Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a chemical found in green plants, animals, and humans. It can also be made in a laboratory. MSM has become popular because of the book The Miracle of MSM: The Natural Solution for Pain. But there is little published scientific research to support its use. Contrary to some literature that promotes MSM, there is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for MSM or sulfur, which is in MSM. Sulfur deficiency has not been described in the medical literature.
People take MSM by mouth and apply it to the skin for chronic pain, osteoarthritis, joint inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, inflammation around the joints (bursitis), tendinitis, swelling around the tendons (tenosynovitis), musculoskeletal pain, muscle cramps, hardened skin condition called scleroderma, scar tissue, stretch marks, hair loss, wrinkles, protection against sun/wind burn, eye inflammation, oral hygiene, gum disease, wounds, cuts, and abrasions/accelerated wound healing.
People also take MSM by mouth 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 taken by mouth for type 2 diabetes, liver problems, Alzheimer’s disease, to control snoring, 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).
MSM is also taken by mouth for 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 poisoning, and to boost the immune system.