to diseases and lowers energy, immunity levels and resistance to stress and parasites.

It also takes longer to recover from a particular affliction as the immunity and energy levels are low.

There is an increase in the amount of chronic pain that may be experienced. Apart from this, a person also has a higher risk of being affected by allergies.

The ability to repair damaged tissues and organs is lowered resulting in inferior cellular structure and hence, inferior healing.

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