Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), also known as dimethyl sulfone, is a naturally occurring sulfur compound present in all living organisms. MSM is an odorless, essentially tasteless, water-soluble, white, crystalline substance that contains approximately 34 percent sulfur by weight. Although it is found in many foods, including milk, meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and grains, MSM is readily lost when foods are processed or cooked. Supplemental MSM is synthesized from paper-processing by-products.
MSM serves as a highly absorbable source of organic sulfur, which is an essential mineral component for many amino acids, vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes. The body needs sulfur to form the bonds that hold tissues together, making it important for healthy cartilage, ligaments, tendons, skin, hair, and nails. Topical formulations, such as lotions and creams, are used to promote skin health.
MSM is commonly supplemented in doses of 2,000 to 6,000 mg per day, and has an excellent safety record at this dosage range. There is no RDA for sulfur or MSM, and no toxic dosage has been determined.