MSM (Methyl Sulfonyl Methane) for Peyronie’s Disease Treatment
MSM stands for Methyl Sulfonyl Methane, and it is an important component of any Peyronie’s disease natural treatment plan; few plans skip this one.
It is a breakdown product of DMSO, an odorless, water-soluble, white crystalline material that supplies readily absorbable dietary sulfur to the body. Sulfur in the body is found in over 150 compounds that function in the body to initiate, promote or stabilize several dozen vital chemical processes. MSM is needed for healthy connective tissue and joint function, proper enzyme activity, and hormone balance and immune function throughout the body.
Robert Herschler and Dr. Stanley Jacob of the University of Oregon Medical School first isolated MSM in the early 80’s. Dr. Jacob continues today as a teacher, researcher and developer in this important area of research.
MSM is not a wonder drug – although many people think it is. It is neither a medicine nor a food additive. It is simply a basic nutrient found in abundance in the world around us – rainwater is loaded with it – and in our foods – milk, fruits, meats and vegetables. MSM is the natural form of organic sulfur found in all living organisms. MSM is the 8th most abundant substance in the body by weight, and it is the 3rd most abundant mineral in the body. A 200-pound man has approximately five pounds of sulfur in body weight.
Concerning MSM dosage, Earl L. Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D. states, “Due to its positive wide-spectrum effect, particularly in maintaining healthy cell formation, dietary nutritional supplementation of MSM is recommended at a daily rate of 2,000 to 6,000mg. The optimum effective dosage would depend on body size, age, the MSM blood level prior to administration, and the nature and severity of the condition you are treating. This means you can experiment with different doses to find out what works best for you”. In certain individuals it can take up to three weeks for beneficial effects to be noticed.
The best therapeutic dosage of MSM depends on several different factors: severity of PD, basic health of the individual, quality of the diet, body weight, and age, etc. Usually, it is sufficient to take an initial dose of 2,000-4000 mg (2-4 grams) daily, divided throughout the day, between meals. After several months, assuming good response with your PD, this dosage can be reduced. If you have additional health problems it might be appropriate to take an even higher dose, perhaps an additional 1,000 mg (1 gram), or so, daily. There are studies in which noticeable clinical improvement did not occur until a daily dose of 30 grams was used.(1) However, this is an extremely high MSM dosage, and should not be attempted without medical supervision. It is mentioned to demonstrate the unique safety of MSM at very high levels, since no negative effects were reported.(1,2)
IMPORTANT: If you know you have not been healthy for a while, it might be necessary to start taking MSM at a lower dose than your final dose goal. This is because MSM can cause detoxification symptoms in some people (see section below) as toxins are eliminated from various body tissues. If you have reason to believe you have a toxic buildup in your tissues, it would be wise to slowly begin taking MSM. For example, if you wish to eventually take 6,000 mg (6 grams) of MSM daily, you might take 2,000 mg (2 grams) a day for a week, then up the dose to 3,000 mg (3 grams) for the next week, then 4,000 mg (4 grams) the following week, and so on until you get to your desired MSM level. Do not increase your dose as long as you have detoxification symptoms.
As it tends to stimulate one’s energy level, it is generally advisable not to take MSM prior to retiring for the night.
MSM has been used as a dietary supplement for many years with no reports of intolerance or allergic reactions. Long-term studies indicate that MSM exhibits very low toxicity no matter how it is administered. Its toxicity profile has been compared to water! (3) When MSM was administered to human volunteers, no toxic effects were observed at intake levels of 1 gram per kg of body weight per day for 30 days. Intravenous injections of 0.5 grams per kg body weight daily for five days a week produced no measurable toxicity in human subjects. The lethal dose (LD50) of MSM for mice is more than 20 g/kg body weight. MSM has been widely tested as a food ingredient without any reports of allergic reactions. An unpublished Oregon Health Sciences University study of the long-term toxicity of MSM over a period of six months, showed no toxic effects. More than 12,000 patients were treated with MSM at levels above two grams daily, without toxicity.(4) Your body flushes excess MSM after about a 12-hour period. It uses what is needed and the rest is discarded.
Taking MSM for Peyronie’s disease
MSM is best taken with a glass of water 30-60 minutes before eating. Take MSM in divided portions throughout the day; do not take all of the MSM in one large single dosage. Anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 mg (one to ten grams) per day have been used for relief of symptoms.
Most people who take MSM may experience very little to slight detoxification symptoms, as the body rids itself of toxic buildup. Symptoms may include: mild diarrhea, skin rash, headache and fatigue. These symptoms usually stop after one week or less; if they continue, stop taking the MSM and contact your physician. Fewer than 20% of MSM users may feel moderately sick the first few days of use. It may be small consolation to know that the stronger the detoxification symptoms are, the more toxins were likely stored in the body and the more MSM was needed for its purification. If more unpleasant or excess symptoms of detoxification are experienced, it may be advisable to reduce the dosage of MSM and to gradually rebuild it once the symptoms are more tolerable.
Bottom line on MSM
Without proper levels of MSM, vitamins, minerals and amino acids are not incorporated into our systems. As a result our bodies are unable to build good healthy cells, and this leads to illness. New cells are produced 24 hours a day. If the body doesn’t receive the various nutrition materials it needs, weak, abnormal and unhealthy cells will develop. To develop and maintain good health, it is necessary to supplement our diets with all the nutrients necessary for health, including MSM, to enable the body to heal itself. Your body knows what it needs better than anyone, even your doctor. It will use MSM wherever it is needed in your system. Give your body the MSM it needs so it can have the good nutrition necessary for healing and repair.
Talk to your doctor about including this important nutrient into your treatment plan. The use of MSM is relatively new in nutrition, and no significant clinical research has been reported yet, so your doctor might not be familiar with MSM. It might be helpful to your doctor if you give her/him this article as you ask her/him about it.
After vitamin E, PDI believes that MSM is the most important basic nutrient needed in a conservative treatment program for Peyronie’s disease.
Chemically, MSM consists of two hydrocarbon units (each made up of hydrogen and carbon atoms) attached to a unit of one sulfur and two oxygen atoms. The molecule is one-third sulfur by weight. Found throughout nature, MSM is a rather small molecule found in the ocean, the atmosphere, in all plants and animals, and of course, the human body. Sulfur works its way through the world ecology, starting in the ocean with marine algae, called phytoplankton. These phytoplankton and algae are the same tiny organisms eaten by the whales of the seas. They release sulfur into the water as dimethylsulfonium salts. The salts are transformed into a volatile compound, dimethylsulfide (DMS), that escapes from the ocean to enter the atmosphere as a gas. In the air the MSM is broken down via photochemical (sunlight) oxidation, then changed into various sulfur compounds – sulfates, MSM, and DMSO, the closest relative of MSM. In the air these compounds are picked up by atmospheric water vapor, eventually to return via rain to the soil and the ocean where the cycle continues.
Peyronie’s disease connection
There are numerous and important biological effects of MSM in the human body:
- Relieves pain.
- Reduces inflammation.
- Dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow.
- Reduces muscle spasms.
- Anti-parasitic properties, particularly for trichomonas and protozoan parasites that cause diarrhea.
- Immune normalizing effect, as observed in rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma.
Alters the cross-linking process in collagen, thus reducing scar tissue. Cross-linking is the process in which new structural proteins are knitted to existing healthy tissue at the sites of surgical incisions or traumatic damage in the body. If there aren’t sufficient building materials in the body to make new cells properly, this crosslinking can be rather crude, or lead to an excessive build-up of scar tissue. Aside from being unsightly, this scar tissue can also be painful if there is not enough blood circulation and nerve supply. MSM softens the tissue, making it more flexible so the tissue can be reformed as new cells are made.
Critical to the PD issue, sulfur as found in MSM can favorably influence scar tissue not only as it is being formed after injury but it can also have a beneficial effect on established scar tissue.(1,5)
Another great reason to add MSM to your PD treatment plan is the beneficial effect it has on many other nutrients in the body. MSM is considered a potentiator, enhancer or promoter of most vitamins and nutrients (vitamin A, C, all B’s, D and E, coenzyme Q10, amino acids, selenium, calcium, magnesium and many others). MSM improves the cellular uptake of all of these nutrients, and prolongs their availability and activity in the body.(1,3,4)
Studies suggest that the level of MSM in the body decreases with aging.(4) This is an interesting observation about MSM – that it decreases with age – since PD is seen on average in men around age 55. This information tends to support the idea that a reduced MSM level could predispose or contribute in some way to PD. It would not be too extreme to further speculate that those younger men who develop PD do so, in part, only because of poor absorption or reduced intake of MSM containing foods.
By including MSM in your nutritional program you are better able to utilize all of your nutrients, making your dietary supplementation more efficient and cost effective since they are working harder for you.
Commercial product information
This concludes the technical discussion concerning MSM. What follows next is the presentation of commercial information about a particular product that Peyronie’s Disease Institute endorses and sells in its Natural Complementary Medicine Products division. PDI does this so that you may easily identify what we think is the best therapy product of its kind, and then make it available for sale easily and at the best price we can.
Please bear in mind that PDI cannot answer your questions or help you with your therapy plan if we do not have knowledge, experience or confidence with “foreign” therapies. On the PDI website we clearly state, “Sorry, but due to the volume of emails PDI receives and with limited hours available in a day, we can only answer questions from PDI customers. When you purchase your therapy products only from PDI you have full access to the vast experience and careful assistance available to our customers. If you purchase inferior grade or questionable bargain products elsewhere, you will have to rely upon that source for whatever help you might need later.”
We take this position because after doing this work since 2002 we sincerely believe that you stand a better chance to reverse your PD if you only use products listed in the PDI and Natural Complementary Medicine websites.
MSM product recommendation
Fundamental Sulfur PDI recommends an MSM product from Douglas Laboratory, called Fundamental Sulfur. This tablet contains 500 mg of MSM, and includes 100 mg of vitamin C and 25 mcg of molybdenum (mo-lib’-de-num). These last two ingredients are included in this tablet to assist sulfur absorption and metabolism in the body. Douglas Laboratory is a great company with a 50-year history as a leader and innovator in the nutrition industry. We are very confident of the quality of this product and know that you will be also, once you begin to use it and see results.
For ideas and suggestions to put it all together, click Create a Peyronie’s Disease Treatment Plan.