Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, is a form of organic sulfur that occurs naturally in a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and animals. MSM is a normal oxidation product of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). It arises from a series of reactions that begin on the surface waters of the ocean. MSM is a white, odorless, crystalline substance that is water-soluble and contains 34% element sulfur.
No evidence suggests that MSM is a necessary part of a normal diet. Sulfur is considered an essential mineral, but no dietary requirement has been established for it. MSM as a vital source of dietary sulfur is unsupported by published research. The nutrient is generally well tolerated, but long-term effects of supplementation with MSM have not been examined.
MSM seemed to improve symptoms of allergic rhinitis and osteoarthritis. However, more high quality research using MSM is necessary to define its role in treating these conditions. Although the Arthritis Foundation reports that MSM is used for pain and inflammation, they do not recommend its use due to lack of clinical trials.
Allergic rhinitis :
Preliminary study suggests that MSM may reduce symptoms associated with seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR). However, additional study is needed to confirm these findings.
Preliminary study has used MSM, alone or in combination with glucosamine, in the treatment of osteoarthritis. The combination may provide pain relief and reduction in inflammation. Further studies on MSM and its effects on patients with osteoarthritis are warranted.
MSM comes in various dosages and is an ingredient in many products. Adult dosage may range from 500-8,000 milligrams daily with or after meals. For allergic rhinitis, 2,600 milligrams per day for up to 30 days has been used. For osteoarthritis, 500 milligrams per day for up to 12 weeks has been used.
There is no proven effective dose of MSM in children.