The facts about MSM safety, where MSM comes from, and other frequently asked questions.
An extensive amount of scientific data exists in MSM, having been the subject of numerous research studies dating to the 1940s. New information is appearing in medical journals as research into MSM continues. Sign up for our newsletters to receive updates (see left side bar for signup).
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring sulfur compound and nutritional component of many foods. It is found in the normal diets of humans and almost all other vertebrates. The proper chemical name for MSM is dimethyl sulfone. It is the primary, oxidized metabolite of dimethyl sulfoxide, and it appears to share many of its parent compound’s therapeutic properties.
MSM belongs to a family of compounds that are abundant in the food chains of terrestrial and ocean life. This sulfur-containing nutrient is the stable end product of the methyl-S-methane series of compounds that provide bioavailable sulfur to as many as 85% of all living organisms. These compounds—principally dimethyl sulfide (DMS)—are among the Earth’s few primary sources for sulfur.
The sulfur cycle begins in the ocean, where algae and phytoplankton release sulfur compounds, called tertiary dimethylsulfonium salts. These salts are transformed to DMS, a highly volatile compound. Oceanic DMS is the major natural source of sulfur to the atmosphere and contributes both to the tropospheric sulfur burden and to particle formation and growth in the atmosphere.
MSM has been shown to be safe by several studies. In thirty years there have been no reported adverse events to MSM. It’s also important to note that sulfa allergies do not apply to MSM.
Read more about MSM Safety
Although MSM occurs naturally, it is found in such tiny quantities that it's not feasible to commercially "extract" it. MSM is synthesized by reacting two common chemicals, dimethyl sulfoxide and hydrogen peroxide, forming an entirely new compound. The pure MSM is then separated from impurities using distillation or crystallizing methods.
Read more about manufacturing MSM
There are many myths surrounding MSM. Read the most frequently asked questions on MSM and their answers.
For more technical questions, read the MSM Practitioners' FAQ.