The supplement known as methyl-sulfonyl-methane — or MSM for short — has been touted as a miracle substance for decades. Ever since the book titled The Miracle of MSM: The Natural Solution for Pain by Stanley W. Jacob was first published in 1999, MSM supplements have been taken by folks hoping to relieve pain from arthritis, chronic headaches, TMJ, carpal tunnel syndrome and plenty of other ailments. MSM has also been used to help support the joints and improve hair health.
However, does MSM — an organic form of sulfur — really do all those things? And what about some of the unexpected reactions that MSM has had on the eyes, skin, and other body parts of the people who have taken MSM — either internally, topically or both?
First off, MSM is often used in eye-drop format in order to improve eye health. According to Naturo Doc, MSM can help get rid of cataracts and make the vision better. However, Medscape notes the first case of a 35-year-old woman who suffered from acute angle closure one week after taking MSM. Fortunately, four days after no longer taking her supplements, which included MSM, her malady disappeared and her vision returned to 20/20.
Oddly, some of the suggested Google terms when searching for MSM information results in phrases like “MSM pills lighten eyes” and “MSM eye lightening before after.” Plenty of Google Images results lead to testimonies about folks who claim to have lightened their eyes naturally — either using MSM alone, or with a combination using so-called “honey drops,” as seen on Amazon. Forums and blogs are also filled with recipes for creating diluted honey eye drops using raw honey.
Not only does MSM purportedly lighten eyes, but MSM is also being credited with helping to lighten skin as well.
According to Truth in Aging, MSM can potentially help the skin, nails, and hair because of how it enhances collagen bundles and keratin. Since MSM is sulfur, it can double as a skin whitener — with MSM potentially upping the production of pheomelanin, which is the melanin that lighter-skinned people produce.
The University of Maryland reports that MSM has a positive effect upon fascia, or the connective tissue in skin that also wraps around the muscles. MSM creams are available in plenty of online retail shops that come with a plethora of customer reviews that boast about skin lightening and skin tightening effects.
According to Google, a patent application was even sought by inventor Thienna Ho, who noted that according to Ho’s findings, MSM could indeed cause the skin to lighten in a few months — especially when MSM was applied topically to skin and ingested orally.
“A skin lightening method for lightening the natural skin tone of a user, or for treating disorders of hyper-pigmentation, includes delivering an effective amount of methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM) to an individual in need of skin lightening, until an noticeable lightening of skin tone is observed. Delivery may be accomplished by topical application, oral ingestion, or a combination of the foregoing. The skin lightening effect may be enhanced by application of an exfoliate during the treatment period.”
“A topical preparation of a skin lightening composition containing MSM in an amount of approximately 1 to 25 weight percent, such as about 15%, or greater than 20% by weight, is applied to a person’s skin in a daily regimen. In addition, an ingestible preparation of a skin lightening composition containing approximately 200 mg to 5000 mg MSM per serving, such as about 2000 mg twice daily, is ingested daily during the same period of time. Skin lightening equivalent to about one or two Fitzpatrick skin tone classes may be achieved in a few months time.”
As reported by the Observer, sulfur is found in abundance in the body — and MSM can help to detox the body.
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