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Friday, May 17, 2013

Best Skin Care Tips and Treatments Guest Article: MSM - What You Need to Know

Occasionally, when we at Lexie’s of Louisville come across a Best Skin Care Tips and Skincare Treatments Article from guest writers and site we like to share it with our followers and users of our skincare products.  These are GREAT articles designed to help you address your skin care problems, applications trips and buying decisions.  Healthy Skincare is our thing – we LOVE to help!  Also, if we have a relevant product that will address these issues we’ll share it.

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Best Skin Care Tips and Treatments Guest Article: MSM - What You Need to Know

by Eleanor Duse


MSM Benefits

Sulfur seems to be important in the strength and maintenance of joint tissue, especially cartilage. Since sulfur is a significant component of MSM, one possible benefit of MSM is in the treatment of joint problems such as sports injuries, osteoarthritis and tendinitis. MSM also seems to help reduce inflammation [source: MSM Guide].

Many people with joint injuries or early signs of osteoarthritis take supplements such as glucosamine sulfate or chondroitin in an effort to stave off further joint damage [source: Shiel]. Although its benefits have not been proven, you might also be able to use MSM this way -- either as a supplement or as a topical gel on the skin of the affected joint [sources: Mayo ClinicMSM Guide].

It's important to note that MSM is not an acute pain remedy. Patients and doctors alike hope that MSM helps the body's own repair and maintenance systems work better -- but if you've just sprained your ankle, you should be reaching for the ibuprofen, not the MSM.

There are a few indications that MSM may help with certain respiratory conditions, such as asthma, seasonal allergies and snoring. But clinical proof is slim. Many more studies are needed to establish whether MSM has true medical benefits, and if so, what they are [sources: LangMayo Clinic].
At least one doctor notes that, while the body does need sulfur -- which is an essential mineral -- supplemental MSM may not be the best way to get it. Dietary sulfur comes from the digestion of protein-rich foods (meat and dairy products, legumes, eggs and nuts), so you may be getting enough from whatever source of protein you choose to eat [source: Lang].

The nutritional-supplement industry touts MSM as a muscle-builder and a hair-grower. We'll explore those claims in more detail later.

Even if the claims of MSM's effectiveness need more proof, it might be tempting to take the supplement anyway, just in case it does work. Can MSM ever hurt you?

MSM Side Effects

As nutritional supplements go, MSM seems to be one of the safer ones out there. No studies have established any toxicity or toxic buildup [source: MSM Guide]. If you take too much MSM, you may experience a bit of diarrhea, nausea or headache [source: Mayo Clinic]. But that's probably it. However, there may be other side effects depending on the quality and production of your MSM supplements.
Sulfur is what makes rotten eggs smell so bad, and some sulfur-based supplements have been known to have particularly stinky side effects. MSM typically doesn't do this, but you should make sure your supplement doesn't contain other sulfur compounds [source: The Arthritis and Glucosamine Information Center].

MSM occurs naturally in several foods, such as pine nuts and milk, which has led to speculation that people with some food allergies can't take MSM supplements [source: MSM Guide]. Although there are nutritional supplements (such as glucosamine) that are off-limits to certain food allergy patients, that's not the case for MSM. All MSM in supplements is synthetically produced [source: MSM Guide].

However, that doesn't mean you're home free on the allergy front. Different manufacturers may combine MSM with different ingredients. Before taking MSM, you do need to check these ingredients for allergens or other chemicals that might be contraindicated with your current prescriptions.

Even more importantly, be aware that the quality of synthetic MSM can differ dramatically. Some inferior MSM supplements contain trace amounts of heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, and those most certainly can build up in your system, with toxic effects. If it's produced at plants that produce other synthetic chemicals, some MSM may contain other contaminants, such as benzene or -- depending on the manufacturer -- pesticides [source:Bergstrom Nutrition].

How do you steer clear of such dangers? Look for MSM that has been purified by distillation, not crystallization. The crystallization process is where toxic elements can accumulate. Distilled MSM, on the other hand, ought to be chemically identical to the naturally occurring molecules [source: MSM Guide].
What if you're hoping to use MSM to build up something non-toxic -- say, hair or muscle?

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