Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Caley Scott, ND
For most people, health and wellness goals are pretty simple in theory. We want a consistent level of mobility, mental clarity, and general well-being without nagging aches and discomfort. But when it comes time to implement steps to achieve those ends, things get more complicated.
That’s why a compound like methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) can be a powerful addition to your supplement stack in the quest for wellness. It’s a compound that provides a wide array of benefits, whether you’re dealing with discomfort, stress, or even allergies. MSM is also available in several different forms, meaning you can use it on your own terms and according to your preferences.
Let’s look into the versatile capabilities of MSM and see how it can help you achieve a new level of health, wellness, and quality of life.
What is methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)?
MSM is different from most herbal remedies and cannabinoid compounds we typically investigate. While it is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in the environment and the body, most people take a synthetic form of MSM to get its health benefits daily.
On a chemical level, MSM is an organosulfur compound, usually found in a crystalline powder form that is soluble in water. Don’t be alarmed by this sulfur-containing substance — the sulfur compound quantity is too low to cause toxicity as a dietary supplement. And because it’s so adaptable, you can find MSM in products ranging from capsules and tinctures to topical creams, gels, and liquid forms.
Additionally, MSM is generally recognized as safe in the medical community and FDA. With so many great MSM supplements to choose from, you can get the health benefits of MSM while keeping side effects to a minimum. Remember that MSM is just one of many complementary supplements that form your wellness regimen, but it’s a great place to start.
What are the top health benefits of MSM?
The effects of MSM vary based on the amount, delivery method, and the particular health issues you’re facing. But because this supplement is so versatile and capable, you can reap the benefits in a number of different areas of health.
Let’s cover the 11 top benefits of MSM to see the efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane in a new light.
1. Tension and soreness reduction
Tension and soreness in muscles and joints don’t have to be a fact of life with MSM. This is a broad category in the wellness sphere, but it’s at the top of our list today for a reason.
By using MSM to reduce tension and soreness, you can do what you love each day, perform better at work, and enjoy time with loved ones to the fullest.
This is accomplished through MSM’s soothing properties, reducing the number of cytokines the body produces when the body undergoes stress. That means more activity, better sleep, and a better outlook in general. When you can navigate life with less tension and better resilience to stress, you’re back in the driver’s seat of life.
2. Joint strength and mobility
Joint health quickly becomes a priority as we age, whether dealing with the degeneration of connective tissue or bouncing back from exercise-induced soreness. MSM is widely known as one of the best compounds to reduce discomfort in joints, letting you move more freely without being held back.
Again, this works through MSM’s ability to alleviate stress on joints and connective tissue like tendons and ligaments. It can also limit the harsh swelling that happens around irritated joints, letting you walk, reach, jump, and do everything else with more physical freedom.
There’s no quick fix for joint health, and a well-rounded approach is required. Still, MSM offers a stepping stone in the right direction — and a foundation for mobility that makes a major difference.
3. Antioxidant support
The antioxidant capacity of MSM is one of its greatest features, supporting your cell health during exposure to oxidative stress. Oxidation happens naturally with aging and environmental factors often outside of our control. However, taking MSM daily is something within your control to limit the effects of oxidation and protect cells on a molecular level.
Oxidation is complex, and it’s often linked to health issues and skin aging, so MSM provides a layer of skin support as well. While whole grains and fresh produce tend to be your best source of natural antioxidants, MSM offers more antioxidant support that can help in your longevity game plan.
4. Immune system support
The immune system is your body’s protection against the elements, including bacteria, viruses, and more. When winter rolls around, our defenses drop, and MSM is here to help fortify your immunity at this critical time of year.
With a combo of antioxidants, circulatory support, and energy-supporting properties, MSM is a true sidekick for your immune system. When your immune system is on point, everything else is able to stay in line, too.
5. Energy support
Instead of relying on caffeine or other short-term boosts, the goal is to unlock natural, sustained energy from healthy food and proven supplements like MSM.
MSM supports your cells’ ability to utilize the energy you get from food, helping to transport glucose to muscles, organs, and other systems of the body. Meanwhile, it also assists in properly removing waste buildup in cells that often interferes with energy production and activity.
Through clearing these pathways and supporting proper energy utilization, MSM can help you stay productive, active, and on point no matter what you do.
6. Skin, hair, and nail health
Maybe you already have a portion of your daily routine dedicated to skin, hair, and nail health. Compounds like collagen and keratin are known for providing the building blocks for these parts of the body, but MSM is another underrated ingredient in a well-rounded routine.
Specifically, MSM works by taking existing compounds in the body and putting them to work. So, if you’re taking a collagen and keratin supplement already, MSM helps those compounds properly absorb and form healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Even if you aren’t taking MSM for cosmetic reasons, this is simply a bonus benefit that you can add to the list. After all, looking better and feeling better go hand in hand.
7. Detoxification and waste elimination
Detox and waste clearance in the body is yet another MSM benefit that goes under the radar. This is one of the most overlooked aspects of health and wellness in general, but it deserves more attention.
Even the healthiest bodies are constantly producing waste materials, whether it’s from energy output, respiration, or the digestion and absorption of food. These waste compounds build up in cells, organs, and the body’s lymph channels, leading to metabolic slowdown, stiffness, or more serious health issues over the long term.
The best way to clear waste is through a healthy diet and recovery methods, but MSM can help as well. It can work to support healthy liver function to maintain the detox process, while also supporting cell permeability to allow waste to wash away safely. MSM is also closely linked to proper glutathione production, a compound that helps the body’s natural detox systems work efficiently.
8. Recovery from physical activity
From a heavy weight lifting session to a casual hour-long walk, your body needs help recovering after performing physical activity. That goes for people at any age, though it definitely gets tougher the older we get. It’s a combination of different factors that impact recovery, and adding MSM can give you an edge when bouncing back from exercise.
Firstly, MSM reduces the swelling and tension that happens in muscles and joints as a response to strenuous activity. This makes it easier for nutrients and oxygen to be delivered to the regions that need them most and get the recovery process underway.
True recovery demands hydration, a balanced diet, and good sleep hygiene, but MSM is just another asset in your corner. Recover well so you can get back into action and do what you want!
9. Circulatory support and cardiovascular health
Great circulation has been shown to be a key to a long, healthy lifespan. That’s why many longevity studies have pointed to cardiovascular exercise and diet strategies that keep the blood flowing strong. MSM has yet another hidden benefit — giving your circulatory system some support without adding stress to your heart or arteries.
Healthy circulation starts with lifestyle, nutrition, and hydration, but MSM can help out by clearing waste and soothing swelling in key areas of the body. With support for blood flow, you can experience clear thinking, mobility, and efficient recovery.
10. Gastrointestinal and digestive support
There’s nothing worse than unexpected gastrointestinal discomfort, whether you’re at work, at home, or trying to fall asleep. While diet changes can help, many people need some extra support to aid digestion.
Once again, MSM can help in this department, easing discomfort in the stomach and intestines by easing tension in the region. MSM’s detoxifying properties also play a role here, helping clear away lingering waste products that may contribute to bloating, cramping, and constipation.
With plenty of hydration to go along with MSM supplementation, you can help maintain your gut health and enjoy the benefits of smooth digestion and absorption.
11. Synergy with cannabinoids and other compounds
We’ve mentioned that MSM is only one part of the bigger picture of natural supplementation, and cannabinoids like CBD are great examples of synergistic compounds with MSM. Many of the benefits of MSM covered so far are also offered by CBD, so it’s no wonder why so many are pairing the two supplements for synergistic effects.
You might find that CBD offers holistic tension and discomfort relief, while MSM can add another layer of support against digestive issues. The best part is that cannabinoids are adaptogenic in nature, meaning they will focus on the most prominent issues in the body along with MSM.
Create your ultimate supplement stack and make sure MSM is part of the mix — CBD is another smart addition that can go a long way to harness the power of MSM.
What is the best way to take MSM?
Taking MSM is a matter of personal preference and the intended effects you wish to experience. Many find that a mixable powder is the easiest way to take MSM, while others prefer a liquid form or a gel capsule that can be taken quickly.
At Sunmed, we deliver a full serving of MSM in our topical CBD creams, helping you target specific areas of the body with soothing and cooling effects. Simply apply a small scoop of Full Spectrum CBD Cream to achy joints or irritated skin, and you’ll feel the soothing sensations in a matter of seconds. From there, the CBD takes effect in the target area, adding even more relief and comfort.
Broad Spectrum CBD Cream is another great option for those looking to limit THC intake while still benefiting from the entourage effect of multiple cannabinoids. Plus, our creams are made with cocoa butter, shea butter, and other potent natural ingredients that have earned them five-star reviews.
The bottom line
MSM might sound complex at first, between the long name and the varied list of use cases. Some people may be put off by the presence of sulfur, but now we know better! It’s all about the right dose, the proper application, and a well-balanced lifestyle to bring everything together.
No matter how you choose to use MSM in your routine, there are many benefits you can expect in the near and long term.
MSM may still be seen as a fringe supplement with few double-blind studies to back it, but we’re confident that the secret will soon be out! Get ahead of the game by supplementing with MSM and making it work for you.
Sunmed stays on the frontier of health and supplement development, helping you get all the best effects of natural compounds with easy implementation. Stay tuned for more, and remember that great health is always a work in progress.