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The Mystery, Magnificence, and Necessity of MSM: A Natural Review

by Mikele Ketchem @Canton Olive Branch

Article 6- January 16, 2020

Happy New Year fellow Olive Branch customers!  Actually, we moved into a new decade at midnight on December 21, 2019.  Did you make any new year resolutions for 2020?  Maybe it’s time to finally lose weight; eat healthier; reduce stress; make more time for the family; make more money; or take control of your health is on your mind.  January is a common month where many people file into the closest gym or fitness center to lose those flabby pounds that were gained over the holiday season.  Many will attempt to work out consistently, but many will find out their joints ache and hurt after a hearty workout, let alone their entire bodies. 

A vital mineral that is commonly sought after for these pains is called MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane.  MSM is not only a Sulfur powerhouse for joints, but also has a long list of other bodily treatments that help with common (and not so common) ailments.  This article will look into the background, the uses, and how it can help you live a more active (and healthy) life.  Grab a cup of cocoa, and let’s learn something new today.

What Exactly is MSM?

Ok, without getting too technical, MSM is short for Methylsulfonylmethane, or in short – a form of Sulfur.  If you have any joint pains and visited a health food store in the past you may have been suggested to take some MSM with glucosamine and chondroitin to help with pain and inflammation.  This popular supplement hasn’t lost its luster, but some formulations over the years have decreased its potency in some situations.  However, as medical science and clinical trials advance, MSM is continually surprising scientists in the numerous ways it acts upon the body besides for joint health.  For example, many customers who come into the Olive Branch with sore muscles and other ailments and I try to explain how MSM affects them in multiple ways.  One of the biggest ways MSM works is through the adrenal cortex system which helps regulate our response to stressors.  Jillian Levy’s article on MSM comments,

“One of the most notable attributes of MSM supplements is that they help accelerate healing and detox the body by improving how chemicals enter and leave our cells.  MSM essentially makes cells more permeable, releasing certain built-up minerals that can cause problems, heavy metals, waste and toxins, while also helping usher in nutrients and water.” (Levy 2019)

MSM has more than just joint pain and inflammation busting properties.  Plus, it has multiple forms that can be found in most health food stores.  These are discussed below.

Types of MSM On the Market

  • Powder form
  • Cream/lotion form
  • Gel form
  • Pill/tablet form
  • Liquid eye form
  • Crystals

The Importance of Sulfur

According to Dr. Mercola’s article on MSM, the importance of Sulfur is understated.  Sulfur plays a role in many biological processes, including metabolism and the sulfonation of hormones, and deficiency appears to play a role in a wide range of health problems and disease including:

  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Autism

Sulfur has undergone many trials of safety and effectiveness over the years.  Sulfur is most notably known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties to relieve pain.  MSM has been known through the years to be mainly for joints and inflammation, but MSM has more uses in the body than we originally thought.  Sulfur is also necessary to keep the circulatory system and liver healthy.  Read on to learn more about MSM, and how it affects the body.

Benefits of MSM-A Comprehensive List

  • Treats osteoarthritis and joint pain
  • Helps with skin conditions
  • Lowers muscle pain and spams/improves exercise recovery
  • Restores hair, skin, nails growth
  • Helps the body adapt to stress
  • Reduces allergies
  • Excellent detoxifier
  • Helps insulin function
  • Helps uptake of vitamins/minerals/amino acids
  • Superior antioxidant
  • Improves neurological function
  • Immune Booster
  • Cancer fighter

Treats Osteoarthritis and Joint Pain

This is the most common complaint we receive in the store concerning joint health.  MSM helps decrease joint inflammation, improves flexibility, and restores collagen production.  It helps form connective tissue and repair joints, tendons, and ligaments.  Jillian Kubala states, “Studies have shown that MSM significantly reduces inflammation in your body.  It also inhibits the breakdown of cartilage, a flexible tissue that protects the ends of your bones in joints.” (Kubala 2018)

Helps with Digestive Problems / Helps with Autoimmune Conditions

I know for a fact that we get a considerable amount of people that come in with digestive issues that also have an autoimmune condition that is associated.  Any time that you are battling an autoimmune disorder, typically digestive upsets are usually present.  MSM can help with digestive and autoimmune disorders because MSM helps treat leaky gut syndrome as it helps stop particles from leaching out the gut through small junction openings, where they can enter the bloodstream and ignite an inflammatory response.  Jillian Kubala comments, “MSM can help rebuild the lining of the digestive tract and lower inflammatory responses in response to allergic reactions to certain foods.” (Kubala 2018)   It may be worth your time to research the effects of L-Glutamine supplementation to help MSM patch up the leaky gut syndrome to address these issues.

Helps with Skin Conditions

Creams containing MSM for skin conditions helps lower inflammation contributing to rosacea, skin discoloration, allergies, or slow wound healing.  Improved skin tone, reduced redness, and ease of sensitivity are common responses.  It is best to combine these skin products with Vitamins A, C, and E to help build new skin.

Lowers Muscle Pain and Spams/Improves Exercise Recovery

This is another common complaint at the Olive Branch.  Again, anytime you have pain there is inflammation.  MSM acts as a pain reliever while improving range of motion and mobility.  Another cool fact in the working out arena is that MSM helps counteract certain byproducts like lactic acid which is responsible for DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness which gives you pain after working out.  Jillian Levy comments, “A study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, in which it was found that only 10 days of MSM supplementation helped decrease muscle damage via its effect on antioxidant capacity.” (Levy 2019) 

Restores Hair, Skin, Nails Growth

MSM is shown to boost collagen and keratin levels that are needed for healthy hair, skin, and nails.  Especially during the cold winter months.

Helps the Body Adapt to Stress

If you’ve ever heard of adaptogen in a health food store, MSM is one of those.  MSM is an adaptogen supplement that helps control how the body deals with stress.  MSM boosts the ability to heal and bounce back from exercise, stressful events, injuries, and surgeries. 

Reduces Allergies

MSM helps reduce inflammation and decrease the release of cytokines and prostaglandins which helps with managing allergic reactions.  “One study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that it can help to reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis, which includes itching, congestion, shortness of breath, sneezing and coughing.” (Levy 2019)

Excellent Detoxifier

Aids in the removal of heavy metal toxicity and cellular waste products.  In addition, the production of glutathione assists the liver in removing waste products from the body. (Patti 2016)

Helps Insulin Function

Bet you didn’t know MSM is excellent for diabetics did you?  Sulfur is needed for proper structure and function of insulin, and is essential in carbohydrate metabolism. (Patti 2016)

Helps Uptake of Vitamins/Minerals/Amino Acids

MSM helps you absorb more of the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to give your body more of what it needs to heal and keep you healthy

Superior Antioxidant

MSM (mainly sulfur) aids in the production of glutathione which is a key antioxidant in reducing oxidative stress. (Patti 2016)

Improves Neurological Function

MSM has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier thereby improving cellular function and removing heavy metal toxicity within the brain cells.  Indirectly, it helps improve brain memory function. (Patti 2016)

Immune Booster

Sulfur plays a big role in keeping your immune system running in top shape.  MSM is effective in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation that can weaken immunity. Since it has inflammatory reducing properties it is thought that MSM reduces stress on the immune system.  Increasing the immune system is also supported by the increased production of glutathione. (Patti 2016)

Cancer Fighter

This is a big one.  There has been a huge surge of research involving studies where MSM and its effectiveness in fighting cancer cells.  Jillian Kubala comments, “Several test tube studies have shown that MSM inhibits the growth  of stomach, esophageal, liver, colon, skin, and bladder cancer cells.  It seems to do this by damaging cancer cell DNA and stimulating cancer cell death, or apoptosis.”  (Kubala 2018) There are even studies where MSM has inhibited the growth of human breast cancer cells, and appeared to stop metastasis.

Author Final Thoughts

In today’s busy world full of stress, illness, and pain, we look to alternatives to help us bring down inflammation and avoid pain.  There are lots of choices in health food stores that can help alleviate pain and inflammation.  Sure, curcumin, Boswellia, devil’s claw, cat’s claw, and others are suitable choices.  However, the topic of this informational report is how MSM can not only help with pain and inflammation, but with a myriad of other positive bodily aids.  MSM has been given GRAS certification, or generally recognized as safe, to give peace of mind with consumers on overall safety.  With those thoughts in mind, it may be suitable to add MSM to your daily regimen to help give your body a boost from the inside out.  Stop into the Olive Branch today to get more information on how MSM can help you today.

A quote from Jillian Levy in her article sums this report up perfectly on MSM’s overall use and effectiveness:

“One of the most notable attributes of MSM supplements is that they help accelerate healing and detox the body by improving how chemicals enter and leave our cells.  MSM essentially makes cells more permeable, releasing certain built-up minerals that can cause problems, heavy metals, waste and toxins, while also helping usher in nutrients and water.” (Levy 2019)

~In Good Health,

Mikele Ketchem, MBA, COI
[email protected]
@Canton Olive Branch

Disclaimer: While we do not prescribe, nor recommend going against the advice of any medical professional, we do ask that you educate yourself. It would be helpful to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your doctor to see what works best for you. The best possible outcome for this scenario would be to heal yourself naturally, and get off or avoid side effects from synthetic medications for treatment. There are quite a few treatments that greatly assist and can even help you get off your medications. This article is meant for informational purposes, and is not intended to replace any medical advice from a qualified medical professional.

Sources used and cited for this article:


Kubala, J. (2018, May 21). 8 Science-Backed Benefits of MSM Supplements. Retrieved from

Levy, J. (2019, September 26). MSM Supplement Improves Joints, Allergies and Gut Health. Retrieved from

Mercola, D. (2019, October 14). Health Benefits of MSM — A Powerful Sulfur Donor. Retrieved from

Patti, A. (2016, May 28). 10 Benefits of MSM. Retrieved from

3 thoughts on “The Mystery, Magnificence, and Necessity of MSM: A Natural Review

  1. Awesome post! Keep up the great work! 🙂

  2. Thanks to your amazing staff. I have discovered this. I have only been taking it for 2 months. It has changed my life!

    1. We are so glad you found this helpful!