Sulfur crystals—called MSM or methylsulfonymethane—have been utilized for their benefits in helping the joints. MSM is a natural, organic sulfur compound that burst onto the scene after Dr. Stanley Jacob, working at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, presented MSM’s therapeutic benefits in two published reports.
Dr. Jacob said he tested MSM in almost 15,000 patients. The sulfur compound was used in the treatment of arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, muscle and tendon injuries, and headaches, to name a few conditions. Despite all these claims, the one use that has captured the interest of the public has been MSM’s ability to act as an analgesic or pain-reliever.
Where does MSM come from? It is a tiny phytoplankton that lives in the ocean. When this microscopic organism dies, it decomposes into a gas called dimethylsulfide, or DSM. The compound goes through more changes when it is exposed to sunlight and oxygen. Oxidation caused by these two elements transforms DSM into dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) and MSM along with a few other sulfates. These compounds are involved in the formation of clouds and when enough water vapor forms in the clouds, rain falls on the earth. Plants then absorb the DMSO and MSM.
How does DMSO work as a pain killer? DMSO is thought to block the nerve fibers that produce sensations of pain. DMSO has also been shown to reduce inflammation and swelling by blocking certain inflammatory chemicals in the body. The sulfur compound may play a significant role in boosting the blood supply to an injury too, aiding the healing process. By dilating blood vessels and increasing the amount of oxygen that reaches the injury site, DMSO is thought to speed the process of tissue healing. DMSO may also help to reduce the stickiness of blood platelets.
Proponents of DMSO like to talk about the compound’s ability to scavenge free radicals. DMSO rates very high on the list of substances that successfully get rid of damaging free radicals. The compound is able to attach to free radicals and remove them as the DMSO is expelled from the body. DMSO has a singular ability to travel through the skin and other barriers inside cells. It can easily enter the bloodstream and “capture” free radicals wherever they may be trying to cause damage.
When it comes to recent clinical trials, the results for DMSO seem to be inconclusive, despite its extensive list of health-boosting abilities.
If you’re not sure about taking DMSO supplements, given the results from Western clinical trials, it certainly couldn’t hurt to add more sulfur to your diet by eating foods that are rich in this mineral. Raw cow’s milk contains a considerable amount of sulfur, while goat’s milk contains slightly less.
A number of vegetables are high in sulfur, including: cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, garlic, leeks, onions and shallots. Sulfur is a component of amino acids and for this reason many meats are also considered sulfur-rich. Try eating some organic beef, chicken or fish to boost your levels of this super healthy mineral.
Source(s) for Today’s Article:
Goldstein, H., “What Are and Why Take Organic Sulfur Crystals,” NaturalNews.com web site, Oct. 5, 2013; http://blogs.naturalnews.com/what-are-and-why-take-organic-sulfur-crystals/, last accessed Oct. 9, 2013.
Brien, S., et al., “Systematic review of the nutritional supplements dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in the treatment of osteoarthritis,” Osteoarthritis Cartilage. November 2008; 16(11): 1,277-88.