Sakara Glossary is your go-to place to learn the foundation of optimal health and wellness — we give you the 411 on the minerals, vitamins, and concepts that are integral to a healthier, more conscious, sexier life.
MSM (emm-ess-emm), noun
Origin: Ocean plankton --> ozone --> rain --> sea + plants --> your little cells
Methyl Sulfonyl Methane
There’s a joke going around, saying that Americans have — without a doubt — the most expensive urine in the world. Why? Well, because we’re popping supplement pills without enough previous knowledge of their digestion and assimilation requirements, leading to a taxed liver and a drain full of vitamins we can't completely make use of. Think that you’re one of them?
Consider MSM, aka, pure distilled (or often times crystallized) sulfur. We’ve talked about this beauty mineral before, and in the Sakara kitchen, we never shy away from going heavy on the sulfur rich fruits, veggies and greens. It’s a staple in our diet, and if you’re eating the Sakara Life, then it is, however unknowingly, a staple in yours too.
Sulfur is found in over 150 different compounds within the human body, and in virtually every single type of cell membrane. It is the third largest nutrient found in the human body, and has been discovered to live within all vertebrates. Therefore, it is an extremely important mineral to keep on top of nutritionally. However, modern day food advancements and agriculture techniques must be taken into account when considering how much sulfur we (as a collective culture) are actually getting from our food. Unfortunately, in the last 100 years or so, we have run into some sulfur-lack-thereof. We obtain sulfur, like any other vitamin or mineral, from our food. Our food gets it’s food from the soil, and just as is the case with our bodies, if what the food is being fed is lacking in organic, abundant nutrition, then the health of said food (or body) will suffer alongside. Due to the state of worldwide depleted soils and genetically modified, pesticide sprayed nutriments, even some of the most pure foods available are lacking in this uber essential, super beautifying mineral.
And we say beautifying, because truly, sulfur is the most beautifying mineral around. In the words of David Wolfe, MSM “produces a flame like tint in the skin and creates a subtle luster as delicate as the halo around the full moon on a clear desert evening.” He has also called it the best cosmetic in the world. Amen.
So, what's a modern-day health conscious being to do?
Take MSM powder! We’re obsessed. We dump this stuff into water, teas, smoothies, and Clean Boutique Snacks (hello Beauty Elixir and Beauty Bar) alongside our body-loving — already sulfur rich — Sakara breakfast, lunch and dinner.
But, what is MSM good for?
1) Whole body detoxification:
MSM plays a major, major role in the production and assimilation of glutathione in your precious bod, and glutathione is your most essential element for whole body detoxification. Glutathione is not able to be produced in the body without the presence of adequate sulfur. Living in modern society, even on suburb land (but more specifically, in a big city) exposes us to some scary environmental toxins via transportations systems and factory emissions, as well as an array of heavy metals. Glutathione is absolutely essential for removing these heavy metals and toxins from the organs and bloodstream. Therefore, we need not say more about feeding yourself more MSM, daily. It is is a total badass free-radical scavenger.
2) Helps your body absorb more nutrients:
Like glutathione, the body does not properly utilize pantothenic acid, vitamins A, D and E, inter-enzymes, amino acids, selenium, calcium, or germanium alone. All meaning, we’re taking these vitamins through the body without fully assimilating them as we’re meant to (remember that expensive urine?) if we don't have adequate sulfur. And when when it comes to vitamin C, without the presence of MSM, it can’t do it’s full healing work. Vitamin C and MSM work synergistically together, creating complete food bioflavonoids for skin and capillary regeneration. Without enough MSM, the body can’t do it’s repair job properly. MSM transports so very many vitamins and minerals into cells and all throughout the body for ultimate absorption. Get ready for some seriously lustrous hair, skin and strong nails.
3) Whole body joint comfort + inflammation tamer:
MSM has been discovered as an incredible whole-body joint nourisher. When there is excess water, and toxicity, held inside a cell wall that is greater than the water pressure outside of the cell, there is inflammation and swelling — think, joint pain (arthritis), muscle soreness (even without a proper workout), skin issues (acne, eczema, psoriasis), and easy bruising and swelling. MSM injects flexibility back into tissues rapidly, and improvements in any of all of the above can be seen in as soon as one week. Again, taken alongside vitamin C rich foods or a pure vitamin C supplement, MSM will do it’s job best.
4) Energy enhancer:
MSM acts as a kind of cell wall cleaner-upper — increasing permeability and oxygenation. As we age, our cell walls get thicker, and rigid, leading to a lessening of oxygen and essential nutrients making their way into said cell wall. And over time, toxins get stored inside the cells, lowering permeability without the aid of essential sulfur. Once MSM gets into cell walls, the new absorption of oxygen releases stuck toxins, as yet just another way that MSM rescues us from daily toxicity, and low energy levels. More oxygen = more energy. You cannot survive without it. Also, breathe deep.
5) Banishes allergies:
Take this one from a girl who has suffered with seriously debilitating spring season allergies since birth. I use to miss complete weeks of work and school due to the pollen that somehow, everyone else seemed to enjoy, but I seemed to be dying from. Fast forward to three years ago, I began taking heroic doses of MSM with vitamin C (on recommendation of David Wolfe), and not even a week later, was practically praising him for saving my life. This stuff works miracles if you have seasonal allergies, or really, allergies of any kind. Not that I don’t still sneeze / eye-itch now and again, but I can safely say that my spring allergies are a thing of the past — goodbye Claritin addiction, hello forever-friend MSM.
Don’t forget: Consciously up your (clean) water intake when first starting on an MSM supplement. This will pump even more oxygen into the cell walls, and allow the mineral to distribute, and eliminate toxins daily. Similarly, keep the lymphatic system pumping, the skin regenerating, and the digestion burning with plant-rich meals. And though a high quality MSM supplement is an important part of a healthy modern diet, so is an abundance of plants, fruits and vegetables. Raw foods, all found in your typical Sakara lunch and dinner, have the highest concentration of organic sulfur. Up your MSM, and get ready to glow.