What is MSM?
(methylsulfonylmethane), also known as dimethyl sulfone (DMS02) is a sulfur compound that some
people claim can help relieve the pain and stiffness of rheumatoid arthritis and
osteoarthritis. It is a dietary supplement that has also been used to treat a wide variety of
other conditions including muscle cramps, constipation, allergies, fibromyalgia and gout. It
may also help to boost the immune system and fight antimicrobial infection.
MSM is naturally occurring in fresh foods such as green plants, certain algae, fruits, vegetables, and grains, but is destroyed with even moderate food processing. The way MSM is thought to work in the body is by being a source of sulfur. Sulfur is an important component of proteins, connective tissues, hormones, and enzymes. There are also several different ways that MSM is thought to relieve pain. It may keep pain impulses from being transmitted, increase blood flow, and reduce muscular spasm. It also appears to act as an anti-inflammatory agent. There's no proof that it works to treat or prevent any medical condition. MSM is typically used in conjunction with glucosamine to enhance the treatment effects.
Although the manufacturers of MSM say that it causes very few side effects, it has been reported to cause headache, nausea, diarrhea and stomach cramps. There is no reliable information about the long-term safety of any MSM product. It has not been studied beyond 12 weeks, so limit its use to 12 weeks.
Shop for MSM products available on Walgreens.com.
If you're looking for more specific answers to specific questions, ask a Walgreens pharmacist here.