DMSO versus MSM, exploring topical applications.

MSM: A better, safer alternative

Although DMSO and MSM have similar effects and share many health benefits, studies have been carried out to point out the differences between these two nutritional supplements. Studies have proven MSM is a better alternative to DMSO, and the reasons are not far-fetched.

Body conversion

DMSO, when used, is significantly converted to MSM in the body before it can be adequately used up. MSM has also been said to remain longer in the body.

Availability and use

While DMSO is considered a drug and only made available to people on prescription, MSM can be sold directly to consumers. The only way DMSO can be made available to the general public is when it is sold as industrial grade DMSO, used by industries and factories as a solvent, paint thinner, and anti-freezing agent. MSM, on the other hand, is an excellent source of dietary sulfur and is regarded as a food supplement.


DMSO, asides being more available as an industrial-grade compound, which is unsafe for health purposes, is a very potent solvent. This powerful absorbing effect enables it to absorb transport nearly anything through the skin and cellular membranes. As such, it requires more attention in use to avoid the absorption of germs, bacteria, and other harmful substances into the body system.

MSM has been found to be very safe for consumption, even in pharmaceutical grade.

Side Effects

DMSO alleged has been connected to side effects after use. Some of such side effects include stomach upset, skin irritation, and drowsiness. As it is usually used in combination with other drugs, it has also been found to increase the effects of other medications such as sedatives, blood thinners, and steroids.

In contrast, MSM has shown no to minimal side effects even when consumed in significant quantities.


A major turn-off in the use of DMSO for some people is its strong, unpleasant smell of garlic or oysters. MSM, on the other hand, is odorless.

MSM as a Pain Reliever

MSM is widely used as a treatment option in the alternative field of medicine for people suffering from joint pains, inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.

Studies have shown MSM as a beneficial treatment for those with joint and muscle pains. In research, it decreased pain, stiffness, and tenderness, swelling in elderly patients after 12 weeks. The patients, who were respondents of the study, reported improvement in overall quality of life.

Furthermore, it has been proven to have excellent anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells and the substances they produce protect the body from infection. This inflammation may then result in symptoms such as redness, swelling, joint pain, and stiffness.  As such, MSM inhibits NF-kB, a protein complex in our body involved in inflammatory responses. More so, it reduces cytokines production, which is linked and responsible for systemic inflammation. MSM also increases the levels of glutathione, a radically potent antioxidant in the body. All the afore-mentioned properties reduce inflammation and, in turn, reduce or relieve the pain associated with it.

This reduction in inflammation and an increase in antioxidant activity also speeds up muscle recovery in athletes and workers in heavy load-lifting jobs. It is also beneficial in people living with arthritis, not only in reducing inflammation and relieving pain but enhancing the effectiveness of other medications and supplements such as chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine sulfate, and boswellic acid. 

And to top it all of, MSM can also be used as allergy relief!