Health Benefits of MSM


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Posted by Kim (Birmingham, England ) on 09/21/2009
4 out of 5 stars

I have been taking MSM for a while now and I have to say my asthma/COPD is much improved. However, MSM does contain sulphates which some individuals may be sensitive to and may cause some side effects. I have read from a very good source that this can be largely overcome by taking a supplementation of molybedenum(500mcg). Hope this helps.

Creaky Joints  

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Posted by Babs (Washington, Dc) on 06/15/2011
5 out of 5 stars

I've been taking MSM for 6 weeks and I am very pleased with the results. My bones were squeaking like an old machine :) Not any more.

Replied by Jean
Atlanta, Ga
0 out of 5 stars

Ann, Can you or anyone else offer a little more reassurance about the side effects of MSM? I started using it in the powdered form about a week ago. The label suggested 1/2 tsp. In 8 oz. of water. After about 2 days I noticed a mild rash on my arms and stomach. By day 4 the mild rash became severe and also spread to my thighs and backs.

It's late spring and I first suspected flea bites, but our pets have been treated and my husband had none of these little red marks. After racking my brains I realized the only new thing I'd introduced into my diet or environment was the MSM. On day 5, I stopped the MSM and the marks on my back largely went away. Those on my thighs and stomach persisted; perhaps they shrank slightly.

To test MSM as the culprit, on day 6 I took the merest pinch of it -- an 1/8 of a tsp, if that. Within an hour, the rash on my legs and stomach intensified. It spread to my chest area for the first time. Additionally, on two spots of my stomach, the redness resembled hives more than a rash. Whether as rash or hives, btw, it itches!

I'm 49 years old, was diagnosed as hyperthyroid three years ago, and have been slowly healing myself through diet and vitamins, acupuncture and meditation. I've been off the methimazole for months and returned to my customary weight (about 10 lbs over the normal range) about a year ago. I'm perimenopausal, so my hormone levels are undoubtedly fluctuating, and what bugs me the most, health-wise, is my on-going fatigue and hand/wrist numbness (I call it carpal tunnel, which is commonly associated with thyroid problems, but I've never seen a neurologist to have it formally diagnosed. You know--money issues.)

In short, I'd love to reap the benefits that MSM seems to promise most people here on Earth Clinic, but the intensity of the rash has me worried. I've never had a skin condition before, so to be wearing a rash for a week, so to speak, is a little creepy. Others have talked about cutting back on the dosage, but to cut back on the miniscule amount of a pinch is to eliminate it entirely.

I bought what seems to be a good quality form of the powder. The brand label asserts no wheat, dairy, gluten, sugar, yeast, etc. , I. E. , it claims to be hypoallergenic and suitable for vegetarians. I bought it from a reputable grocery chain.

So...suggestions, reassurances, tales of similar experiences from braver pioneers than me, anyone?

Thanks in advance for any help provided!

Replied by Miserable_in_bama
Oneonta, Alabama, United States

I take it 2x a day and never experienced any problems. Sounds like you are allergic to it. If you want to try it again, buy another brand, and maybe lower your dosage. It's one of those things our bodies need but can't store, just like vitamin C, so doubtful you are allergic, you get it from a lot of foods you eat. It's a real basic form of sulphur that comes from the ocean if I remember right.

Replied by Cee

Rashes are a common detox symptom. I have read that MSM can initially cause detox reactions as the body purifies. In my own case, I had a headache at first, but it went away with continued use.

Replied by Robyn
New Plymouth, New Zealand

Re: side effects to MSM, it must be taken with a 1/3 Vitamin C, I make capsules up with Vit C powder or make sure I have at least 1000 C every time I take MSM. This may help those who get a reaction to it.


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Posted by Wendy (.., Canada) on 10/03/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I find it odd that people are having problems with MSM!!! I have NEVER heard this before and I've loaned out my books to people and conviced them to start taking it for over 10 years!!! If you read Dr. Stanley Jacobs MD book The Miracle of MSM- you will see how amazing and non toxic msm is. Not saying the reactions aren't legit, obviously they are, but it definately warrants more in depth questions as to why?

I would think if ANYONE should react to MSM it should be ME!!! But I don't! I have intolerances and allergies to lots of foods, migraines, rashes, body aches, you name it- (BUT when my kids and I are gluten, dairy, corn sory etc. free and at 44 I feel amazing after years of following Hulda Clarks cleanses and cleaning up my diet 10 years ago.

Anyhow back to MSM. I have taken 3,000-4000mg a day in the past but didn't find it made enough of an impact to say it 'really' worked. Since I had read there really isn't an upper limit dose except for detox symptoms - diarreah-flu like symptoms etc. I thought what the heck. After using fulvic humic acid for over 6 months I felt so amazing I joined karate... But before long I was doing 5 days a week instead of my planned 1. It was pretty cool to have so much energy!!! I was still achy and stiff and sore after some of the workouts and I went oh ya, MSM!! Sometimes you forget what you have in your cupboard. ;-) This time however after tal;king with a local man who owns a successful health food store who believes most people don't take near enough MSM - I began upping my dosage of MSM. THEN I joined roller derby LOL I'm only 5'2" and 115 lbs so between being 44 and having big ass women knock me down and just the intensity of the 2-3 hour practices, plus the treadmill and the eliptical- I was pretty stiff and sore some days. I kept experimenting and I was taking 18, 000 mg or more a day (a handful of capsules 3x a day) of msm with absolutely NO side affects at all except for 100% pain free and energy to burn!! WOW! Did that for the better part of 10 months ;-) Unfortuntaely that many women can't get along and it gets ugly- kind of like highschool - so I am taking some time off til I can handle the derby drama again LOL Physically - no problem with MSM- it was AWESOME.

One thing I did find is that I could 'get away' with eating cheese or nachos or a beer when we would go out after games and practices. Something I could NEVER do before. MSM DOES handle allergies!!! My drippy nose when I would go into Walmart or a used clothign store? gone! Anyhow, it is amazing stuff. I used a brand in Canada and love it!!

Replied by Lisafrequency
North Carolina

It is my understanding that the skin assist the excretory system in elimination of waste. The body may push waste out thru the skin that it does not want to send thru the liver and kidney or, the waste maybe closer to the surface so it exits thru the skin.

The alternative health people seem to want to call a rash a detox symptom when detoxing substances are being consumed. Some say to increase the detox substance while others say back off and go slower.

I think itching with a rash while taking MSM could be caused by not drinking enough water and/or, not taking it in conjunction with vitamin C. We must not forget that it is recommended to do both while taking MSM.

There doesn't seem to be total agreement on what should be done about experiencing detox symptoms. If a rash is indeed a symptom of something being pushed out of the body to stop taking something altogether that is assisting the body to eliminate a toxin seems to defeat the purpose. I can see wanting to slow it down if the rash or other symptom is really sever.

I have worked to detox my body in many different ways. My first real cleaning was about 30 years ago. I was young and I did get some really sever symptoms lots of fever, congestion, and rash. At the time I choose to take more of the substance that I was taking my theory being that I would get it over with and done. I had about 2 weeks of discomfort. After that my health level increased by leaps and bounds.

Other times I have backed off and did it slower. The only symptom I have ever had that made me stop using something is if my throat closes and I can't breathe or if I have chest pains. Unfortunately honey and other bee products does this to me so I can't take anything that is made by bees.

The main thing about learning to have good health is to pay careful attention to your body and how you feel. Ask your body if a symptom you are experiencing is something your body is doing to get rid of something. Your body will tell you the truth so pay close attention to it if you really want to be in good health.

Sometimes we crave things that are really bad for us. I don't know why that is. I gave up soda many years ago and now I can't even swallow it. Yet I still want to drink it also, I crave sweet tea. I have found that every time I give in to the craving and drink it the next day my whole body hurts. I have decided that there is no amount of sweet tea I can drink without it making my body hurt the next day so I just don't ever drink it.

I look for things to keep me healthy yet I do not take many supplements. Eating what I know is good for me does the most good. I eat as much raw foods as possible. I eat a lot of slaw. I also eat fermented vegetables.

I decided to try MSM. I have experienced some itching which seems to have gone away now that I have upped my water intake and taken some vitamin C. I am taking it in a very low dose (1/8 tsp). I am also giving it to my dogs as I found out that it assist their body in eliminating parasites.

I have noticed that my skin and nails are looking better and, a pain that I have in one of my hips feels a little better.


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Posted by Susca (South Africa) on 07/24/2014
4 out of 5 stars

Hi. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I have about ALL the symptoms connected with the disease. Doctors couldn't help me at all and no amount of painkillers could give permanent relieve. I am taking 2 teaspoons in the morning, otherwise I can't sleep. Only thing I should mention to you, if you find your msm is working for you, check and see how much chlorine do you ingest per day from your drinking water? Msm should not be taken with tap water as the chlorine in the water "cancels out" the effectiveness of the msm. Sounds dumb but its true!!!!

General Feedback  

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Posted by Bill (Philly, Pa) on 12/11/2012
5 out of 5 stars

I've been reading all the comments about MSM on here for a couple of years now. Not to mention all the other info on line as well. I also read a book that surprisingly wasn't all that informative. You can also go to the infamous VIDEO site and find lots of useful health information.

When you first start taking MSM you WILL get a headache. That's a given. I don't know about a migraine, I don't know if I've ever had one. I had anywhere from a mild to a pretty severe.. Kind of dizzy like headache. This will pass if you can keep up with it. They say it will usually go away in about three weeks. Mine took about a month before it stopped. If you stop taking it and then start taking it again, It WILL start all over again. You can go a day or two but I would push my luck. I realize it's anoying but if you can stick it out you'll get past it.

Now the other thing is that you NEED to buy a powder. The tablets are useless. (or capsules)You would need to take the entire bottle in one day to get enough. Taking a thousand Mg once, twice, or three times a day is the same as taking nothing.

I am currently taking 20 thousand Mg a day. That's right 20,000. I take 10 thousand mg roughly 12 hours apart. When you really start investigating and reading enough on it you'll find that's the suggested amount. Most people start out really, really low and gradually work their way up. That may be a way to avoid the headaches. My theory was if I'm going to get them anyway I might as well take a useful amount and get them over with at the same time.

MSM is naturally occuring, just not as much as it use to. Like everything else. Some of these stories are a little out there as far as I'm concerned. These scare tactics just because you didn't like it or had some thing happen that you think was because of something you tried on Earthclinic are ridiculus and shouldn't even be posted as far as I'm concerned.

MSM has the same toxity as water. Meaning NONE. You can't take too much. Anything your body doesn't need will just come out in your urine. Just like water. You may find yourself going to the bathroom alot more when you first start taking it.

One more thing. I also used to buy it at a local Farm supply store down the street. 2 Lb's for about $17.00. That's half the price for twice the amount from a health food store or on line. The more I read about it the more I found out that maybe I shouldn't. The theory is that if it comes from China (this did) it is propably loaded with mercury and lead. China doesn't treat its water properly because it doesn't care about its poeple. They have horribly polluted water. Water is a big part of processing MSM and the polutants all get trapped in the MSM. I can't find a Horse/vet brand that isn't made in China. The container never says. When you call them it's like pulling teeth trying to get a strait answer. Eventually they admit it's from China. So until I find a safe Vet version I'll have to keep paying twice as much for half the amount. Or until I find that a china made brand is not neccasarily polluted.

Replied by Tim

Definitely do not need 20,000 mg a day of any supplement. Your body will pass on more than half of that and your money will go down the drain. JMO.

Hair and Nails  

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Posted by JoJean (La Grande, OR) on 02/23/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I also take MSM, however, if you read the tells you not to take it after 2 pm as it may cause sleeplessness. I have never experienced anxiety. I take 4 100 mg caps in the morning and 4 at noon with no problems. It does help my arthritis and my hair and nails grow like crazy.

Posted by Belle (Los Angeles, CA)
5 out of 5 stars

I recently started to take MSM to help with neck pain. While it's too soon to tell if it is helping, I can report that it is making my nails grow like crazy!!

Hip Pain  

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Posted by Nickie (Ruislip, Middlesex England) on 02/01/2012
5 out of 5 stars


I started using MSM for a painful arthritic hip and noticed the difference within a couple of days. Don't know how it reacts with pharmaceuticals as I don't use them. By the way, as reassurance, they give MSM to horses so it must be OK since folks take good care and invest a lot of money in their animals. Matter of fact I'm getting my next supply from the local stables; much more economical.

How to Take MSM  

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Posted by Cindy (Illinois, Usa) on 07/06/2015
5 out of 5 stars

Another way to take MSM is to mix a strong batch in a jar and add some of the strong solution to whatever water you drink throughout the day. I've been doing that a couple of days after doing a 5g dose and not sleeping well for a couple of days. I didn't take any for a few days and then started with the smaller amounts in my water. Enough to make the water taste really good but not enough to leave that "smoky" taste in my mouth. I can't really say what the amount is - it's just a "taste good" amount.

I'm going to do that for a while and then alternate between MSM water and ascorbic acid water. Just to see what happens.

Replied by Cindy
Illinois, Usa

Tried some water with no MSM in it for the first time in a couple of days and it tasted really...blah. As a huge fan of drinking plain water, I'm wondering if water with this small amount of MSM qualifies as "plain water". Of course, even filtered water isn't actually "plain"...

It sure tastes good so I guess I'll see what happens.

Other than just feeling good and not grabbing a snack every time I walk through the kitchen, I've experienced no symptoms of toxin release or die off. Everything's in working order.

Actually, the not snacking may be a symptom of toxin release, as I used a sort of diet pill when I was both working and going to school full time - WAY back when. So we'll see if the "not snacking" continues. On the other hand, I'm not actually skipping meals, so...I don't know. It's interesting. I wouldn't even notice the good feeling or the not snacking if I wasn't specifically noting changes. It's not like I've stopped eating or I'm feeling euphoric or anything dramatic. I always feel good but I just feel sort of extra good and I'm not craving sugar or salt (snacks) which, actually, might be why I feel extra good but I COULD eat a scoop of ice cream or some chips and salsa, no problem - I just don't crave them.

Replied by Cindy
Illinois, Usa

Again, it may be because of the flushing of old toxins, but noticed a change in the fit of my clothes and I've lost about 10 lbs...but...where did it GO, is the question.

Also have a rash on my chest that I thought was a regular heat rash, which I usually wash with coconut oil and powder and disappears but this one isn't disappearing. MSM lotion stopped the itch but the skin's still bumpy so - some kind of cleansing rash, I'm assuming.

It occurs to me that my feet are extra sweaty and I forgot I'm using MSM lotion on them - after showering and a couple of times between showers I cleaned them with coconut oil and applied more lotion, due to the sweat. I forgot that the lotion I'm using is MSM lotion. All of my skin is much softer. I would not have classified it as "dry", but, compared to how it feels now, it obviously was.

I've only been using the MSM lotion on my hands and feet. My hands are not sweaty but they are definitely not dry which, again, I wouldn't have classified them as "dry" before now but, comparatively, they must have been.

Could explain where the weight went. Just double the amount of sweat from the foot would be like an extra pound and my feet are sweating more than that. On average, one sweats about 2 lbs per day (1 quart) which can go up to that much per HOUR when one is actively sweating.

This would actually explain why MSM feels so good, initially, AND why symptoms return so quickly when one stops taking MSM - a flush of hydration, initially, and dehydration when stopped.

I will up my water intake to compensate. See what happens.

Replied by Cindy
Illinois, Usa

Increased water intake and had some sea salt to compensate for the sweating feet and weight is back up so was definitely acutely dehydrated.

Skipped MSM for a day and felt a bit depressed, which is weird. Or maybe not depressed...I'm not sure. I don't get depressed so I'm not 100% sure what it's like but my mind was definitely attracted to the "less than fun" aspects of life and every little "problem" seemed bleak and blown all out of proportion.

Still have the rash and it has spread a bit. The bumps are flattened out but it's more itchy.

Hair seems super soft and more..."flexible" or something.

Still only taking the MSM as "good tasting water".

Might try some aloe with MSM for the itching.

Back to my happy self - very interesting.

Replied by Cindy
Illinois, Usa

I set out some MSM water for the dogs. I set it next to their regular water and they drank it down.

Second day, they didn't drink any but drank a lot of plain water.

Third day, same. No MSM water but plain water though not as much as the day before.

Fourth day (today) they're drinking some MSM but not as much as the first day.

Both dogs seem to be doing the same thing but they're not drinking together. Just consuming and abstaining at about the same intervals.

Same water I'm drinking - with just enough MSM to make it taste good.

Replied by Cindy
Illinois, Usa

Had some pain in the kidney area so refrained from drinking MSM water. Had some organic lemon aid and a couple swigs of olive oil.

It didn't really register in my mind until the pain, but initially I hadn't been urinating as much and the urine was darker than usual then, yesterday, I was going a lot and it was lighter. Anyway, with the discomfort, I'm assuming kidney stones.

I had gallstones a few years ago and after that cleared up I got in the habit of drinking organic raspberry lemonade but they quit carrying it a while back and I forgot all about it. Anyway, it makes sense with all of the flushing that there might be stones and this time it appears to be kidney stones, so, there's that.

They still carry the organic lemonade so I'll use that. It's not as yummy as the raspberry lemonade, but it's still pretty darn good!

Back to MSM water tomorrow and I guess I'll be drinking some lemonade, too, and flush out whatever stones there might be with a swig of olive oil every now and then.

Replied by Cindy
Illinois, Usa

A couple of thoughts regarding MSM and kidney stones:

It stands to reason that MSM, in opening cell walls, would flush loose any crystals that are attached to the walls of the renal system.

It also stands to reason that as the cell walls close up, trapping toxins inside, that the crystals COULD attach themselves and grow in the first place. Otherwise, the urinary salts would be suspended in the urine and flush themselves out.

Might not be a bad idea to add lemonade or the "lemon and olive oil" treatment for kidney and gall stones while you're taking MSM - or before you start.

The stones are no big deal as they're easily dealt with, but they can be uncomfortable and create various urinary symptoms that would tempt one to seek out harsh and dangerous "medical" remedies.

Also, vitamin C - ascorbic acid - would break down the crystallized organic matter that holds the stones together causing pieces to detach and creating discomfort that way. So, the occasional dose of olive oil or regular drinking of lemonade or limeade (even more acidic than lemon) in general is just a good idea, regardless - to keep the urinary salts in solution to facilitate natural flushing. Of course, the MSM would prevent them from attaching to the walls and growing in the first place but if they're already there, it's probably best to break them up as they can be extremely painful.

Just a thought.

Replied by Jacqui

How would any oil help your kidney's? Any oils are dealt with by your liver and bile, then absorbed by the small intestine - they are long gone as oil before the blood gets near the kidney. I eat a quite high fat diet, but have NEVER noticed any oil slick in my urine, and would be very concerned if I had.

Replied by Cindy
Illinois, Usa

If you have kidney stones, then you're dehydrated and one effect of dehydration is oil in the urine. So, in a way, it's the illness itself that allows the cure.

Olive oil has special properties that make it different from other oils to begin with, and it is only now being studied more closely to identify those differences.

Posted by Nat (Orange, Nsw ) on 07/06/2014

MSM in conjunction with HIMAYLAYAN SALT

I too experienced the general side effects that crew have mentioned taking MSM but they completely disappeared when I startled taking MSM in conjunction with the Himaylayan Salt brine, google it ... Tons of info on how to make the brine. I think the minerals within the salt brine helps the body to better assimilate the MSM and support the cleansing process . It was a fluke how I discovered this ... I hate the bitter taste that MSM leaves in the mouth ( I take the powder form with water ) and so then decided one day to have a glass of water with my salt brine mix as it leaves a sweet taste in your mouth to get rid of the bitter MSM taste and voila' noticed I didn't get the abdominal discomfort or headaches or nausea etc etc that I would always otherwise experience. Tried again day after day to see if it was just a one off or was really onto something, yep this really works!!! Hope this info helps any crew out there suffering side effects but want to keep on with the MSM. Cheers. Nat (*_*)

Posted by Paula (Mississauga, Canada) on 11/12/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I totally agree that too many people aren't taking the right dosage and the right brand of MSM to see result. I was experiencing really bad headaches that were 24/7. I had low energy and I hate to say I was having trouble sleeping. But the pain relief in my joints has been amazing and getting better by the week. I have arthritis in both knees (bad), in both hips and lower back. I have terrible pain in both feet. (Sport injuries) Had surgeries on one foot and both knees, one twice. I started off I thought on a low dose and increased gradually over the weeks but still suffered the headaches. I went for acupuncture 2x and got amazing relief. I will gladly suffer the detox symptoms knowing they are releasing from my body and knowing MSM is healing my body pain. I take absolutely no medication for anything other than Advil when in dire straits. I will try anything natural and give it ALOT of time before I give up. It has been 6 weeks since starting on MSM and I am up to 8 grams a day. I plan to get to 12g. Every week I feel improvements and I am hopeful for a complete remission from my arthritis within the year with the help of acupuncture or other natural means to assist MSM to get me there. I gotta say I love what MSM is doing for my skin, hair and nails. My hair is staying beautiful and curly and FULL when it always goes flat and pretty straight in our Canadian winter climate. My skin is hydrated and healthy for the 1st time in my whole life. This is only after 6 weeks. I can't wait to see how I feel months from now. Pain has been my mate for too long and finally I am feeling the distance from it. Give it time. Give it at least a year. You all owe yourselves that. Change the brand if you have to until you find one that works. Don"t just try one.

Distilled MSM and a reputable brand is paramount.

Posted by Shesgg (Sandusky, Oh) on 07/23/2012

Hi, I just wanted to add to be sure and take 1000 mg vitamin C along with the 2 teaspoons of MSM for arthritis pain or blood sugar/blood pressure. I have had good success with this amount each day. I slowly drink the MSM in about 2 liters of water throughout the day and take the Vitamin C in between there sometime.

Love this stuff, hope it doesn't cause problems down the road with surprising side effects but so far so good.

Posted by Diane (Los Angeles, Ca) on 12/25/2011

If you are having side effects/herx/die off from MSM, start very slowly & work your way up, but also try taking with Molybdenum (the liquid form). I have read that MSM can deplete Molybdenum (there is controversy over this, but it might be a good idea to take them both together anyway). Also, Molybdenum helps to break down a toxic by-product of yeast called Aldehyde. I could not tolerate MSM because detox symptoms were too much to handle until I took it with Molybdenum, and now I feel like I different person. Try taking Molybdenum 300 micrograms 3 times a day (with food).

Caution: You can detox from Molybdenum, too (I felt angry at first and very revved up - after a week this feeling went away completely). Then I addded MSM and for the first time I can tolerate it and I feel great on it. Google "MSM Molybdenum" and read "The Candida/Aldehyde Detox Pathway And The Molybdenum Connection" for more information.

Posted by Ds (Us, Usa) on 09/04/2011

Not only with MSM, but with all of our wonderful alternative therapies and supplements, I'm wondering if often the problem is that we're not incorporating those oh-so-important "skip days. "

That is, it's probably not a good idea in general to take most any supplement every single day. The body doesn't seem to appreciate it--it likes a rest, it likes change. And it makes sense that taking these things every single day is more likely to throw something out of balance. Changing our routine gives the body a chance to rest and re-balance, lets nature do her thing without us interfering.

I remember reading Edgar Cayce, well-known health-reading psychic from the past, said that it's best to get our nutrition from food, but if we take supplements to maybe take them a week on, and a week off... Or take them for a few days, then stop for a few days. As someone who has been taking supplements for lots of years (and lotsa mistakes along the way), I'm finding that this does make my body happier. Including the apple cider vinegar elixir, oil pulling and the rest. Just give the body a "vacation" from it every few days or so.

Posted by Joyce (Joelton, Tn) on 08/31/2009 516 posts

When I first learned about MSM from an artcle in Journal of Longevity about 15 or more years ago, I read that one of the doctors treating patients with it had been taking the race horse dose for years to see if any adverse side effects occurred. Supposedly at the age of 75(at time article was written), he still had a full head of dark hair and was still teaching medicine as well as practicing medicine.

I started off at the race horse dosage myself and continued at that dose. I wasn't aware that it was doing anything until one night I noticed it was raining and my joints that had always warned me that weather change was coming, hadn't warned me! I took MSM daily for several years at the large dosage for race horses.

I have to admit that I have gotten quite lax with it over the last few years, but my knees are giving me twinges now and then. When they do I go back on the large dose daily until I forget I had the problem, and then get slack again.

MSM supposedly has both antiinflammatory properties as well as cell regeneration. You can find a lot of information on line about MSM. There is also a book written by the doctor who wrote the article that let me in on the MSM, and I believe Dr. Jacobs (the one taking racehorse dose for years) co-authored the book on MSM. You should be able to find it in any bookstore.