Over the last year or so I have found myself limping more and more with severe pain in my left foot. I put off seeing a doctor since I knew they would simply say ‘Take some Ibuprofen’ and get lost. I don’t have much faith in your average British family doctor. Finally though after yet another session of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu left me hobbling out the door I went to the doctor. As I predicted, the doctor took a brief look at my foot, suggested I take some Ibuprofen and muttered the words arthritis as if this was all totally fine for a guy in his thirties. It was really not fine at all. I insisted on a x-ray to get a proper diagnoses and so it came to pass that I was told I have degenerative arthritis in three joints in my foot.
Balls. I was not happy.
My first reaction was to scour the internet looking for cures or just some decent advice. I found some but the general outlook seems to be that arthritis is just something to live with. Some more digging eventually turned up MSM as a promising treatment for damaged cartilage, joint pain and arthritis. Boom! So I set out to answer the question what does MSM do for your body?
What does MSM do for your body?
Laboratory studies have found that MSM has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Sulphur, which is a major component of MSM, plays an important role in making collagen and glucosamine, both of which are vital for healthy bones and joints, and in the production of immunoglobulins, which help your immune system.
What is it?
The full name is Methylsulfonylmethane and is a naturally occurring sulfur found in fresh raw foods including fruits, vegetables and meat. The compound used to treat diseases, MSM, is a white crystalline substance that contains 34% sulphur. You can buy it from lots of stores online but I got mine on Amazon – it is very cheap if you buy the powdered version.
Is MSM safe?
Current evidence suggests that MSM is well tolerated as a short-term treatment, even with high doses. A daily dose of 1.5 grams per day for up to three months is the amount most often used in studies although most people, myself included, use up to 3 grams per day.
Long term affects have not really been studied and short term affects reported seem to be nothing much more than an upset tummy.
There are no know adverse interactions with other chemicals. There is a well documented positive affect seen when combined with glucosamine.
I’ve taken MSM everyday for a month now. I tend to take a teaspoon of the powder mixed into a drink of water first thing in the morning, it is almost tasteless and the powdered form is a whole lot cheaper than in pills.
I have found that my foot really does hurt less. The swelling is definitely less and most days I can get away with very little pain at all. The movement in my toes is also improved which I think is simply due to the affect of the swelling coming down rather than the joint actually healing.
It is early days and perhaps some of the improvement is due to my increased awareness of the injury leading to being gentler with my foot. I can’t really be 100% sure but I guess that is just like any supplement – sometimes the placebo affect is bigger than you think.
Regardless, I am sure it is helping and the powder is so cheap at $16 for nearly a years supply that I would be a fool not to keep using it.