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Two small double-blind, placebo-controlled studies indicate that MSM may be helpful for osteoarthritis . 1 In one small, placebo-controlled trial, the topical application of methylsulfonylmethane with silymarin ( milk thistle ) for 1 month appeared to be effective in the treatment of 46 subjects with the skin condition rosacea . () Small, unpublished trials have been used to claim that MSM is effective for the treatment of snoring, aiding the growth of nails and hair, and assisting in recovery from sports injuries . 2 However, the design of each of these studies was substandard, and the results were not subjected to any proper statistical analysis; therefore, they cannot be taken as meaningful evidence of efficacy.
One study in mice found positive effects of MSM in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis . 3 Other animal studies hint that MSM might have cancer preventive properties. 4 Human studies on these potential uses of MSM have not been reported.
- Usha P.R., Naidu M.U.R. Randomised, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled study of oral glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane and their combination in osteoarthritis. Clinical Drug Investigation. 2004;24:353-363.
- Jacob SW. The current status on the use of a new pharmacologic approach (dimethyl sulfone) for the relief of snoring. Oregon Health Sciences University. Unpublished.
- Murav’ev IuV, Venikova MS, Pleskovskaia GN, et al. Effect of dimethyl sulfoxide and dimethyl sulfone on a destructive process in the joints of mice with spontaneous arthritis [in Russian]. Patol Fiziol Eksp Ter. 1991;2:37-39.
- McCabe D, O'Dwyer P, Sickle-Santanello B, Woltering E, Abou-Issa H, James A. Polar solvents in the chemoprevention of dimethylbenzanthracene-induced rat mammary cancer. Arch Surg. 121(12):1455-9.