MSM: Best Known for Joint Support and also Enhances Skin Softness

When you think of essential minerals, sulfur probably isn’t the first item that comes to mind. But organic forms of this bright-yellow element shine within every single cell and none more brightly than Methylsulfonylmethane, commonly abbreviated to MSM. MSM helps form a vital connective tissue component and thus is best known as a joint supplement par excellence. But skin is made of same basic stuff – a strong, protein-based substance called collagen – so it isn’t surprising that MSM provides cosmetic benefits as well.
When you think of essential minerals, sulfur probably isn’t the first item that comes to mind. But organic forms of this bright-yellow element shine within every single cell and none more brightly than Methylsulfonylmethane, commonly abbreviated to MSM. MSM helps form a vital connective tissue component and thus is best known as a joint supplement par excellence. But skin is made of same basic stuff – a strong, protein-based substance called collagen – so it isn’t surprising that MSM provides cosmetic benefits as well.

Collagen, an intricate mesh of protein fiber that supports all the other skin cells, is what literally holds the skin together. These fibers are not only flexible but also extremely tough; pound for pound, collagen actually has a greater tensile strength than steel. Collagen comes in different varieties, labeled type I through type XII. One reason a child’s skin is so soft and smooth is that it is loaded with type III Collagen, the kind found in fast-growing tissue; in time this is replaced with the tougher type I. As the skin continues to age, though, the amount of collagen overall begins to decline. And it is this decrease, along with accumulating damage from sunlight and other sources, that prompts wrinkles, discoloration and other signs of skin aging to make their presence known.

The protein within Collagen is loaded with Sulfur, which helps explain why MSM has been reported to restore a softer look by so many people who use it. As one woman who lives in Nevada’s hot, dry climate says, “ MSM definitely helps ward off wrinkling and keeps my skin youthful.” Users also report faster, thicker hair growth as well as harder, stronger nails. Some practitioners have even found that scleroderma, a condition marked by thick, hard skin responds well to MSM.

Joints contain collagen too, and MSM’s role in delivering sulfur to these tissues is what made it a supplemental star in the first place. Among people aged 40 to 76 with arthritic knees, MSM improves symptoms of pain and physical function. And MSM is even more effective when taken with other joint aids such as Glucosamine and Chondroitin. In one study, Glucosamine and MSM reduced pain and swelling more quickly when taken together.

In addition to younger-looking skin, MSM users have reported another positive effect: reductions in allergy miseries. Scientists discovered that MSM appears to block histamine, the chemical responsible for allergic reactions, from reaching susceptible tissues, such as the mucous membranes lining the nose. Early study results have been promising, with seasonal allergy sufferers reporting significant symptom relief and increased energy levels (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 4/02).

Pain relief, fewer allergy attacks…and softer, smoother skin to boot. Let MSM provide your body with a healthy sulfur boost.