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Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) may help reduce symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis for more than 23 million Americans, according to researchers. MSM, a natural form of sulfur, may help reset the histamine response in the human body.

What is MSM?

MSM is a chemical found in plants, animals and humans. It also can be made in a laboratory for medicine.

Other names for MSM include: Crystalline DMSO, Dimethylsulfone, Diméthylsulfone, Dimethyl Sulfone MSM, DMSO2, Methyl Sulfone, Methyl Sulfonyl Methane, Methyl Sulphonyl Methane, Méthyle Sulfonyle Méthane, Méthyle Sulphonyle Méthane, Méthylsulfonylméthane, Metilsulfonilmentano, MSM, Sulfone de Diméthyle MSM, Sulfone de Méthyle, Sulfonyl Sulfur.

Can MSM help allergy sufferers?

In a recent study, 55 individuals took MSM for 30 days. Participants were evaluated for clinical respiratory symptoms and energy levels at the onset of the study, and again on days 7, 14, 21 and 30.

All participants showed reduced respiratory symptoms and increased energy levels throughout the 30-day study. No significant changes were seen in plasma IgE or histamine levels.

Researchers concluded that MSM supplementation of 2,600 mg/day for 30 days may be effective in the reduction of symptoms associated with SAR. MSM also had few side effects.

Is there sufficient evidence for its use?

Although there is interest in using MSM to treat a variety of conditions, more research is needed to determine its benefits and risks, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Other possible uses for MSM

•Osteoarthritis. Small-scale studies of treatment with MSM have been conducted on both animals and humans. These studies of MSM have suggested some benefits, particularly for treatment of osteoarthritis. Taking MSM by mouth seems to modestly reduce some symptoms of arthritis such as pain and joint movement but it might not reduce other symptoms such as stiffness.

•Possibly effective for: chronic pain, muscle and bone problems, snoring, allergies, scar tissue, stretch marks, wrinkles, protection against sun/wind burn, eye swelling, dental disease, wounds, cuts, hay fever, asthma, stomach upset, constipation, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), mood elevation, obesity, poor circulation, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes mellitus type 2 (NIDDM), and other conditions.

Is MSM approved by the FDA?

No medical uses of MSM have been approved by the government.

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