MSM for Arthritis: Miracle Pill or Snake Oil?
drugs and they do have side effects and haven't been put to the test the way
conventional pharmaceuticals have," he says. "There are a lot of good,
new classes of arthritis drugs that work very well and have been
problem with MSM and other supplements is that "they are not inexpensive,
and patients spend a lot of money on unproven alternative therapies and then
they don't want to spend money on prescription medications," Pisetsky
When it comes
to MSM and all supplements, buyer beware, Gilbert Ross, MD, tells WebMD. Ross
is medical director for the American Council On Science and Health, a nonprofit
consumer education group in New York City.
"Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and as
such, you can never be sure what it is you are getting," he
About 2.5 million
people suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, a disease characterized by the
inflammation of the membrane that lines the joint, causing pain, warmth,
redness, and swelling.
In a small study and
in anecdotal reports, the supplement MSM, methyl sulfonylmethane, has been
shown to be effective against rheumatoid arthritis.
The safety and
long-term benefits of the drug have not yet been determined, so some physicians
warn patients to exercise caution in using MSM.