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Below is some information about the dietary supplement, MSM

MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane), a natural form of organic sulphur found in all living organisms, is present in body fluids and tissues. It is part of the amino acid chain. Without the presence of the proper amount of MSM in the body, the amino acids will continue to build the glands but fail to produce the correct enzymes, so animals and people are then prone to unnecessary illnesses.

MSM, an odorless, white crystalline chemical, is an important dietary supplement for people and animals. It is a beneficial part of DMSO, from which MSM is derived.

MSM is the flexible bond between proteins. When a cell dies, a new cell takes its place. However, without the needed amount of MSM, the cell attaches, but becomes rigid. When tissues lose their flexibility, problems develop with the lungs, joints, and other parts of the body. Pain actually comes from soft tissue. Aspirin, for instance, shuts off nerves, but muscles are still damaged. MSM takes out the inflammation, permits the muscles to heal, and prevents them from becoming sore.

MSM detoxifies the body and increases blood circulation.  MSM if very similar to DMSO in that they both reduce inflammation, ease pain, and help tissue to heal, however MSM in not a free radical scavenger, whereas DMSO is.  DMSO is a free radical scavenger, which prevents overreaction to other medicines, controls acidity, coats the intestinal tract so parasites lose the ability to hang on, and helps to utilize vitamins and minerals, thereby providing the means to derive the maximum benefit from what we and our animals eat.  DMSO grabs the free radicals, thus preventing cellular damage.

MSM is no more toxic than water. If you overdose, the extra MSM becomes inert and just passes through the system. It does have one side effect: It will cause nails and hair to grow faster, so they will have to be cut more often. There is more MSM in hair and nail cells than in any other part of the body.

Because MSM is a natural form of organic sulphur and to more easily understand why MSM is so vital, it is important to know more about sulphur. Sulphur is a mineral found in rather high concentrations in body tissues. About half of the body's total sulphur is concentrated in the muscles, while the other half is found in the brain, hair, skin, and bones.

Sulphur has a vital relationship with protein, since it is found in the amino acids methionine, cystine, and cysteine. These amino acids are known as the sulphur-bearing amino acids, which are considered the building blocks of protein. The sulphur-bearing amino acid methionine is absolutely essential to health. This means it must be supplied by live, raw food or the food supplement MSM. A lack of proper protein means a lack of the vital organic sulphur necessary to good health. Proteins contain sulphur, while carbohydrates and fats do not.

MSM is very important to animals with hip dysplasia, or a predisposition to it, because sulphur is necessary for collagen synthesis. Collagen is an insoluble fibrous protein found in vertebrates as the dominant component of connective tissue, fibrils and bones. Sulphur operates as a synthesizer and activator with vitamin C and the B vitamins, thiamine, biotin, and pantothenic acid, which are needed for metabolism and healthy nerves.

Sulphur plays an important part in tissue breathing, the process whereby oxygen and other substances are used to build cells and release energy. Research indicates that perhaps sulphur's most important health role is in carbohydrate metabolism, which is significant for hypoglycemics and diabetics. Sulphur is a significant component of insulin, the protein hormone secreted by the pancreas that is essential to the metabolism of carbohydrates. The lack of nutritional sulphur in the diet can result in low insulin production. A diet that contains adequate amounts of sulphur can increase the body's ability to produce insulin to the point where insulin injections can be reduced or discontinued completely.

The following information is from the journal of the New York Academy of Sciences by Stanley W Jacob and Robert Herschier, Department of Surgery, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon. The following conditions seen in people have responded to oral MSM generally administered at dosage levels of 250-270 mg per day.

  1. Response to allergy. Oral MSM moderates diverse allergic responses as to pollen and foods. Anti-allergy medication and desensitization methods were sharply reduced.
  2. Control of hyperacidity. Subjects seen to be chronic users of various antacids and histamine H2 receptor antagonists prefer MSM by reason of relief obtained coupled with freedom from serious, untoward effects.
  3. Control of constipation. Particularly in the older population seen in our clinic, chronic constipation can be a medical problem of concern. To date, over 50 subjects presenting chronic constipation have gained prompt and continuing relief by supplementing the diet with MSM.
  4. Only a few people cooperated in lung function assessments. All cooperated in endurance measurements. Limited objective and strong subjective evidence suggests that MSM is a useful dietary supplement to reduce lung dysfunction.
  5. Anti-parasitic action. In vitro and in vivo tests suggest MSM has an activity against a variety of medically important parasitic problems. Thus far, work has concentrated on parasitic problems of the intestinal and urogenital tracts. MSM is active against Giardia, Trichomonads and round worms. MSM may affect such infections by competing for binding or receptor sites at the mucous membrane surface presenting a blocking interface between host and parasite.

It is not possible to directly compare DMSO and the derivative MSM though of the same chemical family. Each is unique unto itself. MSM is a dietary factor derivable from most natural food. It is conveniently taken alone or in foods. DMSO has certain unpleasant attributes not possessed by MSM. While MSM is a dietary factor, DMSO is not. DMSO readily penetrates the dermis and less complicated membrane systems while MSM does not. Each contributes to the well being of mankind, but in differing ways. Both have important implications.

For dosage, you can take two, or more of the 1,000 mg capsules, or the equivalent of the bulk crystals (you can put the crystals in your juice) per day, with some people taking up to eight or more, as they monitor their condition.

MSM, as DMSO, can even be used with your animals to be improve their condition.

Pat McKay: The reason I have chosen not to use DMSO externally on cats and dogs is because they continually groom themselves, and I don't believe there is enough information on the effects of internal consumption of DMSO. Now, with MSM, we have the solution, because it can be taken internally. This supplement is of particular importance to cats and dogs with skin conditions, muscle and joint problems, lactic acid build-up from excessive exercise; respiratory ailments, allergies and diabetes.

Suggested daily dosage:

Cats & small dogs, 1/8 teaspoon
Medium dogs, 1/4 teaspoon
Large dogs, 1 teaspoon

For animals with severe or chronic problems or, if you feel they should be receiving more MSM than suggested above, please consult your animal nutritionist or holistic veterinarian.

MSM may be added directly to their food right along with their Pat McKay Bonemeal, AnimaLife, Pure Comfort Aloe Concentrate and any other specific supplements your animal may be currently taking.

Last Updated July 5, 1997 by Eva M. Martin

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