MSM is used for chronic pain, osteoarthritis, joint inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, bursitis, tendonitis, tenosynovitis, musculoskeletal pain, muscle cramps, scleroderma, scar tissue, stretch marks, hair loss, wrinkles, protection against sun/wind burn, eye inflammation, oral hygiene, periodontal disease, wounds, cuts, and abrasions/accelerated wound healing. It is either taken by mouth or applied to the skin for these uses. You may have heard about MSM because of the book The Miracle of MSM: The Natural Solution for Pain. There isn't much published scientific research to support its use.
MSM is also used for relief of allergies, chronic constipation, "sour stomach", ulcers, a bowel disease called diverticulosis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), mood elevation, obesity, poor circulation, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. It is also used for type 2 diabetes, liver problems, Alzheimer's disease, lung disorders including emphysema and pneumonia, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune disorders (systemic lupus erythematous), HIV infection and AIDS, and cancer (breast cancer and colon cancer).
Other uses of MSM include eye inflammation, mucous membrane inflammation, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, leg cramps, migraine, headaches, hangover, parasitic infections of the intestinal and urogenital tracts including Trichomonas vaginalis and Giardia, yeast infection, insect bites, radiation poisioning, and to boost the immune system.
MSM is also used to control snoring. In fact, directions for making MSM nose drops for snoring have been published, but there's no evidence that MSM has any effect on snoring.
Contrary to some MSM promotional literature, there is no Recommended Dietary Allowanec (RDA) for MSM or sulfur, which it contains. Sulfur deficienty has not been described in the medical literature.
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Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
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