MSM (Methylsulfonyl­methane)

MSM - quello che a prima vista può sembrare un composto chimico, a un'analisi più attenta colpisce per il suo talento su più livelli e per la sua naturalezza. Contenuto in piccole quantità nei nostri alimenti, questo composto fornisce al nostro corpo il prezioso zolfo.


Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

Detoxifier, joint protector, beauty booster - the sulphur-containing natural substance MSM has many nicknames. Due to its diverse properties, it is used for a variety of purposes.

What is MSM and what are its benefits?

MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a natural sulphur compound and is well-known among practitioners of nutritional medicine. It is found in small quantities in our food and provides the human body with a source of sulphur.

Sulphur: an often underrated mineral.

Sulphur is an essential mineral that makes up around 0.2% of the human body. Although this figure may appear insignificant, the initial assumption is misleading when looked at more closely. The proportion of sulphur in the human body is 5 times higher than that of magnesium and 40 times higher than that of iron. Whilst everyone is aware of the importance of magnesium and iron, however, sulphur (including MSM) lives life in the shadows. And it certainly merits further scientific research too.

What do we need sulphur for?

Sulphur is involved in many processes in our bodies. For example, it is a component of numerous endogenous substances such as enzymes, hormones and selected amino acids. Glutathione, for example, which contains sulphur, is a powerful antioxidant and plays a major role in detoxification. Sulphur is also present in the anticoagulant heparin, in insulin, which reduces blood sugar, and in coenzyme A, which is notable for its role in converting nutrients into energy.

However, sulphur is not simply involved in numerous metabolic processes, it is also essential as a building block for our bodies.  For example, sulphur-rich amino acids with their powerful sulphur bridges ensure the correct spatial distribution of bodily proteins, thus enabling sulphur-rich amino acids to promote healthy tendons, bones, cartilage and muscles, as well as hair, nails and connective tissues.

The effect of MSM and its areas of application

Alternative doctors and therapists swear by the sulphur donor MSM for various problems. However, the wealth of practical experience is in many respects ahead of the current state of studies.  

The following is an overview of the most important areas of application:  

MSM for the natural protection of cartilage  

Sulphur is a central component of synovial fluid and cartilage. Both structures require constant renewal due to continuous stress. Sulphur is one of the various elements required for this regeneration process. Any deficiency can impede the repair work and give rise to painful arthrosis (= joint wear and tear). Examinations of worn cartilage have revealed a sulphur concentration of less than a third of that found in healthy cartilage tissue, illustrating the link between sulphur deficiency and arthrosis.

In alternative medicine, the targeted use of sulphur-rich MSM in the case of arthrosis has been common practice for many years. This is backed up by a handful of in-vivo (i.e. human) studies.  For example, a clinical study was carried out in 2006 to investigate the effectiveness of MSM in cases of arthrosis. 50 men and women suffering from painful knee arthrosis took either 1 or 2 daily doses of 3 g MSM or - unknown to them - a placebo. After 12 weeks there was a clear reduction in pain in the MSM group. At the same time, the participants found that their flexibility and quality of life had improved.

Subsequent studies show that MSM not only appears to protect against arthrosis via its function as a building material but it also seems to inhibit pro-inflammatory messenger substances and cartilage-degrading enzymes.

MSM Formula

MSM as an effective muscle protector

Athletes often suffer from joint problems. MSM has a further “goodie” to hand for this specific group – because the targeted intake of this source of sulfur also seems to prevent sports-related muscle injuries according to the first human studies.

This observation was confirmed by a study carried out in 2016, in which physically active men took either MSM (3 g per day) or a placebo for 28 days before intensive training. It was shown that MSM prevented the release of certain inflammatory messenger substances – an important factor for keeping sports-related muscular damage under control.

Particularly after extreme physical stress in sports or daily life, the external application of MSM is also a popular auxiliary treatment.

MSM as a popular detoxification partner

Sulfur also has a part to play in the body’s detoxification process. Many detoxification enzymes require sulfur (e.g. glutathione peroxidase). Without it, the detoxification process is made more difficult. Practitioners of alternative medicine and therapists are convinced of the detoxification properties of targeted MSM administration. This is predominantly based on experience drawn from therapeutic practice. However, there are also some in-vivo studies in which the detoxifying properties of MSM and its protective action for the liver are described.

MSM as a beauty rejuvenator 

Modern beauty treatments work not only from the outside but from the inside too. MSM has several beneficial effects here too. On the one hand, it supports the vitality of the skin and nails by providing these structures with essential sulfur, while on the other hand, MSM provides antioxidant protection and thus helps to prevent cell damage and slow down the aging process.

Scientific support for MSM is provided by a human study that was carried out in 2020. This was carried out in two parts: Part 1 investigated the effect of MSM compared to a placebo, whereby 20 participants were given either 3 g MSM or a placebo daily over 16 weeks. In contrast, Part 2 investigated the effects of different MSM doses in 63 participants who took supplements of either 1 g or 3 g MSM over 16 weeks.

In both parts of the study, after 16 weeks the final results of the experts, the instrumental measurements, and the perspective of the users were collected and compared with the situation that had been recorded at the start of the study. The results showed that, even in the case of low doses (1 g per day), the results of skin aging had been slowed. Facial wrinkles were reduced and the skin showed increased firmness, elasticity, and hydration.

Further areas of application in a short overview:

    • For the relief of allergiesStudies indicate that MSM can relieve allergic rhinitis.

    • For the bowel and the immune system: Initial in-vivo studies indicate that MSM could also have favorable effects on the intestinal environment and immune defences.

Buy MSM Supplements online at BIOGENA

Aside from the classic micronutrients and plant extracts, the BIOGENA product range also includes the natural sulfur-containing substance methylsulphonylmethane (MSM for short). Special supplements can be used to increase the body’s supply of sulfur-containing natural substances. When buying an MSM preparation, it is important to ensure that the purity of the naturally occurring sulfur compound is as high as possible. For good tolerance and bioavailability, the formula should also be free of unnecessary additives. With BIOGENA, the market leader in the field of therapy-accompanying micronutrient preparations, this is always a given. This also applies to the special MSM in the form of the branded raw material OptiMSM®, which is produced in an innovative 4-phase distillation process, to guarantee the highest levels of purity.

Application: When and how should MSM be taken?

MSM should be taken before a meal to optimise individual tolerability but can also be taken with food. Higher doses should ideally be divided into two or three doses over the day. In the case of muscle and joint discomfort, the internal application can be supplemented by external applications of MSM, e.g. in the form of cooling gels.

Dosage: How much organic sulfur should you take every day?

The ideal dosage of MSM varies according to the area of application. However, as a rule between 0.5 g and 3 g MSM is recommended daily.

When buying an MSM preparation, care should be taken to ensure that the natural substance containing the sulfur has the highest level of purity possible. The recipe should also be free from all additives to ensure optimum tolerability and effectiveness. 

MSM as a nutritional supplement

Capsules, tablets, or gel? What are the best dosage options?

The sulphur-rich natural substance is available in many forms - both for oral intake in the form of capsules and tablets, but also as a gel for external application. The latter is particularly suitable for the care, cooling, and relaxation of the skin, especially around joints and muscles. MSM in capsule form enables the targeted supply of concentrated amounts. In addition, capsule products that are produced to the BIOGENA manufacturing standard make it possible to dispense with unnecessary additives such as coloring agents, binding and separating agents, or synthetic coating agents. 

How is MSM best absorbed and tolerated?

MSM capsules should be taken before a meal, to optimize individual tolerance it is also possible to take it with meals. Higher dosages are best divided into two or three daily doses. In case of increased physical strain, internal applications can also be supported with external MSM applications, e.g. in the form of cooling gels. 


MSM – a quick look behind the scenes of this cryptic letter combination reveals a few surprises.  Whether it’s detoxification, joint protection, or beauty care – with MSM there’s a lot to discover. Perhaps research will develop a taste for it too one of these days? In practice, the approach is bolder, realizing that while MSM is no wonder drug, it is certainly worth trying for a lot of health issues.

Literature with the author.

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