MSM: Deeper Than Skin
In a previous newsletter, Collagen: Deeper Than Skin, we showed how beauty is more than skin deep because ubiquitous collagen literally holds us together, creating inner health that is reflected in outer beauty and grace. In this newsletter, we will introduce you to a related substance, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), that also helps create beauty from within.
What Is MSM?
MSM is a natural chemical found in green plants and animals (including humans). It is the therapeutically active part of DMSO, but it is safer to use and very well tolerated. MSM is a rich source of bioavailable sulfur. The third most abundant mineral in our bodies after calcium and phosphorus, sulfur is found in every cell with 50% in muscle tissues, 10% in bones, 10% in hair and 10% in skin.
Why is Sulfur Important?
Sulfur bonds can be flexible which helps give protein molecules, including enzymes, their unique shapes and determine their biological activity. One layer of our cell membranes is made with sulfur-containing amino acids that enable the transport of nutrients and waste into and out of our cells. Connective tissue and cartilage are made from proteins with these flexible sulfur bonds and insufficient sulfur leads to decreased elasticity and stiff joints, muscles and other tissues like the lungs and blood vessels. MSM contributes sulfur molecules to many other endogenous substances including glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen and keratin. As with collagen synthesis, vitamin C plays a crucial role in the way our bodies utilize MSM’s sulfur. Sulfur is also required for cellular energy production and for carbohydrate metabolism via insulin.
MSM binds to receptor sites on mucous membranes of the digestive, urogenital and respiratory tracts helping to maintain proper permeability of those tissues. In addition, MSM crosses the blood-brain barrier making it useful for headaches including migraines. It can also help improve mood, increase concentration and alertness, alleviate anxiety and the detrimental effects of stress.
MSM can be taken orally or applied topically to treat a wide variety of conditions including: muscle cramps and chronic pain; inflammation of the joints, eyes and mucous membranes; bursitis, tendonitis, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis; osteoporosis; scleroderma, scar tissue and stretch marks; and it accelerates wound healing. In addition, MSM is good for oral health and can be useful for gum disease.
Taken orally, MSM has benefits for:
• Immune System: allergies, autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematous, shingles, influenza and some parasitic infections of the gut and urogenital tract.
• Digestive System: constipation, heartburn, ulcers, diverticulosis and intestinal permeability.
• Cardiovascular System: blood circulation, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
• Metabolic Function: obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
• Reproductive System: premenstrual syndrome (PMS), Peyronie’s disease.
• Detoxification: liver problems, removal of aluminium and mercury, hangover and lactic acid reduction.
• And More: chronic fatigue syndrome, nausea, Alzheimer’s, lung disorders, interstitial cystitis and even snoring.
MSM’s activity helps keep skin healthy and beautiful, too. By inhibiting cross-linking of collagen that leads to wrinkles, and by increasing elasticity, MSM helps keep skin youthful. It can also be used to alleviate wind- and sunburn, acne, rosacea, seborrhea, psoriasis and other rashes as well as diminish scarring. Sulfur is found in high concentrations in the keratin of hair and nails, so MSM can help with hair loss and improve hair condition and nail growth.
Although sulfur-gifting MSM plays an important role in maintaining beautiful skin, hair and nails, it also works on a deeper level to counter the disadvantages of aging, stress and health disorders that can leave us feeling — and looking — old before our time. To be vibrant and beautiful, we have to go deeper than skin.
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The information provided here is for educational purposes only. None of the research or evidence presented here is intended as a substitute for consulting an appropriate healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products offered here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you believe that you may have a disease condition, please consult your healthcare practitioner before using this or any other dietary supplement.
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