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Side Effects of MSM

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This article explores the side effects of MSM, and whether the MSM side effects indicate that MSM is safe.

MSM_MODELMethylsulfonylmethane, or "MSM," is a popular nutrient added to a variety of herbal supplements. Several studies, including those at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences and the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands (among many others), have indicated that MSM is a valuable mineral for nourishing:

  • Joints
  • Skin
  • Cartilage
  • Nails
  • Hair

MSM is a naturally occurring element, and a type of organic sulfur. It's found in a variety of foods in very small doses, and several studies have shown that MSM is a valuable supplement for men and women of all ages.

Popular Joint and Osteoarthritis Remedy

MSM is most commonly used as a nourishing tool for joints. While available on its own, it's most commonly added to other effective joint supplements, including glucosamine and chondroitin. Together, they produce a powerful force that is easily digested in the body and provides nutrients and anti-inflammatory benefits for the joints.

Side Effects of MSM

MSM_SIDE_EFFECTBefore taking any supplement it is important to learn as much as possible at its side effects. MSM is no different. Make sure you are comfortable with the side effects of MSM before you decide to take any supplement that contains the ingredients.

Luckily, according to research, there are few to no MSM side effects, nor are there any MSM allergies (a common problem with many supplements and medicines). MSM is a type of sufluric compound that is found naturally within the body, so there is no risk of allergic reaction or other unwanted side effects.

However, it should be noted that some companies combine MSM with other compounds during the manufacturing process. These additional compounds may cause an allergic reaction, which is why it is important to know how each company extracts is MSM, and whether they combine it with other compounds. 

If you have shown any signs of sulfur compound allergies in the past, be careful before to read the ingredients and allergy history of the medication before taking any MSM supplement.

MSM Animal Studies for MSM Side Effects

Most research into MSM side effects started as animal studies. Scientists gave animals as many as five to seven times as much MSM as an adult human being would take daily for as many as 90 days.

These animals had zero observed side effects.

When scientists tested the dose on human beings, no dangerous MSM side effects were uncovered. However, a few research subjects did report some very standard supplement side effects. These include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea

MSM toxicity was nearly non-existent. However, inexpensive MSM supplements may be synthesized in a way that isn't completely purified. Without effective purification, the MSM can pick up trace elements of dangerous metals or toxins.

To avoid this, make sure you trust the purification process of the company whose supplement you choose to take. Try to avoid the crystallized MSM purification process, as this type tends to be more likely to pick up trace elements and could create MSM side effects.

Studies on Toxic Doses

Supplement researchers often try to measure a supplement's "toxicity level." This refers to the amount of a supplement that one needs to take in order for the supplement to be dangerous or deadly.

The average dose of MSM is roughly 2 to 5 grams. Some supplements provide as much as 40 grams.

Research into toxicity found that it would take as much as 2000 grams or more before an MSM supplement could be considered truly toxic – well beyond the normal amount any human being would consume from a supplement.

Does This Mean That MSM is Safe?

As with all supplements, it's important to keep up with current research. Studies are conducted every day to determine herbal and mineral safety. It's also a good idea to contact a doctor if you're concerned.

However, as of this writing, studies have shown that there are little to no side effects of MSM.


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