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Arthritis Today


Norm's OptiMSM Products
NW Health Solutions, Inc.
Toll free 1 (888) 345-6681
MSM Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What is MSM?

A:  MSM is an organic sulfur-containing nutrient, a naturally occurring compound in the environment and in the human body. Sulfur is necessary for the structure of every cell in the body. Hormones, enzymes, antibodies, and antioxidants all depend on it. And because the body utilizes and expends it on a daily basis, sulfur must be continually replenished for optimal nutrition and health.

Q:  Where Does MSM Come From?

A:  MSM originates in the oceans where microscopic plankton release sulfur compounds into seawater. This Plankton is quickly converted to DMS, a volatile sulfur compound that escapes into the atmosphere. In this suspended, gaseous state, the DMS reacts with ozone and ultraviolet sunlight to create DMSO and DMSO2, known as MSM. MSM then falls to the earth with the rain, where it is collected and concentrated in plants. Although MSM is abundant in nature, even the richest natural sources only provide MSM in the level of several parts per million. Commercial extraction of MSM from trees is not possible. MSM is produced by oxidizing DMSO. This process parallels the natural oxidation of DMSO to MSM that occurs in the marine atmosphere and produces the MSM that is chemically identical to that found in nature.

Q:  Is sulfur the same as sulfa drugs and sulfites? I'm allergic to sulfites. Does this mean I will be allergic to MSM?

A:  Do not get confused between the two. MSM provides organic sulfur and is a nutrient. Sulfa-based drugs, also known as sulfonamides, do not occur naturally and are used as antibiotics. The sulfa molecule is much larger and can cause severe reactions in some individuals. An estimated half-million people are sulfite sensitive in the US. Most often they are asthmatic adults and predominantly women. While many people are allergic to sulfa drugs, no similar reactions have ever been reported with MSM. A third sulfur-containing compound, known as sulfites, is a form of preservative that can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. MSM does not contain sulfites, and should not cause a reaction in sulfite-sensitive individuals. The human body produces sulfites in its normal metabolism of sulfur-containing amino acids. Sulfite compounds have been used for more than three hundred years and are generally considered safe.

Q:  Is MSM safe to take?

A:  There have been over 30 years worth of research studies done at the Oregon Health Science University in Portland, Oregon, as well as numerous other research facilities. The have determined that the LD-50 rating (lethal dose) of msm is comparable to that of water.

Q:  Are there any side effects with MSM?

A:  Yes. MSM will cause your hair and fingernails to grow at a faster rate, it will also give most people a bump in energy.

Q:  What is the difference between taking msm capsules versus powder form?

A:  We have seen people receive better results from taking msm in the powder form rather in the capsule form. In order to get noticeable results with msm, nutritionists recommend a daily intake of "4 to 20" grams, = "1 to 5" level teaspoons, "4 to 20" grams is approx. equal to 4 to 20 1,000 mg. capsules, "4 to 20" grams is approx. equal to 8 to 40 500 mg. capsules. That's a lot of pills to take.

Msm in the capsule form is fine for anyone taking low dosages simply as a nutritional supplement.

For someone with health problems such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, diabetes, allergies, etc...They would have to take large numbers of capsules to get the same effect that they would get by taking 1 to 5 teaspoons of the msm powder. Msm dissolved into water can be consumed over a 12 hour time period, which is the most effective way to take the mineral sulfur and is the most cost effective.

Q: What are the recommended dosages for taking MSM?

A:  Nutritionists recommend a daily intake of 4 to 20 grams a day. This is equal to about one to five level teaspoons. MSM can be taken in higher doses (21 to 40 grams), but only under a doctor's supervision, due to it's blood thinning effects.

Q:  What about drug interactions?

A:  There are no know drug interactions with MSM.

Q:  Can MSM help with chronic heartburn and ulcers?

A:  Yes. MSM will allow patients with peptic ulcers and chronic heartburn to experience fewer symptoms.

Q:  Can MSM speed healing?

A:  Yes. Clinical research studies show that MSM speeds healing of musculoskeletal injuries and inflammation.

Q: Can MSM help with cancer?

A:  Research studies done on laboratory rats at the Oregon Health Science University and Ohio State University have shown that MSM slows the development of mammary and colon tumors, it was also shown to delay the onset of the cancerous tumors.

Q:  Does MSM help with stress?

A:  When taking MSM people say they feel less depressed, also when their pain levels go down they are less likely to experience stress.

Q:  Can MSM relieve pain?

A:  Yes. MSM taken orally can relieve pain and inflammation, causing less soreness in the injured tissues. Using MSM also as a topical will give even more pain relief as the msm is absorbed directly into the injured area.

Q:  Can MSM help with allergies?

A:  Yes. MSM gives fast relief for pollen allergies commonly known as "hay fever". MSM may be as effective as any anti-histamine on the market.

Q:  Will MSM help with periodontal conditions?

A: Yes. MSM can lessen the inflammation caused by plaque activity. You can make your own mouth wash rinse by adding 1 teaspoon of msm powder to a cup of water (room temperature) and holding it in your mouth for a minute or so. This will help to relieve the pain and inflammation of the infected area.

Q:  I try dissolving my msm in a glass of water but so much of it stays in the bottom of my glass and gets wasted. Is there a better way to dissolve the powder?

A:  Pure msm, when put into a glass of water should completely dissolve within a very short time. If you have that much of your powder remaining in the bottom of your glass, your msm is probably cut with some form of fillers such as cornstarch, rice flour, sugar, or herbals. If you mix the msm into water, and allow it to stand for 15 minutes, it should look crystal clear, with no sediment on the bottom of the glass, no particles floating at the top and no cloudy look to the water itself. Any filler added to the msm reduces the overall dosage and therefore it's effectiveness.

Q:  Will MSM help with MS?

A:  MSM does not have a whole lot of effect on MS, but it will reduce the amount of pain in the joints and muscle tissue. It will also make you feel less tired by giving a bump in your energy level.


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Msm Products: We carry only OptiMsm from Cardinal Nutrition, the only 99.9% Ultra-Pure MSM officially licensed for human biological use under the R.J. Herschler Patents.

The msm you purchase from us will always be 99.9% pure methylsulfonylmethane nutritional sulfur and will never be cut with any other ingredients. A copy of the certificate of analysis is available upon request.