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When California resident Mike Stokes paddled out to the waves when he was 18 years old, it was a typical day of surfing at the beach.
The water was warm. The waves were high. And every time he hopped on his board, it seemed like he practically floated across the water, carving lines as the waves pushed him to shore.
And then something happened. A major wave hammered down on Mike, and he broke his neck in three places.
That was about 30 years ago. His road to recovery wasn’t easy.
And this wouldn’t be the only injury he would face. A couple years later he hurt his knee and required surgery. He hurt his back. And he developed joint pain and mobility issues in his elbow and shoulder.
- Are you living with joint pain?
- Do you feel like you need to do more than take pain medication and do physical therapy?
- Ever wonder if there’s a better way to heal your body after an injury, or even a tough workout?
Mike did. And after years of suffering from his list of injuries, he decided to take MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), after a healthy and active 75-year-old friend recommended it.
“By the time I was 42, I was at the point where I might have to stop working and stop surfing,” says Mike. “Because my whole body felt like it was falling apart.”
Within a week, Mike noticed a difference. He was in a lot less pain. His mobility was improving. And he felt better than he had in a long time.
“I’m healthy, exercise, stretch, and do all that good stuff now,” says Mike. “MSM gave me that extra bump I needed to keep doing all the things I love.”
What is MSM?
MSM, also called methylsulfonylmethane, is a chemical found in plants that helps deliver oxygen throughout the body. It’s widely-used to treat joint pain, repair tissue damage, and support healthy tendons and ligaments. But there are many other health benefits.
MSM and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
While MSM has been available for years, it wasn’t a widely-used supplement until recently.
In 2007, a supplement manufacturer contacted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval to include MSM in a proprietary product. Office of Food Additive Safety Director Dr. Laura Tarantino did not dispute the claim that MSM is GRAS (generally recognized as safe).
And that opened the door for MSM to be used as a nutritional supplement as a stand-alone product, combined with other supplements, or added to foods.
When a supplement receives a GRAS designation, it means there’s enough evidence to permit the use of it for human consumption. That could change if a large number of consumers reported adverse effects, but that hasn’t happened.
Health Benefits of MSM
Mike decided to take MSM to help him deal with years of joint pain associated with his injuries. And it worked. But he also discovered, taking the supplement caused his hair and nails to grow, and improved the health of his skin.
In fact, Dr. Stanley Jacob published a long list of uses for MSM along with case studies of patients who benefitted from this dietary supplement in his book The Miracle of MSM: The Natural Solution for Pain.
A number of studies have demonstrated the health benefits of MSM for a variety of different health problems, such as:
- Arthritis and inflammation. Studies show that MSM can help treat joint pain and stiffness associated with arthritis common in aging adults, and rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune disorder.
- Cartilage preservation. Loss of cartilage surrounding joints can occur for a variety of different reasons. In some cases, it’s associated with autoimmune disorders. But excessive stress from an injury or overuse, common in sports, can also lead to cartilage loss and joint pain. Research shows MSM may help prevent further cartilage loss.
- Improve range of motion. If you’re trying to recover from an injury, studies show MSM can help reduce inflammation and improve mobility. In one study, patients suffering from back pain who took a supplement with MSM reported less pain and better quality of life.
- Reduce muscle soreness associated with exercise. If you want to recover from a tough workout faster, research suggests MSM can help prevent tissue damage and speed recovery.
- Improve seasonal allergies. Suffer from seasonal allergies and the telltale signs like itchy, watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, scratchy throat, and congestion? In one study, people who took a supplement with MSM for 30 days reported fewer respiratory issues during allergy season.
- Improve skin quality and texture. MSM has been used in topical form to treat and improve skin conditions for nearly 40 years. Studies show MSM used in lotions can improve pigmentation, skin elasticity, reduce wrinkling
- MSM and cancer. MSM for cancer prevention hasn’t been widely studied. But it’s function to increase oxygen delivery may help reduce antioxidants linked to cancer. In one small study, researchers found that MSM may help prevent lung and colon cancer.
If you want to improve your health, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and exercise daily. Adding an MSM supplement to your diet can help, too.
- Stokes, M. (2017). How I eliminated joint pain with MSM. Wild Alive University. From: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofV-JjU17b4.
- National Institutes of Health. (2016). MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane). From:
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2008). Agency response letter GRAS notice No. GRM 000229. From: https://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/GRAS/NoticeInventory/ucm153891.htm.
- Jacob, S. (1999). The Miracle of MSM: The Natural Solution for Pain. New York, NY: Penguin Group.
- Butawan, M., et al. (2017). Methylsulfonylmethane: Applications and safety of a novel dietary supplement. Nutrients. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5372953.
- Tant, L., et al. (2005)/ Open-label, randomized, controlled pilot study of the effects of a glucosamine complex on low back pain. Current Therapeutic Research: Clinical and Experimental. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24678073.