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Methyl· Sulfonyl· Methane
The Super Supplement Of The Decade!
By Martha M. Christy
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means including electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or information storage system without written permission from the publisher, except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review. Disclaimer – This book is designed to be used as an educational tool only. Any medical attention or treatment should not be delayed when professional help is needed. The author, publisher, distributor, or those whose names appear in this book shall have no liability or responsibility for any loss or damage caused (or allegedly caused) by the information presented in this book. Copyright © 1997 -2010, Martha M. Christy
Table of Contents
Introduction A New Breakthrough in Healing What is MSM? How is Sulfur Used for Healing? The MSM Story How Does MSM Differ From Other Sulfurs? How Do We Get MSM in Our Diets? The History of MSM MSM Research & Health Benefits Acidity / Heartburn Allergies Arthritis Breast Cancer Colon Cancer Constipation Emphysema / Lung Problems Gastro-Intestinal Problems Lupus Muscle Pain Parasites Scar Tissue Scleroderma Skin, Hair & Nail Conditions Snoring Using MSM with other Supplements MSM For Pets Conclusion How to Use MSM Drug Interactions References Bibliography
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 15 16 17 19 19 20 20 21 21 22 22 23 23 23 24 24 25 26 28 29 31 32
Isn‘t it wonderful to be living in an age of so many new discoveries? Although the 20th century has undoubtedly offered some of the greatest challenges in history to mankind, it has also provided answers and solutions to a number of life‘s greatest mysteries. I think many of the most profound breakthroughs I have seen over the last 40 years have been in the field of medicine, specifically in our understanding of how our bodies work and what we need to do to maintain health and increase our longevity. When I look back through history, the pain and suffering that people endured from what are now ―simple‖ illnesses seems almost unbelievable. Today, medical science has revealed such a panoply of medical treatments that our options seem almost endless. And now, the discoveries of natural medicines and how they work to fight disease and restore health are giving us safer and more effective support than ever before. Because of my own very long history of severe illness, I have used, studied and written about natural treatments that have helped me overcome diseases and disorders that almost destroyed my life at an early age. The extraordinary success I experienced in using natural medicines has led me down a long road — researching and sharing information about how we can heal and treat ourselves with less complicated, simpler, more natural and less expensive treatments. I know that it can be difficult to sort out what herb or formula or homeopathic medicine to use when you are ill, but what I discovered for myself is that the more I read about natural medicines, the easier it was to choose the right one when I needed it. I also found that choosing simple, basic natural substances as opposed to complex formulas can also provide more dramatic healing with few side effects, which is why I generally recommend single herbs, homeopathic remedies or other single supplements in treating illness.
A NEW BREAKTHROUGH IN NATURAL HEALING
A simple, naturally occurring substance which is now receiving a great deal of attention for its medicinal value is a nutrient called MSM. After reading the research and reports on MSM and in using it in my own nutritional counseling practice, I have to say that I feel MSM is here to stay as a staple dietary supplement. As the testimonials and research have shown, MSM can play a dramatic role in the areas of natural pain control for inflammation, general muscular aches and pains, rheumatoid arthritis, constipation, allergies, stomach problems, parasite infections and more. In the next few pages, we will examine what MSM is, what the research studies say about its benefits and how you can use it nutritionally to improve your overall health, or therapeutically to relieve a variety of very stubborn health problems.
WHAT IS MSM?
MSM is the abbreviation for the technical term methyl-sulfonyl-methane, which refers to a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in the tissues and fluids of all plants, animals and humans. MSM sulfur and its related compounds make up 85% of the sulfur found in all living organisms. Unknown to many of us, sulfur is a vital and essential substance contained in all living things. Actually, 96% of our bodies are composed of five basic elements: oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon and sulfur. Sulfur itself is found in many different forms in nature, but MSM is a special type of dietary sulfur that is essential to our health and well-being. HOW DO OUR BODIES USE SULFUR? Sulfur is one of the most basic and important elements of organic life and in humans, sulfur performs a variety of key functions. Let‘s look at a few sulfur facts: 1. Sulfur is needed to form crucial blood proteins and amino acids including methionine, cystine, cysteine and taurine. In our bodies, sulfur provides chemical bonds that actually hold the molecular structure of these proteins together. 2. Sulfur also provides the chemical links that are needed to form collagen in the body (the protein found in connective tissue). So without these sulfur bonds, we (and other animals) would essentially be shapeless pools of protoplasm. 3. Because sulfur forms both the collagen and keratin in the body it is often called the ―beauty mineral.‖ It is essential for thick and lustrous hair, blemish-free skin and hard, healthy nails. 4 .Sulfur acts as a synthesizer and activator of thiamin, vitamin C, biotin and pantothenic acid. 5. Sulfur is used by the liver to manufacture bile, a key element used in digestion. 6. Sulfur is essential in maintaining the body‘s crucial pH (acid/alkaline) balance. 7. Studies show that sulfur is an important component in insulin production and plays a significant role in carbohydrate metabolism, which is particularly important for diabetics and hypoglycemics.
HOW IS SULFUR USED FOR HEALING?
Sulfur has been used throughout history as a healing agent. For centuries, sulfur hot springs have been known to provide relief from aches, pains, arthritis, rheumatism and general poor health. In the 20th century, a variety of sulfa drugs (sulfonamides), which are derived from sulfur, have been used extensively in modern medicine for fighting bacterial infections. Sulfur ointments or liniments are also used for their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
DMSO, another form of sulfur (and the chemical cousin of MSM) is used in many countries as a pharmaceutical agent for athletic injuries, arthritis, cystitis, central nervous system trauma and stroke. MSM is the newest form of therapeutic sulfur discovered in the early 1960s. One of the biggest advantages of MSM is that it provides a majority of the healing benefits of other forms of sulfur, but unlike sulfa drugs, or even DMSO, MSM can be given in large doses as a dietary sulfur supplement without deleterious side effects of any kind.
THE MSM STORY
Scientists tell us that there are three types of sulfur compounds that are the source of the majority (85%) of the sulfur found in all living organisms. These are MSM (methyl-sulfonyl-methane), DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide) and DMS (dimethylsulfide). Now, the story of how these sulfur compounds are formed and end up in our bodies begins — where else, but in the ocean. In the fertile, salty ocean environment, a microscopic plankton called Emiliana huxleyii grows profusely over thousands of miles of oceans, continually producing and releasing sulfur compounds called dimethylsulfonium salts. As these salts are released into the water by the Emiliana plankton, they are converted into a sulfur compound called DMS (dimethylsulfide). As DMS rises to the ocean surface, it is released as a gas which then rises into the upper atmosphere. High in the atmosphere, the DMS comes into contact with ozone and ultraviolet light which then transforms the DMS gas into related sulfur compounds called DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide), and MSM (methyl-sulfonylmethane). The atmospheric DMSO and MSM sulfur, which are water soluble compounds, mix with rain and are returned to the earth‘s surface, where they are absorbed by the plants and soil. As the plants soak up the DMSO and MSM sulfur into their roots, they concentrate these compounds up to 100 times their original concentration. Eventually, the MSM becomes the dominant bioavailable sulfur and is actually incorporated into the very structure of the plant itself. As humans and lower animals consume MSM-laden plants or agriculturally produced vegetables, MSM enters the body as a dietary sulfur which is essential to overall health and well-being.
HOW DOES MSM DIFFER FROM
OTHER FORMS OF SULFURS? Sulfur is a common element that occurs abundantly in nature and is found in many different places and in many different forms. The basic chemical form of sulfur is known in chemistry by the symbol (S). Sulfur is the 16th most abundant element in the earth‘s crust, and is found throughout nature in both its free state (by itself), or in combination with other elements. In its free state, sulfur is found mixed with gypsum and pumice stone in volcanic regions. Vast subterranean deposits of sulfur are also found in areas such as Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming and California. Free sulfur (also called elemental sulfur) may be formed from the weathering of pyrites or from hot sulfurous water from subterranean sources, which is deposited on land, residing in rocks and soil. Elemental sulfur is commonly used in making matches, certain types of rubber, dyes and gunpowder. Mixed with lime, sulfur is used on plants as a fungicide. Annual production of elemental sulfur in the 1990s was about 10.6 million metric tons. So as you can see, sulfur takes many different forms in nature, but unlike other forms of sulfur, MSM is a dietary sulfur that can be taken as a supplement every day. MSM also differs from other types of sulfur in that our bodies can assimilate and utilize it easily and efficiently, providing dietary and therapeutic benefits. Unlike other forms of sulfur, MSM is tasteless, odorless and causes no side effects even when taken in large doses.
HOW DO WE GET MSM IN OUR DIETS?
Once it is incorporated within the plant structure, MSM enters the food chain as plants are consumed by humans and animals. Consuming the meat of animals that eat large amounts of plants is another natural means of distributing vital MSM throughout the food chain. We humans derive our dietary MSM sulfur from fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, meat and seafood. Fresh cow‘s milk (non-pasteurized) has been found to be a particularly rich source of dietary sulfur containing between 2 and 3 parts per million of MSM.
Unfortunately, heat and processing can destroy or greatly reduce the MSM content of our fruits, vegetables and milk. Overuse and abuse of our agricultural soils also depletes a large amount of MSM from our food sources.
As Robert Herschler, a pioneer MSM researcher reveals, ―MSM is shy, evasive and escape prone. While present naturally when food is very fresh, it can be driven out of any food by even moderate processing. People, generally speaking, will be sulfur-deficient unless they eat their fish and meat raw and their vegetables unwashed and uncooked.‖ (1) In general, healthy individuals are reported to have MSM blood levels of 1 ppm (parts per million). But research also shows that MSM levels decline with age, resulting in symptoms of fatigue, tissue and organ malfunction and increased susceptibility to disease. But the good news is that researchers have discovered a way to prepare MSM supplements which can be used nutritionally to enhance our diets, as well as therapeutically to help a wide variety of health problems.
THE HISTORY OF MSM
Dr. Stanley Jacob of the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon, and his associate, Robert Herschler, a research chemist, were the pioneers of MSM research. Their work on MSM was actually an offshoot of their extensive investigation of DMSO, the chemical cousin of MSM. The story is that Robert Herschler, a research chemist for the paper manufacturing company, Crown Zellerbach, was investigating possible commercial uses for DMSO, which is a by-product of paper milling. DMSO is found in substantial quantities in the water which is used during the milling and processing of trees for paper production. In his search for commercial or medical uses of DMSO, Herschler apparently contacted Dr. Jacob, a medical researcher, who began to study the biological effects of DMSO on animals. After testing and observing the biological effects of DMSO on animals over the course of several years, Jacob and Herschler began observing its effects on humans. They discovered and documented several of its remarkable therapeutic benefits. DMSO was found to be effective for a variety of conditions including joint and muscle pains and injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, skin ulcers, psoriasis, bursitis, emphysema and interstitial cystitis (chronic urinary tract infection). In 1963, Jacob and Herschler reported their findings on DMSO; today DMSO is an approved pharmaceutical agent in over 50 countries. DMSO can be applied intravenously or topically. Because it penetrates well through the skin‘s outer layers, it is absorbed efficiently into the bloodstream through the topical route (liquid or salve). But even though it is widely used throughout the world, DMSO has exhibited certain properties that have made it somewhat unpopular, particularly in the United States. One of the biggest factors that has limited the everyday use of DMSO is its side effects, which, although not severe, have nonetheless restricted its application. The resulting bad breath or ―after breath‖ which is associated with the use of DMSO is extremely strong, and there may be a reddening and itching of the skin, making DMSO unappealing to many users. Additionally, DMSO has produced allergic symptoms in some individuals.
However, while continuing their DMSO studies, Jacob and Herschler discovered that the primary healing agent in DMSO appeared to be its cousin, the sulfur compound, MSM (methyl-sulfonyl-methane). MSM can be produced by adding another stabilizing oxygen molecule to DMSO which yields DMSO2, another term for MSM. MSM was eventually patented under Robert Herschler‘s name, but Jacob reports that he signed an agreement with Herschler whereby they would both share the patent and marketing rights to MSM. Jacob, Herschler and other researchers continued to conduct extensive laboratory and clinical trials with MSM. These studies revealed numerous extraordinary therapeutic benefits — without the odor, allergies or side effects experienced with DMSO.
MSM RESEARCH & HEALTH BENEFITS
In laboratory and clinical testing, MSM has shown remarkable promise for sideeffect-free healing. In his work with MSM at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Jacob, a pioneer MSM researcher, has reported a wide variety of MSM health benefits. These reports stem from several years of observation in both animal and human studies. As Jacob and Herschler report: ―MSM, an odorless, essentially tasteless, white crystalline chemical, demonstrates usefulness as a dietary supplement to man and lower animals. Our research suggests that a minimum concentration in the body may be critical to both normal function and structure … We are intrigued by the fact that MSM is a factor in all normal diets of vertebrates and somewhat mystified by the seeming need of the body of adults for a concentration level above that available from a diet presumed as ‗normal.‘‖ (2) At the Oregon Health Sciences University, Jacob has administered MSM to over 15,000 patients for a variety of conditions. Dr. Jacob observed excellent results in administering MSM in doses of 250 to 750 milligrams per day to his patients, but he also reports that much higher doses (up to 5000 mg per day) can produce definitive therapeutic improvements without side effects. (3) In the next few pages, we will look at specific illnesses and specific MSM research which will give you a better idea of how to use MSM effectively to improve your health.
ACIDITY / HEARTBURN
Heartburn and excess stomach acidity are at an all-time high these days, which is not surprising considering our modern diet of pizza, soda and burgers. But chronic use of antacids or acid-blockers is just plain bad for your body.
Most people don‘t realize that the chronic use of antacids can begin to permanently impair the natural pH, or acid/alkaline balance of the body. Acidblockers like Zantac® were originally developed for treating severely ill ulcer patients and can cause a host of side effects including liver damage, hepatitis, insomnia, vertigo, severe headaches, mental confusion, pancreatic inflammation, constipation, vomiting or diarrhea. But laboratory and clinical studies show that MSM can provide extremely effective, often immediate relief from excess acidity, with no side effects whatsoever. Dr. Jacob reports that patients with hyperacidity who use antacids or acidblockers have taken MSM as an alternative treatment with excellent results; they experience none of the side effects that can accompany anti-acid drugs. Additionally, MSM can be taken every day without disturbing any of the body‘s normal functions, including acid/alkaline (pH) balances. Dr. Jacob has generally administered up to 750 mg per day for treating hyperacidity, but reports having used as much as 2000 mg daily for a period of six months for patients requiring higher therapeutic doses. (3)
In treating allergy patients with MSM, Dr. Jacob observed that both environmental and food allergies were dramatically reduced. He also found that the anti-allergy properties of MSM were equal to or better than traditional antihistamines, yet MSM causes no side effects. Herschler, Jacob‘s associate, personally experienced the anti-allergenic properties of MSM: ―Early in his work with MSM, Herschler found that when taking MSM he was not bothered by three types of allergies that were normally so severe at specific times of the year that he needed antihistamines to combat them. That experience led him to do research with laboratory animals. He discovered that MSM (in layman‘s terms) had a coating action on the entire gastro-intestinal tract, making it impossible for the allergens to bond and cause their damage.‖ (1) The patent information on MSM outlines these specific benefits for allergies: Environmental Allergies: Patients with chronic or severe environmental allergies to substances such as house dust, animal hair, wool, pollen and other similar allergens have reported ―substantial to complete relief‖ of their symptoms including inflammation, mucous discharge, itching and general discomfort. Asthma and hay fever sufferers also report significant relief. For severe allergies requiring conventional medications, users report that taking MSM in addition to their anti-allergy drugs significantly reduced the amount of medication needed to control symptoms. MSM also provides protection against insecticide exposure because it neutralizes anticholinesterases (toxic chemicals in insecticides and nerve gas). It also enhances urinary excretion of substances in the body produced by hydrocarbons. The reported results for environmental allergies were based on dosages varying from 50 to 1000 mg per day.
Food Allergies: Various food allergies (to milk, seafood, cereals, etc.) were reported to have been dramatically lessened with daily dosages of 100 to 1000 mg of MSM. Drug Allergies: Allergies to drugs such as aspirin, arthritis drugs (Indocin and Motrin®), and allergies to oral antibiotics have been completely relieved or greatly decreased in MSM users taking 100 to 1000 mg per day of oral MSM, according to Dr. Jacob. Also, MSM is known to exert a strong anti-inflammatory activity on the body which can greatly assist in relieving the localized or more general inflammations that are common in allergic reactions. Dr. Jacob reports that a combination of vitamin C (500 to 1000 mg per day) taken with a daily dose of MSM is particularly effective in boosting immune strength and combatting inflammation. (3)
Osteoarthritis Osteoarthritis is a common joint disease affecting some 70% of women over 65 years of age and a significant number of men under 45. Osteoarthritis begins with a softening of the cartilage in the joints, which later develops into cartilage thinning and degeneration, bone cysts and separation of joint tissue and cartilage. Conventional medicines for this painful and debilitating condition include analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs, but the side effects from continuous use of such drugs can be severe.
MSM has shown excellent potential as a non-toxic treatment for osteoarthritis. Dr. Jacob conducted a study at the Oregon Health Sciences University in which 12 OA (osteoarthritis) patients were treated with MSM, while another 12 were treated with 2400 mg of Motrin® daily. The results showed that not only was MSM well tolerated in the non-Motrin® group, but that MSM was on par with Motrin® as a pain reliever for OA, yet had none of Motrin®‘s toxicity or side effects. (4) Rheumatoid Arthritis Amazingly, 40% of people over 65 suffer from some form of rheumatoid arthritis. According to Dr. Jacob, MSM acts as both an anti-inflammatory agent and as a good analgesic (pain reliever). Doctors and patients report that sore, stiff joints respond well to MSM supplementation, as do bursitis, inflamed joints, etc. Researchers at Oregon Health Sciences University conducted tests on mice that were prone to the development of joint lesions similar to those seen in rheumatoid arthritis. Mice that were fed a diet that included a 3% solution of MSM in their drinking water daily for three months suffered no lesions or cartilage damage, while those not fed MSM did show cartilage degeneration within the three month test period. (5) In talking to those who use MSM for arthritis or joint and muscle pain, it appears that larger doses of MSM are more effective. Dr. Jacob reports that daily doses of 2000 to 5000 mg per day of MSM can be used for therapeutic purposes with no side effects. Vitamin C added to this MSM regimen is also reported to greatly reduce symptoms of pain, swelling and inflammation. There are no established guidelines for what dosage is best in treating muscle and joint pain, but a regimen of 2000 to 5000 mg per day for two to four weeks has been reported as effective. Once the pain has subsided, a supplemental dose of 250 to 750 mg per day can be resumed. If symptoms reappear, increase the dosage as needed to relieve the pain. There have been many clinical reports on the benefits of MSM for arthritis from consistent users. Those reports demonstrate how MSM reduces the swelling and inflammation of joints which, in turn, reduces pain and stiffness
Animal research done at the Ohio State University College of Medicine showed that oral MSM supplementation can protect against the onset of breast cancer in animals. In one study, rats bred to be prone to breast cancer were given oral doses of MSM for eight days. After the eight days on MSM, the animals were given oral doses of a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemical called dimethylbenzanthracene. These test animals were monitored for close to a year (240 to 300 days) and were compared to rats that were also given the carcinogen, but not the dietary MSM. At the end of the study, the researchers discovered that the rats given MSM at the beginning of the study did develop cancerous tumors. However, these tumors appeared 130 days later than the rats which had received no MSM prior to being given the carcinogen. This span of 130 days in the life cycle of laboratory rats is equivalent — in the human life span — to about 13 years. As the researchers reported, ―Time to appearance (latency period) of both tumors and cancers were prolonged by 4% MSM. No group exhibited toxic reactions or significant weight loss.‖ The study concluded that 4% MSM was ―effective in the chemoprevention of dimethylbenzanthracene-induced mammary (breast) cancers.‖ (6) This study represents extreme conditions not seen under our normal levels of everyday exposure to cancer-causing agents. So, in my opinion, it is reasonable to assume that MSM may help prevent the onset of breast cancer in humans indefinitely, especially when combined with other types of cancer-prevention therapies.
Researchers from Ohio State University Medical College also conducted a study on MSM as a preventative agent for colon cancer. In the study, rats were injected with dimethylhydrazine, a compound that induces colon cancer. One group of rats was given a 1% solution of MSM in their drinking water one week before the dose of the colon cancer-inducing drug, and each day thereafter. The control group of rats received only tap water to drink. The experiment continued over a period of nine months.
The results of the study showed that ―the average time to tumor onset was significantly delayed in rats receiving MSM … In addition fewer tumors were noted in treatment (MSM) groups. No weight loss or toxicity were observed. These findings demonstrate that [MSM] significantly reduced the latent period to tumor onset in DMH-induced colon cancer and indicate the need to further investigate such compounds as chemopreventive (cancer-preventive) agents.‖ (7) Again, these findings are even more significant when we consider that the results were obtained under extreme conditions (direct injection with a carcinogenic substance). I believe it is possible that under normal conditions, MSM as a daily supplement may be able to prevent the onset of colon cancer indefinitely, especially when combined with other cancer prevention factors such as antioxidants, improved diet, etc. Dr. Jacob reports that further studies on MSM‘s anti-cancer properties are continuing.
In clinical studies, Dr. Jacob has observed that patients with chronic constipation have prompt and continuing relief with a daily supplement of 100 to 500 mg of MSM per day taken orally.
EMPHYSEMA / LUNG PROBLEMS
In his initial use of MSM, Herschler discovered that MSM could produce sometimes extraordinary relief from emphysema symptoms. One experience involved a friend of Herschler‘s who had emphysema. ―Her emphysema was so severe she could hardly walk from one side of a room to another … (soon) she changed from a woman who couldn‘t walk across the living room to the back door without running out of breath to a woman who not only could do that, but could walk out into the yard … She got to the point where she could walk a third of a mile to her mailbox and back again.‖ (1) Further clinical studies have shown that lung problems (such as those caused by bronchitis, pneumonia, cysts or heavy smoking) can also respond positively to MSM supplementation when combined with proper exercise and eating habits.
MSM is reported to be effective for upset stomachs and for inflammation of the sensitive mucous membranes in the body, including those in the gastro-intestinal tract. Research has shown that stubborn, recurring diarrhea or occasional bouts of bowel discomfort can be dramatically relieved when MSM is incorporated into the daily regime. Even severe diarrhea has been eliminated within a matter of days with doses of 500 to 1500 mg daily of MSM. Gastric ulcers have also improved with MSM treatment in clinical trials. In addition, Herschler‘s research has demonstrated that other forms of gastrointestinal discomfort caused by stress or produced by the ingestion of aspirin, pharmaceuticals or by parasitic infections may be eradicated by MSM. Such symptoms as diarrhea, chronic constipation, nausea, hyperacidity, or inflammation of mucous membranes have responded dramatically to the oral administration of 500 to 1500 mg of MSM daily.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE; commonly known as lupus) is an inflammatory tissue disease which causes periodic bouts of fever, fatigue, painful joints and raised red rash on the skin. Lupus can also affect the heart, spleen, lungs, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract. Dr. J.M. Siegel (of the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon) reported to Dr. Jacob that he had conducted experiments with MSM in treating lupus in animals. In one of his studies, mice bred for the propensity to acquire lupus were given a 3% solution of MSM daily in their drinking water, while another group was given only tap water to drink. After seven months, 30% of the group not given MSM died, while there were no deaths in the MSM group. (8) In another study, a group of seven-month-old mice with advanced lupus were given MSM in their water every day, while a group of similar mice were given plain tap water. Nine months later, 62% of the MSM mice were still alive, while only 14% of the mice given tap water survived. (8)
Research studies on individuals with injuries or various musculoskeletal disorders showed significant improvement when MSM was added to their daily diets. Taken in conjunction with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), the results were seen to be faster and more dramatic than with MSM alone. Clinical research confirms that MSM is capable of reducing or eliminating leg and back cramps, muscle spasms and general soreness. MSM is also widely used by professional athletes and by practitioners of sports medicine. Its ability to relieve the pain of overworked or strained muscles has been observed to be excellent, often dramatic. Injured players treated with MSM have been reported to return to the playing field up to 75% more quickly than injured players not treated with MSM. Additionally, the anti-inflammatory properties of MSM appear to enhance circulation. ―That‘s the name of the game in getting repair of an inflamed or damaged part,‖ Dr. Metcalf, an MSM researcher, reports. Dr. Metcalf also reports that his own lower back problems disappeared after he began taking MSM.
Research has shown that MSM is remarkably effective in treating parasitic infections both on the skin and internally. Fungal conditions on the skin respond well to topical applications of MSM lotion or gel. An MSM spray is also an excellent treatment for fungal conditions on the skin such as athlete‘s foot, ringworm, etc. Taken internally, MSM has been shown to be effective against giardia, trichomonas and intestinal worms such as nematodes, enterobius and others. Researchers believe that MSM may work against parasites by competing for receptor sites on mucous membrane surfaces, which prevents the parasites from bonding to the intestinal wall. This cuts off their nutrient supply and allows them to be eliminated from the body.
Effective doses of MSM for parasites have been shown to be 750 to 1500 mg per day, which can be taken for a period of 90 to 120 days.
MSM patent information states that the restorative properties of topical MSM lotions have been found to be effective in eliminating external scars (stretch marks, burns or surgical incisions, etc.) while internal scarring responds to oral MSM. Researchers report that they believe MSM works by softening the scar tissue, thereby causing the damaged tissue to diminish in size or to disappear altogether. MSM lotion can be applied several times each day, but be careful to choose one with as few artificial ingredients as possible (additives can cause rashes or side effects, diminishing the effectiveness of the MSM).
Scleroderma is a possibly fatal tightening of the skin, usually occurring in older persons. If severe, it causes the skin to shrink dramatically and tighten like a vise around the organs. In experiments with MSM, Herschler discovered that topical MSM lotion significantly softened the skin, making it more elastic. Dr. Jacob conducted research studies with scleroderma patients and confirmed that topical MSM applications did provide substantial relief. When I spoke to Dr. Jacob, he confirmed that MSM lotions, which generally contain about 15% MSM, can be used daily, even several times a day, without side effects.
SKIN, HAIR AND NAIL CONDITIONS
MSM is known to have an inhibitory effect on cross-linking of collagen and protein which reduces the hardening of skin and connective tissue. This property makes MSM an extraordinary treatment for improving the quality of the skin, hair and nails. MSM lotions can be applied directly to the skin for treating problems such as acne, burns, topical fungus or dry, aged, wrinkled skin. Apply liberally to the skin and rub gently into the affected area.
In an Oregon Health Sciences University study, 35 sufferers of chronic snoring were given MSM drops (16% water solution) in each nostril 15 minutes before bed. Results showed 80% of the test subjects reported significant reductions in snoring with no side effects whatsoever after 90 days of treatment. (9)
USING MSM WITH OTHER SUPPLEMENTS
Researchers discovered that MSM apparently increases the body‘s assimilation of other substances taken in conjunction with it. This may be due to MSM‘s reported ability to make rigid cell walls (caused by aging or damage) more permeable, thus allowing for increased nutrient absorption. If you are taking other supplements or medications, be aware that you may want to decrease the amounts of the other substances you usually take when taking frequent doses of MSM.
MSM FOR PETS
MSM has been used extensively by veterinarians for livestock and domestic animals. MSM is excellent for promoting general good health and beautiful, glossy coats. You can mix in 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. of MSM powder in your cats‘ or dogs‘ food as a daily supplement (1 to 2 Tbsp per day for horses).
There are many other conditions in addition to those already mentioned which have responded favorably to MSM in clinical studies. I have listed these additional applications in the ―How To Use MSM‖ section on page 26, to give you a clearer idea of how you can apply MSM both internally and externally to enhance and strengthen your overall health. When it comes to MSM, I think Dr. Stanley Jacob says it best when he states that, ―MSM is a fascinating, life-enhancing agent.‖
HOW TO USE MSM
Internal Use: The forms of MSM available for internal use are capsules and powder. You can use either depending on your individual preference. Capsules are more convenient for taking high dosages, but powder can be mixed in food or beverages if you prefer. As A Dietary Supplement: 250 to 500 mg per day is the dosage recommended by researchers for simply supplementing your diet with MSM. Many MSM brands offer 500 mg capsules, so that you can simply take one a day as a supplement (or 1/2 capsule for a 250 mg dose). For Therapeutic Purposes: Because of the non-toxic nature of MSM, researchers have found that even high dosages can be taken safely for therapeutic purposes. The amount you need really depends on the severity of your symptoms, the overall condition of your immune system and how effectively your body is able to utilize the MSM. Other factors such as body size and weight can also affect the amount of MSM you need to take. I have given several suggested dosage levels for specific illnesses in the preceding pages, but I will give you a few more general guidelines that may help you to better determine how much and what form of MSM to take: 1. MSM must be taken frequently in order to be therapeutically effective. When taking MSM to improve symptoms of illness, MSM should be taken every day. Researchers have generally used total daily dosages ranging from 250 to 2000 mg per day in treating illness. In severe cases, up to 5000 mg per day for a limited time have been administered without side effects. Noticeable results are usually seen in 1 to 21 days for less severe symptoms. For more serious conditions, researchers report that higher doses (2000 to 5000 mg per day) can be taken for up to 120 days. When using large doses, it is best to divide your dosage into equal parts to be taken throughout the day (for instance, for a 2000 mg dose, take 1000 mg twice a day, for 500 mg four times a day, etc.). If you have a serious condition and want to try high dosages of MSM, working with
your health practitioner is always a good idea in order to monitor changes, improvements, etc., in your individual condition.
Because of its non-toxic nature, MSM is non-allergenic and does not interfere or interact with any other types of pharmaceutical medicines. Researchers report that MSM can be taken in conjunction with all other forms of medication. MORE INTERNAL APPLICATIONS OF MSM • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Chronic Pain Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Candida Urinary Tract Infections Alzheimer‘s Disease Pneumonia Rheumatism Migraine Headaches Obesity Diabetes P.M.S. Liver Dysfunction Tuberculosis Hay Fever Hangovers Hormonal Imbalances Effects Of Radiation
EXTERNAL APPLICATIONS OF MSM MSM Lotion • Acne • Bruises • Skin Problems (Eczema, Psoriasis, etc.) • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome • Varicose Veins • Tendonitis, Bursitis, Joint Pain • Muscle Pain (Cramps, Soreness, etc.)
MSM Spray • Burns • External Fungus (Athlete‘s Foot, Ringworm, etc.) • Rashes & Sunburn MSM Toothpaste • Bad Breath • Inflamed Or Bleeding Gums • Natural Teeth Whitening • General Dental Health
1. 2. Sellnow, L., ―MSM: An Aid from Nature,‖ The Blood Horse, June 6, 1987 Jacob, S.W., and Herschler, R.J., Introductory Remarks: dimethylsolfoxide after twenty years. Ann
NY Acad Sci 1983; 411: xiii-xvii 3. 4. Jacob, S.W., Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR, personal communication Jacob, S.W., Preliminary Evaluation of MSM (dimethyl sulfone) in Osteoarthritis, Oregon Health
Sciences University, April 1, 1997, unpublished paper 5. Morton, J.I., & Moore, R.D., Federation of American Societies for Exp Biol, 69th Annual Meeting, April
21-26, 1985, 692, 1985 6. McCabe, D., et al., Polar solvents in the chemoprevention of dimethylbenzanthracene induced rat
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