Q: What is MSM?
A: MSM is an organic sulfur-containing nutrient, a naturally-occurring compound in the environment and in the human body. Sulfur is necessary for the structure of every cell in the body. Hormones, enzymes, antibodies, and antioxidants all depend on it. And because the body utilizes and expends it on a daily basis, sulfur must be continually replenished for optimal nutrition and health.
Q: Where Does MSM Come From?
A: MSM originates in the oceans where microscopic plankton release sulfur compounds into seawater, which is quickly converted to DMS, a volatile sulfur compound that escapes into the atmosphere. In this suspended, gaseous state, the DMS reacts with ozone and ultraviolet sunlight to create DMSO and DMSO2, known as MSM. MSM then falls to the earth with the rain, where it is collected and concentrated in plants. Although MSM is abundant in nature, even the richest natural sources only provide MSM in the level of several parts per million. Commercial extraction of MSM from trees is not possible. MSM is produced by oxidizing DMSO. This process parallels the natural oxidation of DMSO to MSM that occurs in the marine atmosphere and produces MSM that is chemically identical to that found in nature.
Q: What is MSM?
A: The premiere branded MSM ingredient is produced and available through MaxxRelief. MSM is held to strict product specifications, making it the highest quality and most consistent MSM available on the market. MSM is organic sulfur that appears as a white, crystalline, water-soluble powder that is available in a variety of topical applications and internal dosage types. It is non-toxic, non-allergenic, and always 99.9% pure.
Q: Are there any food sources of MSM?
A: Yes. MSM occurs naturally in the environment, is present in rainwater, and is absorbed by plants. So, small amounts of MSM are available in fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and even unpasteurized milk. But, because it does not occur in effective amounts in food, the most reliable dietary source for adequate MSM intake is through supplementation.
Q: Who should take Gel-out® MSM?
A: Because organic sulfur is a basic component for overall human wellness, most people can benefit from supplementing their diets with MSM. Please consult your physician before using MSM if you are pregnant, while nursing or for children under 2 years of age.
Q: Is MSM safe?
A: Very safe. MSM is non-toxic and non-allergenic. However, taking amounts greater than your body's ability to absorb it may result in loose stools. MSM is non-allergenic. In the many years MSM has been researched, no significant allergic reactions have been reported. We recommend informing your doctor you are supplementing with MSM. MSM has no known contraindications with pharmaceutical drugs or over-the-counter medications. However, Dr. Jacob does recommend that it not be used by pregnant or lactating mothers, or by children under the age of two. Dr. Jacob recommends that persons taking blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin) consult their doctor before using MSM.
Q: How much MSM should I take?
A: Follow the directions recommended on the products you buy. Dosage is generally in the range of 2-8 grams per day in 2-3 divided doses. For more definitive recommendations, read Dr. Jacob's Book, The Miracle of MSM: The Natural Solution for Pain.
Q: What makes Gel-out® OptiMSM superior to other kinds of MSM?
A: Gel-out® OptiMSM is the original MSM available in the United States patented as safe for human biological use. If you don't see the OptiMSM logo, you can't be certain you are getting 99.9% pure, safe, and effective OptiMSM. Learn more about the OptiMSM difference.
Q: Is sulfur the same as sulfa drugs and sulfites?
A: Do not get confused between the two. MSM provides organic sulfur and is a nutrient. Sulfa-based drugs, also known as sulfonamides, do not occur naturally and are used as antibiotics. The sulfa molecule is much larger and can cause severe reactions in some individuals. While many people are allergic to sulfa drugs, no similar reactions have ever been reported with MSM. A third sulfur-containing compound, known as sulfites, is a form of preservative that can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. MSM does not contain sulfites, and should not cause a reaction in sulfite-sensitive individuals.
Q: How long does it usually take to experience relief in very severe cases?
A: This is difficult to answer. It depends on many things. Some sever cases can take months. The longer the problem has existed, the longer it may take for substantial relief to occur. Often MSM helps where noting else does, where there are no other effective treatments available, or where strong medication is not advisable for a patient. The use of MSM may provide major relief or it may provide just enough to allow your physician to reduce the amount of medication. When a doctor can do that, the risk of side effects is also reduced.
Q: If I develop pain should I take MSM?
A: MSM can be helpful for many cases of pain, but remember that pain is a messenger from the body telling you that something is wrong and needs attention. A minor pain that comes and quickly goes is generally not a cause for concern. But when any pain intensifies or persists, that’s a strong message you should heed. Should you experience any kind of severe or persistent pain, for whatever reason, don’t rush to the health food store and buy a bottle of MSM and expect it to relieve your pain like a painkiller. MSM doesn’t work that way. It is not a pharmaceutical pain pill that will deaden the pain in ten minutes. See your physician. Get a diagnosis and follow your physician’s advice. MSM provides rapid relief in many cases, but it is not meant to compete with pharmaceutical painkilling drugs. It is a nutritional supplement. MSM is most appropriate for chronic pain conditions where you don’t want to rely indefinitely on a drug. If you have a chronic pain condition, MSM can be used along with any therapeutic program you follow. It will not interfere with any drug or procedure being administered by your health professional.
1. Questions That People Ask Us about MSM and Pain Relief – The Miracle of MSM by Dr. Stanley Jacob MD, Ronald M. Lawrence, MD, and Martin Zucker.