MSM and Muscle Soreness: A New Study Explores the Link

May 7, 2013

Researchers found that MSM significantly lessened pain and discomfort following exercise compared to placebo.

A new study funded by OptiMSM methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) supplier Bergstrom Nutrition (Vancouver, WA) further explores whether MSM may aid athletes with exercise recovery. This time, the pilot proof-of-concept study looked at whether MSM supplementation reduced post-workout pain and discomfort. The study was published in the April issue of The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was done on 24 moderately exercise-trained men who were given either placebo or 3 g/day of MSM for 14 days, with a 17-day washout period. Subjects performed stress exercise, such as leg extensions. At the conclusion of the study, researchers found that MSM significantly lessened pain and discomfort following exercise compared to placebo.

Bergstrom continues to embark on early research on the link between MSM and sports. The company published an earlier proof-of-concept study-smaller, with eight subjects-last year in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. That study found that oral MSM supplementation significantly raised antioxidant activity in the blood. (Oxidative stress can contribute to muscle aches.)

“Most people could care less if they have increased blood markers of oxidative stress, such as higher malondialhyde, protein carbonyls, or glutathione levels [which MSM has been shown to do]. However, if you tell someone that they are going to experience less soreness after exercising, that is something they easily understand and usually find quite desirable,” says Bergstrom’s director of technical development Rod Benjamin.