Frequently Asked Questions
Is MSM Safe?
Published scientific studies have shown MSM to be safe for human and animal use. Even at large dosage levels, there are no known significant adverse effects or drug interactions. Notably, these studies were conducted on highly purified forms of MSM; consumers should determine if the MSM they use has been appropriately processed to remove microscopic toxins or impurities.
Can I take MSM if I am pregnant?
There are no known adverse side effects from use of MSM immediately prior to and during pregnancy or during breast-feeding. Women who intend to become pregnant or who are pregnant or breast-feeding should always consult with their physician before taking any supplement or medication.
I am allergic to sulphur. Can I take MSM?
Strictly speaking, the concept of a “sulphur allergy” is a misconception: sulphur is an element, the third most abundant mineral in the human body. It’s not possible to be allergic to sulphur because it has no protein component. When people say they are “allergic to sulphur”, what they really mean is that they are allergic or sensitive to certain sulphur-containing substances, most notably to sulfa antibiotics (sulfonamides) or to sulfites (preservatives used in wines and some foods), or to foods with a high sulphur content (broccoli or cauliflower).
Many individuals with allergies to sulfa drugs or to sulfites do not experience problems taking MSM, because apart from sulphur, MSM bears no relation to these substances.
Does MSM have any proven effects on insulin, blood sugar, blood pressure, or peptic ulcer?
No. Sulphur is a component of many amino acids and hormones, and is required for the production of many more. But just because sulphur is required to produce insulin, it is not correct to believe that taking sulphur as a supplement (e.g. in MSM) would have any effect on the body’s production or secretion of insulin. The regulatory pathways for blood sugar metabolism are far more complex than that.
How much MSM can I take? Are there any side effects?
Clinical trials have investigated doses ranging from 1,500 mg per day up to 6,000 mg per day. Stanley Jacob, MD reports using MSM in his patients at doses of up to 100 grams per day with no ill effects under highly controlled medical treatment regimens in a hospital clinic (MSM: The Definitive Guide). MSM toxicity studies indicate that these large doses do not present safety issues, however it is possible that they could result in occasional loose stools or other minor effects.
Is MSM depleted from foods by food processing?
MSM is widely distributed in nature, but the amount in any given food is very small (just a few parts per million at most). Because of these low levels, any depletion from foods is insignificant.The reason to supplement with MSM is that it has beneficial effects on the structure and function of the human body, when taken in amounts exceeding dietary intake levels. MSM dietary supplements, if manufactured correctly, are extremely stable over time, even under conditions of extreme heat.
Does the body produce MSM naturally? What functions does it serve in the body?
Yes. MSM does occur naturally in the body in small amounts. It is probably synthesized by gut bacteria, and appears to have a function in the liver’s processing of toxic agents that enter the body from outside.
What effect will MSM have on my skin, hair, and nails?
Extensive anecdotal reports suggest that MSM supplementation improves the suppleness of skin and the shininess of hair and nails, which also become less prone to cracking and splitting.
Is MSM effective for allergies?
A preliminary 2002 clinical study found that MSM consumption at 2600 mg per day for 30 days reduced allergy-associated symptoms in people clinically diagnosed with allergies.