MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a naturally occurring nutrient, a sulfur compound found in normal human diets and those of virtually all other vertebrates. In its purified chemical form it is an odorless, essentially tasteless, white, water-soluble, crystalline solid. When broken apart by the body, MSM donates sulfur to produce the new compounds required for good health.
MSM is the stable end-product of the methyl-S-methane series of compounds that provide all life with a dominant amount of bio-available sulfur. MSM, with its precursors, is abundant in both the food chains of land and the oceans.
The oceans provide all land life with most of the essential, bio-available sulfur requirement. Rain of marine origin is the dominant carrier of the methyl-S-methane responsible for most sulfur used as food by plants and hence, animals. A portion of this sulfur is used for sulfur-containing amino acid synthesis, while another portion is used directly to produce the many organo-sulfur molecules of life, bypassing the methionine sequence. Research completed to date strongly suggests that animals and humans require a constantly maintained minimum concentration of around 1 part per million of intact MSM based on whole body weight for optimum good health.
Sulfur is one of the essential minerals, ranked as a macronutrient in the vertebrate diet. Earlier methionine work and ongoing MSM research indicates that it is the structure of the sulfur donor molecule, not the amount of sulfur assayed in a diet of an animal that is critical. The body must receive sulfur in the form of a sulfur donor molecule since it cannot assimilate elemental, yellow sulfur into the body.
The list of sulfur sues in the body is extensive. It includes hair, nails and skin, connective tissue and enzymes, hormones and immunoglobulins. Without adequate and properly delivered sulfur, life functions as we know them would cease. Without the sulfur tie bars (-S-S- or disulfide bonds) of connective tissue, the body would by reduced to a pool of liquid protoplasm. Experimental findings suggest that MSM has a biological role as a cell wall stabilizing factor.
MSM deficiencies have been shown to be associated with inflammatory problems, gastrointestinal dysfunction, slow wound healing, brittle toenails and fingernails, immune system problems, brittle hair, acne and rashes.
MSM may aid the body in creating new cells, slow the aging process and help in the building of joint and connective tissues.