MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), an organic compound that contains sulfur, and is present in trace amounts in many foods and drinks. It has a vitamin-like normalizing influence on body functions.
Sulfur is essential to the health of the skin and connective tissues. It is necessary for the formation of amino acids and blood proteins. It is also essential for the promotion of cell regeneration, and maintenance of membrane flexibility.
The bad news is, MSM is unstable and can be destroyed easily (e.g. by cooking). It is also water soluble and can evaporate rapidly.
A lower than normal level of Methylsulfonylmethane in the body can cause various health problems. Some such problems include fatigue, malfunctioning of organs, as well as stress (both physiologically and mentally).
Although sulfur is present in all cells of the body, the concentration of MSM in the body begins to decrease with age.
What happens if a dog doesn’t have enough MSM in the body?
It will result in some health problems such as:
- Joint pain
- Dull fur and skin problems
- Brittle nails
- Poor gastrointestinal system
- A generally weak immune system
MSM for Dogs – What are the Benefits?
Research and studies have found quite a few benefits of MSM for dogs. For example:
Joint Pain Relief
The main benefit of MSM for dogs is its anti-inflammatory properties, making MSM very effective in pain relief.
MSM works by improving the flexibility and permeability of cell walls. As a result, fluids can pass through tissue cells more easily. This can relieve pressure and pain caused by swollen and inflamed cells.
Dogs with osteoarthritis or other joint issues (e.g. hip dysplasia) can benefit greatly from the anti-inflammatory properties of MSM to relieve joint pain.
In fact, many vets now routinely use MSM as one of the canine joint supplements to prevent arthritis in dogs. They also use MSM to help control arthritis symptoms, such as joint pain and inflammation in dogs.
Besides being anti-inflammatory, MSM also has anti-oxidative properties. It means MSM is effective in removing toxins and free radicals from the body.
This is how it works.
MSM makes skin cells more permeable because of two reasons:
- It improves the permeability of cell walls, and
- High concentrations of MSM are stored in skin cells.
Because of the above two reasons, toxins can be more easily eliminated through the skin thanks to MSM. By removing toxins through the skin, the body is able to reduce the burden on the liver and the kidneys for removal of toxins from the body.
Improves Allergy Symptoms
MSM can also be used on dogs (and on people) with allergies because it helps remove allergens (a kind of toxin) from the body quickly.
Improves Skin Quality
Studies have found that MSM can improve skin quality and texture and, when used topically, can help heal burn sites on the body.
Ongoing research is being done to see if MSM can help prevent some forms of cancer. Initial results are promising. They show that MSM, due to its anti-oxidative properties, may help induce early cell death in some cancer cells.
Dosage and Safety
Dosage depends on the size of the dog. As a general rule of thumb, give around 50 and no more than 100 mg per 10 pounds of the dog’s body weight.
MSM is found to be safe for use on dogs. However, since MSM is a nutraceutical, it is not regulated by the FDA and there are supplements of MSM that differ a lot in terms of cost and quality. Choose carefully and find a product manufactured by a trusted company.