Ingrid in Sweden: Please explain, what does MSM stand for? It has been suggested that I use this treatment with hydrogen peroxide.
Kari in Norway: MSM stands for Methyl-Sulfonyl-Methane. It is also called biological sulfur. It is similar in structure to coenzyme Q-10. You can have a cleansing reaction to it, so it is reasonable to start with a low dose. MSM also helps remove heavy metals.
Mona: MSM is not a medicine, drug or a food additive; it is a nutritional food supplement. It is in milk, fruits, vegetables and meats. It is an organic sulfur found in all living organisms. MSM is the 3rd largest ingredient found in your body. In order of percentage, your body makeup contains water, salt, and MSM. The body uses MSM to create new, good healthy body cells. Vitamins and amino acids work with MSM during this process. Without MSM our bodies are unable to build healthy cells, and this leads to illness. MSM is non-allergenic, non-pyretic, and has no known undesirable pharmacological effects. It can even be used as a safe blood dilutent.
Polly: MSM is also called biological sulfur and DMSO2. It is a form of sulfur that your body can use. It is abundant in raw milk. It is helpful for gastrointestinal upsets and for mucous lining inflammation, and it may help with food allergies. Over a period of time, it may relieve excess stomach acidity. There is a book called The Miracle of MSM by Jacob, MD, et al.
Many of the people in our Healthy Awareness candida forum have reported that MSM really helped them. Sometimes it was more effective than the expensive prescription drugs. Yet a few have reported no noticeable improvement. Others didn’t notice anything until they used very high doses. Yet be careful. Shelley and Donna got very sick from it, and cannot tolerate it at this point. As for me, when I first started taking MSM, I would get ill if I took more than 500 mg per day. However, I still had very good results just by taking the 500 mg per day for three months. A skin infection got much better in a relatively short period of time. My gum health dramatically improved, and it may have been just coincidental, but a uterine fibroid I’d had for several years disappeared too.
Jane: I have heard on a couple tapes that the clinical observations do not show significant difference in response based on dosage of MSM, but based on consistency. Even a very tiny dose every twelve hours is supposed to be sufficient to produce results for most people if it is done faithfully.
Mrs. Generic: Can people be allergic or sensitive to this form of sulfur?
Polly: I haven’t heard of any allergies to this type of sulfur. However, many people have described what is assumed to be a cleansing reaction, including rashes. The reaction is said to occur if your cells are releasing stored toxins faster than your body can eliminate them. If this happens, just cut back to a lower dose. You can also try a hot bath or sauna to help eliminate the toxins through the skin. This might cut down on a reaction. Since MSM may change the levels of acetylcholine, you may want to give your body a chance to adjust to this change too.
To avoid such reactions, I suggest that you start very slowly on MSM and find how much you can tolerate. Recommended doses are about 3,000 mg for an adult, but many of us have found that we must start with 500 mg per day or less. I read a study where they were getting results using just 250 mg per day. So don’t worry about using a lower dose to start with. Some of the parents on the autism list are starting their children out on magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salt) baths before they even attempt a small dose of MSM. (Some of the poor kids are so toxic that they can’t even tolerate the Epsom salt bath.) However, sometimes chondroitin sulfate or glucosamine sulfate or other sulfates are tolerated. These would be worth trying.
Perhaps we are so sensitive to MSM and sulfates because our body has adjusted to a deficit of sulfur. Many of us probably really need the sulfur. Intestinal inflammation will get rid of sulfates. So will mercury poisoning. (Mercury causes the excretion of sulfates through the urine.)
One more suggestion. If you try say 500 mg of MSM one day with no problems, and if the next day you try the same amount and get sick, then you are taking too much. The effects of the MSM seem to be cumulative over a few days. Most of the MSM will leave your body in one day, but not all. From my own experimenting, the total dose over about three days seems to be what is important. So try the same dose for at least three or four days before you decide that you might be able to tolerate more.
RB: MSM is helping me. I am taking a small amount daily with the result that my allergic manifestation around my eyes and on my skin has decreased and almost disappeared. It takes a while to be effective because what it is doing is correcting a deficiency which makes the yeast more able to over come the body. Without it, your cell walls do not release toxins like they should and the yeast adheres to the intestinal wall more deeply. With it, the cell membranes regain their normal characteristics and receive nutrients and release toxins. It also helps the cells on the intestinal wall become more nourished by the blood supply. I vote for MSM over caprylic acid because the die-off seems to be less disruptive to my life.
Michelle H: I have been taking MSM for about six months now and have found it definitely helps with candida and/or possible mercury toxicity. One thing I noticed was that when I contracted a cold recently, I did not suffer with an aching jaw/teeth — a symptom I have always had with colds and flu. Is this because of the MSM? I like to think so. MSM is not an overnight cure but seems to work over a period of weeks/months. Someone on the forum also mentioned they suffered leg pains with MSM. This disappeared over a period of months for me. You do have to build up the dose of MSM slowly. Good health to all.
Marilyn in Seattle: I am still feeling my way. I just know that at low levels I am finding the MSM is doing very good things for me. Too much and it seems to pull toxins out of tissues too rapidly. Or maybe it’s that my liver function is poor. I suspect most people with mercury toxicity have poor liver function and have to detox slowly. When I take 500mg of MSM with vitamin C, I am having nothing but good effects. I wonder if people’s poor reactions to sulfur on the amalgam lists are not signs of detoxifying? Doctor’s Data where I had my hair analysis done said it was their experience that sulfur is low in the mercury-burdened patient. I think replacing it kick starts the body into being able to detoxify the mercury, which has some unpleasant effects, but the mercury has to come out in my opinion, or health problems will remain.
One of the interesting things I read the other day, which really applies to me, is that drug hypersensitivity can be a sign of sulfur deficiency. I react to all drugs with extreme hyper-reactions — could never take any of the pharmaceuticals that were prescribed for spasticity (stiffness). Extreme untoward reactions, many times the drug in me would do the exact OPPOSITE of what it was supposed to. I am sure now that once again this was related to the liver, which has to process all drugs. I think I have had many indications over the years that my liver was not functioning well, but I had to earn an IHMD to understand how important this was.
Note: IHMD stands for In-Home-Medical-Degree. It is one of our forum jokes. Many of us have spent a lot of time studying medical topics that are usually only of interest to doctors.
Michele: My experience with MSM began when I started walking almost four miles a day without any previous exercise. I had just started taking MSM. My friend had really sore muscles, and I felt great. Next I had been having a severe problem with one knee for a year. When I would sit still for more than ten minutes my knee would become so painful with sharp stabbing pain that I was unable to stand and walk. I would have to gingerly stand and wait, then I could limp and as it warmed up I could eventually walk normally. That pain was completely gone, as well as a similar problem in my thumb, after three weeks of taking MSM. I cut the same thumb deeply with a band saw and had ten stitches, and it has healed without a scar, though it is not completely healed internally. I have an old scar from a very sloppy thyroid surgery, which irritated my throat with a slight choking sensation because it was so thick and ropelike. With internal MSM and MSM lotion it has softened and thinned and become supple so that it is no longer irritating. And as far as candida, I have had clearer thinking, clearer skin, and far fewer vaginal or esophageal noticeable yeast symptoms. It is the only supplement I have found so far that has had a definitive impact, and I would not want to do without it.
Taylor: Michele, where do you get your MSM? I have read that it can be obtained from animal feed stores quite cheaply because it is fed to animals to help their nutritional uptake. That would be $20 a pound as opposed to $30 for 100 tablets. Because you have gotten particularly good results with MSM, it would be good to know your source.
Michele: MSM for horses runs about $23 per pound. (One pound is about 450 grams.) I take it morning and evening with 1000mg ascorbic acid. I checked with my uncle who is a veterinarian and he said it is the same quality as is used for people. I am super frugal (five kids and a pastor’s wife) so I go the cheapest I can find if the quality is good.
Polly: Christy mentioned that you could purchase MSM by the pound at an even better price from Health Line Nutrition, phone (800) 981-5056. They sell the Lignisul brand of MSM, which is made in the USA and costs the distributor a little more than MSM from some other sources. Most companies in the USA sell the higher grade MSM like the Lignisul brand, but recently there have appeared imports of lower grade MSM that may not conform to USA standards for food grade purity. So you must ask the source of your MSM, purchase from reputable companies, and check the labels for a high purity product. Here is another company that sells MSM powder at a very good price. http://www.msm-msm.com phone (800) 453-7516
MSM tastes bitter, so if you purchase just the bulk powder, you need to mix it with coffee or something to mask the taste. Wait until the coffee cools somewhat so that the heat doesn’t destroy the MSM.
There is reason to try some MSM at some point in your treatment. An inflamed intestine will lose sulfates, so we may be shy on sulfur in general. According to Dr. Elson M. Haas, author of Staying Healthy with Nutrition, sulfur deficiency is more common when there is a lack of intestinal bacteria, or low-protein diets. Please note that MSM isn’t a perfect supplement for this condition. Some people cannot tolerate it, and some notice nothing with its use. Just in our experience, MSM has a good track record for the money.
If you take a lot of MSM, it may help you get rid of unwanted heavy metals and toxins, yet it might also get rid of some of the other metals/ minerals that you may need. Or perhaps it may increase your need for other minerals because you may need to replace heavy metals that are being released from biologically active sites. In the book Mineral and Trace Element Analysis by Eleonore Blaurock-Busch, PhD, she indicates that sulfur interacts with zinc, copper, molybdenum, selenium and calcium, and that a deficiency or metabolic disturbance of sulfur can affect these minerals, and vice versa. But this doesn’t mean that these are the only minerals that might interact with sulfur. Not all have been checked. For instance, silica is usually not studied because you can’t use glass test tubes to study it, plus hair samples are not studied for silica levels because shampoos often contain silica. Silica is important for healthy intestines too. Yet like everything else, too much silica isn’t good for you.
MSM is noted for improving hair condition, yet several people at the forum have noticed a loss of hair when using MSM. Perhaps it is due to a disturbance of other mineral balances, like that of zinc or silica. I’d use a balanced mineral supplement and perhaps a trace mineral supplement if you are going to be using a lot of MSM, sulfur amino acids, vitamin C, or any other natural chelator. If you need to use a lot of MSM, one should perhaps also take a little extra molybdenum, selenium, zinc and copper.
Laurie Andreoni, DC: MSM doesn’t react with most medicines, but if someone is taking a blood thinner, they need to monitor it closely. MSM, E, gingko, garlic, ginger, ginseng, feverfew, aspirin and St. John’s Wort all thin the blood.
Polly: Pau d’Arco, a popular herb to treat yeast overgrowth, also thins the blood. It interacts with vitamin K.
LaterKathleen: A short while back on this forum, I initiated discussion about MSM and hair loss. I said at that time in response to a post from Polly that I did not have a mercury burden. I was wrong. Very wrong. A hair analysis and a DMSA challenge both showed extremely high levels of mercury. I have done several rounds of DMSA now, and I find I am able to take 4 grams of MSM per day without significant hair loss. My doctor had told me that the only way MSM could cause hair loss was due to heavy metal toxicity. Apparently he was right in my case.
Polly: I know a lot of people suggest taking 3 grams (3,000 mg) of MSM per day, but I think you could hurt yourself by taking that much on a long term basis, even if you seem to tolerate it.
LaterMarilyn in Seattle: I tried and tried to take MSM over a period of months and I just became more and more sensitive to it instead of it getting bettersomething I now understand in relation to my liver tests which showed defective sulfation. I react to all sulfur, not just MSM. I react to the sulfur amino acids of N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC), cystine, cysteine, methionine, and taurine. They all create the same unbearable leg pain. (Marilyn has mercury poisoning and multiple sclerosis.)
Polly: Andy Cutler is a doctor of chemistry who wrote a book on amalgam poisoning. He feels that those who are mercury poisoned should not be using MSM. In his opinion, there are other means of removing mercury that are much less harmful. He suggests that if you are mercury poisoned and if you need more sulfur, then use sulfates, not MSM. This viewpoint is becoming more widely accepted, although you will still find a few who disagree. Glucosamine sulfate, chondroitan sulfate, and mineral sulfates are options. Epsom salt baths (magnesium sulfate) and a magnesium sulfate skin cream may also be useful in increasing sulfates in the body. (Dissolve 4 tablespoons of Epsom salts in 3 tablespoons of warm water. Then add to 12 tablespoons of coconut oil.) Be careful to start slowly with the Epsom salt baths or the cream if you are mercury poisoned or very low on sulfates. Some people cannot tolerate very much at first. (See the chapters on autism, mercury poisoning and detoxification in books 5 and 6)