Is MSM Safe?
Many people wonder, "Is MSM safe?" Since it is a dietary supplement, it is not as closely regulated as prescription or over-the-counter medications. Keep in mind that MSM can be marketed without any proof that it is either safe or effective. Talk to your healthcare provider before using MSM products if you have any chronic or severe health problems, or have liver or kidney problems.
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) is a naturally occurring sulfur compound found in many foods and available as a dietary supplement. You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking MSM if you:
- Have any chronic or severe health problems
- Have any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding.
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of MSM include the following:
- If you have any chronic or severe health conditions, it is a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before taking MSM. In particular, people with liver or kidney problems should always check with their healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, since many medications and supplements are cleared from the body through the liver or kidneys.
- MSM is a dietary supplement and is, therefore, not as closely regulated as prescription (or non-prescription) drugs. Also, it can be marketed without any proof that it is either safe or effective. Do not assume that just because it is sold in the United States that it is automatically safe or effective. Also, look for MSM products from a reputable manufacturer.
- There have been reports that MSM can cause allergic reactions.
- It is not known if MSM supplements are safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women (see MSM and Pregnancy and MSM and Breastfeeding).