Living with chronic illness can be difficult and painful. Each condition is different, and sometimes the list of symptoms and side effects is pages long. When the side effects are too hard to deal with, which they often are, many people turn to alternative methods of treatment, such as: 

  • Acupuncture 
  • Massage therapy
  • Chiropractic medicine
  • Alternative medicine
  • Supplements
  • Aromatherapy
  • Yoga and meditation 
  • Nutrition counseling

There are so many options, so it can take some time to find out what works best for you. Sometimes, when you have a chronic illness, you may feel willing to try pretty much anything, especially on days when the pain increases.

What is MSM and What is it Used For?

a person holding a sign board where MSM is written

MSM stands for Methylsulfonylmethane, which is a chemical found in animals, humans, and green plants. It is a dietary supplement that can be used to treat a wide variety of issues, including sulfur deficiency. It is also formed using dimethyl sulfoxide, an organic form of sulfur that is found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and milk, is also commonly used as a dietary supplement. So, if you’re looking for a cure-all to add to your medicine cabinet, this may be the one for you.

MSM comes from plants and animals, although it can be made in a lab for use in dietary supplements. These supplements most commonly come in capsule form. 

Many different kinds of people can benefit from MSM. If you experience chronic pain, you’re a great candidate for this supplement. However, even people without chronic pain or chronic illnesses can benefit.

Check out the list of benefits below to learn about how MSM can help improve your life. 

How MSM Can Benefit You

MSM is a strong anti-inflammatory substance, making it a great option to help improve physical functions, especially joint and cartilage health. However, MSM does more than reduce redness and swelling. Here are all the ways that you can benefit from taking MSM. 

Decreases Joint Pain and Stiffness

Many studies show that MSM is great at helping to prevent the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage is a vital, flexible tissue that protects your joints. When the cartilage wears away because of a breakdown, your joints become much more vulnerable. 

While MSM is used in combination with other supplements for joint inflammation issues, it won’t help you rebuild the cartilage you’ve already lost. However, it will help prevent further loss. That means that you should take MSM if you believe that your joints are beginning to deteriorate in order to keep them healthy for a longer period of time. 

Doing so will prevent joint pain and stiffness, improving your quality of life.

Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation plays a huge role in all types of arthritis, meaning that MSM may be a great option for you if you have been diagnosed with one of the many different types of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Inflammation occurs when your body’s white blood cells protect you from outside invaders, like illnesses and injuries. In most cases, inflammation is a good thing, as it helps keep your body safe and healthy. 

However, when someone has an autoimmune disorder, their white blood cells attack other parts of their body that are mistaken for intruders, causing inflammation when it’s unnecessary. Unfortunately, this type of swelling only causes pain and further damage to the body, most frequently at the knees and joints.

You can’t prevent that inflammation from occurring, but MSM may be able to help lessen the pain associated with that inflammation after its occurrence. 

Speeds up Recovery and Reduces Muscle Damage

Oxidative stress occurs when there’s an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants inside your body. Oxidation within the body is completely normal and necessary, but oxidative stress can cause a host of different problems. 

For example, free radicals are used to fight off pathogens, keeping your immune system strong. When oxidative stress occurs, free radicals may damage DNA, fatty tissue, and proteins in your body. 

When you exercise, oxidative stress increases, causing damage to your muscles, resulting in the soreness that you feel after a hard workout. When taking MSM before a workout, oxidative stress goes down because you’re increasing antioxidant production into your body to balance out the raised number of free radicals. 

Relieves Allergy Symptoms

If you find yourself struggling with seasonal allergies, you may be familiar with the over-the-counter options that can help relieve your symptoms. Unfortunately, while some are great, most of them can have harmful side effects, such as drowsiness. 

When you use MSM as a daily supplement, you can reduce the side effects of an allergic reaction. This is because allergic reactions occur because of inflammation. When we’re triggered by an allergen our body sends out inflammatory substances which can lead to sneezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. 

Boosts Your Immune System

There are many reasons why your immune system might need some help. If you don’t exercise enough or you have poor nutrition, this may take a toll on your immune system. 

Because MSM can help to reduce oxidative stress by increasing antioxidant production within your body, free radicals will be less likely to attack your body incorrectly, meaning your immune system will work as it’s supposed to. 

Improves Skin Health

Keratin is one of the most essential components when it comes to the strength of your hair, skin, and nails. MSM will help to strengthen the keratin in your body, helping to make your hair, skin, and nails stronger overall. 

Because MSM helps to reduce inflammation, you may find that the redness in your skin decreases, and any acne or facial imperfections you have may decrease in size. One study even found that MSM performed well when applied directly to the skin. 

Applying MSM can improve overall redness and inflammation while leaving the skin moisturized and even in tone. If you’re having problems with your skin and you can’t seem to find a solution, you may want to give MSM a try. 

Potentially Fights Cancer

There are many studies that support the idea that MSM helps to fight cancer, but the data is so new that it can’t be confirmed. One study found that MSM helps to fight cancer by inhibiting the growth of cells. MSM may help to prevent cancer from metastasizing or spreading. 

And so Much More

Clearly, MSM is incredibly helpful in a lot of different ways, but these aren’t even all of them. MSM has many more benefits and has shown to offer relief of skin conditions and other issues, including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Allergies
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Asthma
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Constipation
  • Chronic pain
  • Diabetes
  • Diverticulosis
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol 
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Osteoarthritis of the knee
  • Migraines
  • Arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Tendonitis
  • TMJ syndrome

MSM has a huge impact on the body, so there are so many benefits of using it. Aside from helping to treat diseases, illnesses, and pain, it may also help with weight loss and circulation. 

Some studies show that MSM also has great mood-boosting properties. 

Is MSM Safe to Use?

When you hear about vitamins and supplements that have such great benefits and use cases, your first thought might be: “This is too good to be true.” But that’s not always the case. 

Supplements, combined with glucosamine, and chondroitin may also help you feel better in various ways without any severe or complicated side effects. When it comes to MSM, there aren’t many side effects that you need to be aware of. Most side effects that people experience are minor, such as: 

  • Upset stomach 
  • Headache
  • Insomnia 
  • Diarrhea 

There also isn’t a lot of information out there about how MSM affects the body when it’s used for a long period of time, but most sources state that it’s safe for at least three month’s use. 

If you are considering a product such as MSM to help manage your condition, keep in mind that MSM supplements are not regulated by the FDA.

How to Incorporate MSM into Your Life

If you’re thinking about beginning your MSM journey, there are a few things you’ll need to know first—like how much of it you should be taking every day. 

The dosage levels are vastly different and how much you should take depends on what you’re treating. People have taken anywhere from 500 mg a day to 3 grams every day. 

Minor inflammation won’t require a high dose, but treatment for severe chronic illnesses will require a heavier dose. You should speak to your doctor about what dose you should be taking. 

If you’re ready to make your first MSM purchase or re-up your supply, we’ve got you covered here at Hempvana. Our joint support supplement comes packed with turmeric and MSM to help knock out the signs of redness and swelling and keep your joints healthy.