Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an organic compound that occurs naturally in nearly all vegetables, grains, humans, animals, and fruits.
In recent times, MSM has become a very popular alternative medicine with an impressive assortment of health benefits.
As the interest in MSM continues to climb, more and more research is being undertaken to better explore, understand and quantify its benefits.
MSM is currently believed by many to be an effective treatment for various conditions -including arthritis, tendonitis, bladder disorders, and more.
Before you start taking MSM powder regularly, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with.
How much research is there into MSM? Is there any science to vouch for its success? Are there any side effects you need to know, and can you take it with other medications?
We’re here to walk you through the ins and outs of MSM powder and show you how you can take it to get the best results.
Ready to reap the benefits of MSM? Let’s get started.
Can I Take MSM Powder Every Day?
Research suggests that MSM can be an effective short-term treatment, however, data on long-term effects is simply unavailable.
A study in patients with allergic rhinitis displayed that MSM can be well tolerated at dosages as high as 2,600mg and this toxicity study indicates that daily doses of up to 4,845.6mg are likely also safe.
However, most studies into the effects of MSM have not exceeded six months, so, if you want to begin taking MSM (particularly as a long-term MSM treatment) - always be sure to speak with a doctor first.
Furthermore, as studies into the effects of MSM are limited, there are no official dosage guidelines. However, most users take between 2 or 3mg per day in oral form for most conditions.
Although MSM is safe for human consumption, a very small subset of users may experience mild side effects when taking MSM powder daily.
Side effects may include:
- Stomach discomfort
Side effects aren’t well documented and again appear to be very rare, however, the most extreme reactions tend to occur in users taking excessive amounts of MSM.
Do You Need To Take Vitamin C With MSM?
No, you do not. MSM can be effectively used on its own, however, there may be some added benefits to taking it in conjunction with a Vitamin C supplement.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is one of the body's most essential nutrients. Our bodies need Vitamin C to help with processes such as forming cartilage, blood vessels, collagen in the bones, and muscles to name a few.
Vitamin C can also improve the absorption of non-heme iron, which is found in leafy green plant foods.
It can also help to protect our cells against the production and effects of free radicals, which can damage cells and contribute to the development of inflammatory diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin C also acts as a powerful antioxidant, which makes it a vital component in the body's healing process.
MSM is also an antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory properties. When used together, MSM and Vitamin C may work significantly harder to reduce the effects of oxidative stress and free radical damage.
So, although you don’t need to take MSM and Vitamin C together, it may give your body a well-deserved nutritional boost.
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MSM and Vitamin C may also help improve symptoms of joint conditions such as arthritis.
Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease, usually caused by the wear and tear of the muscles or an infection or injury that can speed up the breakdown of cartilage tissue.
Research shows that MSM may help to inhibit the breakdown of cartilage in the body, and studies have found that Vitamin C may also play a pivotal role in maintaining healthy joints and preventing inflammatory arthritis.
This powerful duo may also benefit our skin health.
Vitamin C is vital for the maintenance and synthesis of collagen, and it also helps regenerate Vitamin E, both of which help maintain youthful, tight, and radiant skin.
MSM is a sulphur-containing compound and sulphur helps increase overall collagen production, which may be why research has shown that MSM can improve our hair and skin health.
When used together, MSM and Vitamin C could help improve the strength and structure of keratin and boost collagen production, which may reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and other notable markers of aging.
So - it’s not necessary that you take MSM and Vitamin C together, however, it may be a great way to amplify the benefits.
Can I Put MSM In My Coffee?
Wondering how to get your daily dose of MSM?
If you’re a coffee-lover, we have good news for you. MSM powder can safely be added to your morning coffee, giving your favourite morning-commute drink an added kick!
It’s worth noting that when added to coffee, MSM does impart a bit of flavour - so if you’re a coffee purist, you may not want to take it like this.
On its own, MSM has a subtly bitter taste, but not everyone seems to think so. Some users say MSM has no flavour at all.
There appear to be no recorded interactions between MSM and caffeine. So, if you’re not a coffee lover (but you drink caffeine), try adding some MSM powder to your tea.
Most tea has a more subdued flavour than coffee, so be prepared for that distinctive bitter MSM taste to come through a little.
If you want to counteract this, try adding some honey (or your preferred sweetener) to your tea.
How Much MSM Should You Take Daily?
There are no official MSM dosage guidelines, however, research has shown that MSM is safe in doses as high as 4 grams per day.
Most users take between 2-4g per day depending on what symptoms they’re treating, and if their body reacts well to MSM. Start out within the smallest dose (even 1g) for the first week or so to make sure your body tolerates it well.
Regardless of dosages, always be sure to consult your GP before taking any alternative medicine such as MSM.
How Is MSM Best Absorbed?
MSM is sold in a number of different forms, however, MSM is rapidly absorbed in the body in almost any form, which is part of what makes it such an effective and powerful alternative medicine.
Whatever form you take MSM in, it will likely produce the same desired effect, however, if you want to boost MSM absorption, take it with Vitamin C.
MSM and Vitamin C have a powerful, synergistic relationship, and Vitamin C is believed to increase the absorption of MSM in the body.
Not only can it increase absorption, but when used together, MSM and Vitamin C can have some powerful effects on the body, as discussed above.
If you’re taking MSM and Vitamin C together, be wary when taking them in the evening as this combination can increase energy, and keep you feeling alert throughout the night.
If you do choose to take MSM in the evening (with or without Vitamin C), there’s no evidence to suggest that nighttime ingestion interferes with absorption.
What Can I Mix MSM Powder With?
There’s no research to suggest that MSM interferes or interacts with other medications, foods, supplements, or herbs at this stage.
However, this doesn’t mean that no interactions exist. If you plan to take MSM with another supplement or prescribed drug, always consult a healthcare provider first.
If your doctor has given you the all-clear to take MSM in conjunction with other supplements, you could try using MSM with any of the following to stack a host of different health benefits:
- Vitamin C
- Lions Mane
- Turkey Tail
- Chaga Mushroom
As we’ve established, MSM does not appear to react with other medications or food, giving you the opportunity to mix MSM with almost anything.
MSM can be mixed into almost any recipe for breakfast, lunch, or dinner making it super easy to get your daily dose in.
Like any medicine, herbal or prescribed, it’s best to take MSM at a set time each day. This way, it will maintain a constant level in the body.
If you have trouble remembering to take medications, we’d recommend taking MSM first thing in the morning or with a meal to help you remember.
Should I Take MSM on an Empty Stomach?
MSM can be taken with or without food. There’s no research to suggest that taking MSM on an empty stomach is any better for you than taking it with a meal.
However, some research suggests that for maximum efficacy, it may be better to take MSM on an empty stomach and in combination with a Vitamin C supplement to increase absorption.
Although some side effects of MSM have been documented, there does not appear to be any correlation between increased side effects and discomfort and taking MSM without food.
MSM is not usually hard on the stomach, but if you have a sensitive gut, you may notice more side effects when taking MSM powder without food.
Monitor your symptoms closely, and discontinue use if they persist.
If you take MSM on an empty stomach, we’d recommend dissolving ¼ a teaspoon in water and taking it first thing in the morning.
This method works best when you take MSM twice a day. Your second dose can be taken with a meal if you prefer.
Can I Put MSM In A Smoothie?
As you’ve probably noticed, MSM is so versatile that you can mix it with almost anything - this includes smoothies!
Not only is this a tasty way to get your daily dose of MSM, but it may also increase absorption as many smoothie ingredients include Vitamin C.
So, fill your smoothie up with plenty of Vitamin C-rich fruits like oranges, strawberries, and blackcurrants to reap the full benefits!
The slightly bitter and sulphurous taste of MSM is disguised p[perfectly in a good fruit smoothie - and any other dishes that pack good flavour.
Smoothies are a great way to get all of your supplements in at once in a healthy and easy-to-take way.
Just be sure to check for any drug interactions before you do this. If you’re not sure whether your daily supplements can be taken together, consult your doctor for advice.
The Bottom Line
MSM is a popular dietary supplement that can be used for a variety of ailments and taken in many different ways.
It’s most commonly used to treat joint inflammation, and its benefits can be enhanced by taking it alongside a Vitamin C supplement.
Although MSM is available in a variety of forms, MSM powder is one of the most versatile and useful options.
MSM powder can be taken on an empty stomach or with food, and it can even be added to smoothies for an extra boost of vitamins!
While MSM powder may have a more distinctive taste than capsules, it can still make a great addition to almost any drink or recipe, and the slightly bitter taste can be easily dealt with.
As the scientific evidence mounts, studies are indicating that MSM may be an effective treatment for a number of ailments - everything from joint pain and skin health to blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
Remember: Always consult a medical professional before taking any new supplement, including MSM. While no interactions between MSM and other medications have been documented, this doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Take extra care if you’re on prescribed medication or have an existing health condition.
And finally, to finish up, if you really want to dive into the nuts and bolts of what makes MSM so great - hit play below!