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Researchers administered 40 healthy men a placebo or 3 g of OptiMSM daily for four weeks.
Longer-term methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) supplementation results in higher blood MSM concentrations, confirms a new study published in Clinical Pharmacology & Biopharmaceutics. The month-long study is the first longer-term trial to demonstrate the effects of MSM, a common joint- and muscle-health ingredient, on serum levels.
“While MSM has been known to have excellent bioavailability, published data within the public domain regarding serum concentrations following chronic ingestion is minimal,” said Rodney Benjamin, director of research and development, Bergstrom Nutrition, in a press release. The study researchers used Bergstrom’s OptiMSM brand ingredient.
The researchers, including Benjamin, administered 40 healthy men a placebo or 3 g of OptiMSM daily for four weeks. Blood samples were taken at baseline, week 2, and week 4 using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
Serum MSM levels were higher at both weeks 2 and 4 over baseline, with researchers estimating an approximate 1-3 millimole (mM) increase two to four weeks into supplementation.
People may not get a high enough intake from typical dietary MSM sources, which include milk, fruits, vegetables, coffee, and tea, as processed food production can diminish MSM presence in finished goods. Unlike short-term MSM serum studies, this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study shows that serum levels remain higher after chronic ingestion.
“It was our objective through this study to provide a base data set for potential future dose and time-ranging studies that may assist in optimizing the suggested dosing of MSM, in particular as its popularity continues to grow,” the researchers wrote. “Daily supplementation with MSM at a dosage of 3 g reliably increases serum MSM concentrations,” they concluded.
Most subjects’ serum levels were not different between weeks 2 and 4. Was there a leveling-off effect, or is 3 g considered a maximum dosage? “The maxima hasn't been fully determined,” Benjamin cautions. “In other words, a higher dosage for longer time may be able to achieve higher than 3 mM.” Another of the researchers, Richard Bloomer, calls the study a “starting point” for determining dosage and time ranges for MSM supplementation.
The researchers said more studies are needed to show whether serum MSM levels continue to rise following even longer-term use.
Nutritional Outlook magazine
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