MSM–The Sulfur that Keeps You Healthy
by Richard Conant, L.Ac., C.N.
Before Life Appeared on Dry Land, There was MSM ...
MSM-A LANDMARK NUTRITIONAL DISCOVERY
Until recently, few people had ever heard of MSM. And yet MSM is everywhere on earth–in the air, the rain, the soil, in plants, and in your own tissues and body fluids. MSM is one of our planet's most abundant forms of natural organic sulfur.
MSM is now available as a dietary supplement for human use. This is actually somewhat belated–MSM has been used for years in veterinary medicine. Race horse trainers began giving MSM to the animals under their care after it was found that MSM cured diseased hooves, relieved arthritis and inflammation, and improved circulation in these horses, thus improving their performance. MSM offers many benefits for people, too, as clinical researchers have discovered over the last two decades.
Imagine a dietary substance that could help keep the immune system strong, alleviate allergies, improve the health and function of your joints, reduce inflammation, help your digestive system work better, eliminate intestinal parasites, relieve constipation, and improve the condition of your hair, skin and nails.
Sound too good to be true? This is a just a partial description of the observed benefits of MSM supplementation. MSM is also completely non-toxic. It is as safe and natural to your body as water. Your next question is probably something like, "Why haven't I heard of MSM before? or "How come my doctor doesn't know about MSM?"
This is about to change. MSM is a nutrient whose time has come. We live in an exciting time of new discoveries in the field of nutrition and natural health. MSM may prove to be one of the most important nutritional discoveries of our time.
WHAT IS MSM AND WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
In case you were wondering, the acronym "MSM" stands for "methylsulfonylmethane." The "sulfonyl" in the middle of this forgettable, twenty-one letter word designates the sulfur component. We won't strain your eyes by making you read methylsulfonylmethane again; just remember that MSM is natural, organic, friendly-to-your-body sulfur.
MSM has been in the food chain for a very long time. In fact, MSM has been on planet earth since before life appeared on dry land. The same process that replenishes the planetary MSM supply is ongoing today, and will continue until the earth ceases to be a home for cellular organisms.
Plankton, tiny microscopic animals teeming in the oceans, absorb inorganic sulfur from sea water. The plankton then excrete organic sulfur salts. These compounds form a substance called dimethylsulfide, which evaporates and rises into the upper atmosphere. There, ultraviolet light oxidizes the dimethylsulfide, forming MSM, which falls to the earth in rain water.
Once in the soil, MSM is absorbed by plants. When they die, plants release sulfur into the soil, and the sulfur returns to the ocean. This process is called the "sulfur cycle." MSM is thus a fundamental source of sulfur for use by all cellular organisms.
MSM is found in many fruits and vegetables, and in raw, unpasteurized milk. Grazing animals such as cows and horses get lots of MSM, especially after a fresh rainfall. Horses, often stiff and lethargic during the winter, become youthful and frisky once they start feasting on fresh spring grass. MSM may be the very "spring tonic" that brings them back to life!
Unfortunately, MSM quickly disappears once food is cooked, processed and stored. (Horses eating nothing but dried hay and alfalfa all winter are deprived of MSM.) If we eat our fruits and vegetables freshly picked, or drink raw milk, we will get some MSM. But practically speaking, we no longer get very much MSM in our diets. We now consume much less MSM than our ancestors did, unless we eat lots of freshly picked and gathered foods.