- What is MSM (methylsulfonylmethane ), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What are the uses for MSM herbal supplements?
- What are the side effects of MSM supplements?
- What dosages of MSM supplements are available? How should I take them?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with MSM?
- Are MSM supplements safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about MSM supplements?
What is MSM (methylsulfonylmethane ), and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is also called dimethyl sulfone, DMSO2, methyl sulfone, and many other names. MSM is an organic sulfur found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and milk as well as the urine of animals. It is an oxidation product of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and a source of sulfur for producing the amino acids methionine and cysteine. MSM is a water soluble white, odorless, crystalline compound that contains 34% elemental sulfur.
What other names are used for MSM (brands)?
Doctor's Best MSM, Natures Way MSM, and Now Foods MSM are brand names available for MSM.
Where can I buy MSM supplements?
You can find MSM herbal supplements in most pharmacies and health food stores.
What are the uses for MSM herbal supplements?
It also is used to treat:
What are the side effects of MSM supplements?
Common side effects associated with MSM include:
Other side effects include:
What dosages of MSM supplements are available? How should I take them?
- Typical adult dosages range from 500 to 8,000 mg.
- MSM supplements may be taken daily with or after meals.
Which drugs or supplements interact with MSM?
There are no drug interactions listed for methylsulfonylmethane.
Are MSM supplements safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
What else should I know about MSM supplements?
What preparations of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) are available?
- Methylsulfonylmethane is available as tablets and powder, and is a component of many herbal products.
How should I keep methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) stored?
- Methylsulfonylmethane should be stored at room temperature, 20 C to 25 C (68 F to 77 F).
MSM and other herbal supplements are not approved by the FDA for the prevention or treatment of medical diseases or conditions. Talk with your doctor or other health care professional, or a pharmacist before using this product.
Latest MedicineNet News
Daily Health News
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is an herbal supplement made from an organic sulfur found in foods (grains, milk, vegetables, and fruits), and the urine of animals. Some think MSM is helpful in treating a variety of medical diseases, conditions, and other health problems. MSM and other herbal supplements are not approved by the FDA for the prevention or treatment of medical diseases or conditions. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist before using this product.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Vitamins and Supplements: Test Your Medical IQ
Take the Vitamins & Supplements Quiz to learn just how many essential vitamins your body needs to function!
Hair Loss Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
True or false: Genetic hair loss comes from the mother's side of the family. Take the Hair Loss Quiz to learn about your hair....
Rheumatoid Arthritis Quiz: What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
How is rheumatoid arthritis different from other forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis and gout? Take the Rheumatoid...
Picture of Stretch Marks: White Striae, Axilla
Striae distensae, more commonly known as “stretch marks,” are atrophic linear bands of skin that appear after certain...
Picture of Stretch Marks: Striae Rubra and Alba
Striae distensae, more commonly known as “stretch marks,” are atrophic linear bands of skin that appear after certain...
Picture of Hair Transplant
Surgical approaches include various versions of hair transplantation (taking hair from the back and putting it near the front) or...
Picture of Hair Grafts
1–4 hair grafts. See a picture of Hair Grafts and learn more about the health topic.
Picture of Unnatural Pluggy Hairline
Unnatural “pluggy” hairline using 10–25 hair grafts. See a picture of Unnatural 'Pluggy' Hairline and learn more about the health...
Picture of Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis that is caused by the breakdown and eventual loss of the cartilage of one or more...
Picture of Wrinkles
Wrinkles are a by-product of the aging process. See a picture of Wrinkles and learn more about the health topic.
Sun-Damaged Skin: Pictures of Sun Spots, Wrinkles, Sunburns
See how sun damaged skin can cause wrinkles, moles, melanoma (skin cancer) and more. Explore sunburn relief and how actinic...
How to Reduce Wrinkles With Lifestyle Changes
Learn how to protect your skin from wrinkles with these antiaging tricks such as sleep position, diet, and wrinkle treatments....
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Symptoms & Treatment
What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)? Learn about juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Discover rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms,...
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Exercises Slideshow: Joint-Friendly Fitness Routines
Regular exercise boosts fitness and helps reverse joint stiffness for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Our experts offer...
Your Hair and Scalp Can Say a Lot About Your Health
Is your hair or scalp trying to tell you something about your health? Learn more about dandruff, scalp psoriasis, ringworm on the...
Exercises for Knee Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain
Learn about osteoarthritis and exercises that relieve knee osteoarthritis pain, stiffness and strengthen the knee joint and...
Osteoarthritis (OA): Treatment, Symptoms, Diagnosis
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease affecting both cartilage and bone. Joints most often affected by...
Beauty Problems Pictures: Cellulite, Stretch Marks, and More in Pictures
Learn the connection between your appearance and health. Discover what you can do about embarrassing beauty problems from facial...
Hair Loss: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention
Learn about hair loss in women and men. Discover hair loss causes and treatments as well as how to prevent hair loss.
Top Foods for Healthy Hair
Top foods for healthy hair include salmon, green vegetables, beans, nuts, poultry, eggs, whole grains, oysters, low-fat dairy...
Osteoarthritis: 15 Tips to Improve Daily Living With OA
Osteoarthritis joint pain can make it hard to carry out activities of daily living. Cartilage destruction can cause symptoms like...
Exercises for Osteoarthritis -- Yoga, Swimming, & More
Check out this slideshow on Active Living From Day to Night with Osteoarthritis. Even with arthritis you can keep your active...
Tips for Healthy Joints: Exercise, Nutrition, & More in Pictures
Dealing with joint pain and arthritis? Learn why weight matters--and why NOT to stretch before exercise. See these solutions for...
Skin Care to Prevent Wrinkles, Aging Skin, and Dry Skin With Pictures
See how your life affects your skin. The choices you make every day affect the appearance of your skin. Learn how to avoid dry...
Pictures of Age Defying Hairstyles: How to Look Younger
Discover how to look younger with celebrity hairstyles. See the best cuts and styles on stars such as Jennifer Anniston, Halle...
Famous Faces With Rheumatoid Arthritis
Learn more about the famous faces of rheumatoid arthritis such as Lucille Ball, Glenn Frey, and more.
Dental Health: Diseases Caused by Unhealthy Teeth and Gums
Is your mouth healthy? Teeth and gums can warn you about diseases like diabetes, anemia, and osteoporosis. Find out why gum...
Related Disease Conditions
Quackery of Arthritis
Arthritis patients are sometimes vulnerable to quackery (the business of promoting unproven remedies). These "quick fix" treatments are promoted as cure-alls, but they really have no right to such claims. Consumers should be wary of products that have marketing claims like "will cure," "ancient remedy," "has no side effects," and "revolutionary new scientific breakthrough." Read about arthritis remedies and tests that have no scientific proof of benefits.
Bursitis of the hip results when the fluid-filled sac (bursa) near the hip becomes inflamed due to localized soft tissue trauma or strain. Symptoms include stiffness and pain around the hip joint. If the hip bursa is not infected, hip bursitis can be treated with ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications.
Bursitis of the knee results when any of the three fluid-filled sacs (bursae) become inflamed due to injury or strain. Symptoms include pain, swelling, warmth, tenderness, and redness. Treatment of knee bursitis depends on whether infection is involved. If the knee bursa is not infected, knee bursitis may be treated with ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications.
Shoulder bursitis is inflammation of the shoulder bursa. Bursitis may be caused by injury, infection, or a rheumatic condition. Symptoms include pain, swelling, tenderness, and pain with movement of the shoulder joint. Treatment may involve ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory medications and depends on whether there is an infection.
Cuts, Scrapes, and Puncture Wounds
Cuts, scrapes, and puncture wounds are common, and most people will experience one of these in their lifetime. Evaluating the injury, and thoroughly cleaning the injury is important. Some injuries should be evaluated by a doctor, and a tetanus shot may be necessary. Treatment will depend upon the severity of the injury.
Gum Disease (Gingivitis)
Gum disease is caused by plaque and may result in tooth loss without proper treatment. Symptoms and signs of gum disease (gingivitis or periodontal disease) include receding gums, bad breath and pocket formation between the teeth and gums. Treatment depends upon the stage of the gum disease, how you responded to earlier treatments, and your overall health.
Osteoarthritis is a type of arthritis caused by inflammation, breakdown, and eventual loss of cartilage in the joints. Also known as degenerative arthritis, osteoarthritis can be caused by aging, heredity, and injury from trauma or disease.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as well as other organs in the body. Because it can affect multiple other organs of the body, rheumatoid arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease. The 16 characteristic early RA signs and symptoms include the following. Anemia Both sides of the body affected (symmetric) Depression Fatigue Fever Joint deformity Joint pain Joint redness Joint stiffness Joint swelling Joint tenderness Joint warmth Limping Loss of joint function Loss of joint range of motion Many joints affected (polyarthritis)
Muscle cramps are involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscles that do not relax. Extremely common, any muscles that have voluntary control, including some organs, are subject to cramp. Since there is such variety in the types of muscle cramps that can occur, many causes and preventative medications are known. Stretching is the most common way to stop or prevent most muscle cramps.
Vitamins and Calcium Supplements
Vitamins are organic substances that are essential for the proper growth and functioning of the body. Calcium is a mineral essential for healthy bones and is also important for muscle contraction, heart action, and normal blood clotting.
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to it. It is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions. The parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.
Arthritis (Joint Inflammation)
Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, warmth, swelling, redness and pain. There are over 100 types of arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, gout, and pseudogout.
Hair Loss (Alopecia)
There are many causes of scalp hair loss. This featured article covers the common ones such as patchy hair loss (alopecia areata, trichotillomania, and tinea capitis), telogen effluvium, and androgenetic alopecia (male-pattern baldness, female-pattern baldness).
A bursa is a fluid-filled sac found in the joints that cushions them. Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursae, most commonly caused by repetitive motion. Bursitis can be caused by a bacterial infection and should be treated with antibiotics. Doctors also recommend icing and resting the joint.
Wrinkles, whether they be fine line or deep furrows, typically appear on areas of the body that receive a high amount of exposure to the sun. Smoking, light skin type, hairstyle, the way you dress, your occupational and recreational habits, and heredity are all factors that promote wrinkling. Medical treatments for wrinkles include antioxidants, moisturizers, alpha-hydroxy acids, and vitamin A acid. Cosmetic procedures that treat wrinkles include dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, glycolic acid peels, laser resurfacing, Botox, and fillers.
Chronic pain is pain (an unpleasant sense of discomfort) that persists or progresses over a long period of time. In contrast to acute pain that arises suddenly in response to a specific injury and is usually treatable, chronic pain persists over time and is often resistant to medical treatments.
Stretch marks occur in the dermis, the elastic middle layer of skin that allows it to retain its shape. When the skin is constantly stretched, the dermis can break down, leaving behind stretch marks.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.