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M-S-M Gets Some R-e-s-p-e-c-t

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When people go to the supplement aisle, they find that three joint health remedies loom large on the shelves: glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

When people go to the supplement aisle, they find that three joint health remedies loom large on the shelves: glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Glucosamine and chondroitin are accepted by many doctors because of the numerous double-blind clinical trials demonstrating their efficacy. But what about MSM?

Despite its popularity and celebrity endorsement, MSM's efficacy for arthritis has been largely an article of faith, with little scientific evidence to convince skeptical medical doctors. All of that has changed with the publication, in a major medical journal, of the first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of MSM. In a rare collaboration between naturopathic physicians and mainstream rheumatologists, MSM (3 g twice a day for 12 weeks) was found to significantly relieve pain and improve performance of normal everyday activities among people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis of the knee.

MSM was also found to lower homocysteine, a risk factor for heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. As the research on MSM continues, skeptics and naysayers will be increasingly out of step with published scientific data.

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