Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

General Info


MSM is easily absorbed both orally and topically.

Dietary Origins

Trace amounts of MSM occur in animals, humans, and plants.


Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a natural form of organic sulfur, which occurs in meats and plants including fruits and vegetables. It is naturally produced in the human body, and used to promote wound healing and may play a role in easing pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, osteoporosis, joint and muscle pain, bursitis, and tendonitis. It provides an important source of sulfur, which animals, plants, and humans need for biochemical processes. Although MSM occurs naturally in foods, even moderate food processing easily destroys it.

Toxicities & Precautions

Side Effects

Large doses of MSM result in mild gastrointestinal discomfort, more frequent stools, or an occasional headache.

Functions in the Body

Anti-inflammatory Agent

MSM reduces redness, heat, swelling, pain, and the loss of function associated with inflamed tissues or body parts.

Pain Relief

MSM relieves pain through the following ways; it inhibits pain impulses along type C nerve fibers, reduces inflammation, which relieves pressure on nerves and tissues, promotes blood flow, which speeds up healing, and reduces muscle spasms


It is a source of biological sulfur, a major component in the body's many, connective tissues, proteins, hormones, and enzymes. Portions of the detoxification mechanisms in the liver require adequate supplies of sulfur.

Symptoms & Causes of Deficiency

No specific condition has been identified with a deficiency of MSM. However, the wide variety of conditions that reportedly respond to MSM such as scarring, adhesions, scar tissue caused by arthritic joins, gingivitis, joint and muscle pain, inflammation, and tendonitis, may be related to the role it plays in correcting a sulfur deficiency in many people.