Joint health can be helped with a big hitter known as MSM. No one likes the crepitus, aches and pains that come with the passing of years! MSM might be a rescue aid we need!
What is MSM?
Methylsulfonylmethane, also known as MSM, is a big name befitting a nutritional big hitter. MSM has a long history of efficacy with conditions related to joint health, particularly osteoarthritis. MSM’s benefits for joint health are largely due to the presence of sulfur.
Sulfur: The Key Element in MSM
Sulfur might have a bad reputation for being behind the aromas of overcooked cabbage and rotten eggs, but what it does inside the body more than makes up for occasionally offending our sense of smell.
As a ready source of sulfur, MSM supplementation has been shown to protect the liver from oxidative damage and chemically induced toxicity in human and animal studies. In healthy, athletically untrained young men, ten days of MSM supplementation at 50mg/kg body weight reduced markers of oxidative damage and enhanced glutathione levels following exhaustive exercise.
Reducing oxidative damage is a good thing. This is like keeping a body from rusting rapidly.
Sulfur also plays an important role to disulfide bonds that contribute to the physical structure of connective tissue. This improves the integrity of connective tissue strength and flexibility.
MSM improves detoxification.
MSM not only helps joints and cartilage, but it improves detoxification as well! The ability of MSM to mitigate toxin-induced liver damage and support detoxification is due in large part again to the sulfur it provides.
Cysteine, a sulfur based amino acid, serves as the main rate-limiting step in glutathione synthesis, not to mention Phase II sulfation activity and the use of the sulfur-containing amino acid taurine.
Just like we wouldn’t start spring cleaning in our homes without having some good (and non-toxic) cleaners on hand, likewise it is helpful to maintain appropriate sulfur levels in the body to ensure optimal detoxification.
How safe is MSM?
MSM has been shown to be safe at relatively high doses. Although, no studies have been conducted to assess the safety of high doses over the long term, doses as high as 6 grams/day for 12 weeks for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis resulted in no adverse effects.
When recommending MSM supplementation to aid detoxification, it is wise to go slowly. Introducing too much of this effective compound all at once can result in familiar ‘detox reactions,’ such as headaches, acne, rashes, and other symptoms associated with overly rapid clearance of toxins. MSM can be titrated up gradually to prevent these unpleasant effects.
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Also if you do not understand your diet, metabolism and sport genetic pathways, over-supplementation may not be good idea. Speak to your clinician to find out if MSM is right for you!