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Methyl Sulfonyl Methane (MSM)
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Methyl Sulfonyl Methane (MSM) Usage

Written by FoundHealth.

Therapeutic Uses

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 () Small, unpublished trials have been used to claim that MSM is effective for the treatment of snoring, aiding the growth of nails and hair, and assisting in recovery from sports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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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 Unpublished.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


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