Branded MSM Reduces Muscle Soreness

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WholeFoods Magazine Staff
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Vancouver, WA—A proof of concept study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests a branded form of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM, as OptiMSM from Bergstrom Nutrition, based here) may be beneficial for recovery after exercise.

This ingredient, well known in the joint health category, has known anti-inflammation properties. Either 1.5 or 3.0 grams of the branded MSM daily was given to eight healthy men who exercised at least 150 minutes per week. Everyone took the supplement for one month, which included 28 days before and two days after an exercise regiment that involved 18 sets of 10 knee extensions. Before and after exercise, the men’s muscle soreness, fatigue, homocysteine levels and antioxidant status (glutathionine and trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity [TEAC]) were analyzed.

Overall, those taking 3.0 grams had less muscle soreness than those taking 1.5 grams; fatigue was slightly reduced. Of note, TEAC rose significantly after exercise and homocysteine declined.

According to Rodney Benjamin, director of technical development, finding from previous studies indicated MSM reduced lactic acid production, and thus muscle soreness. But this study is unique, he believes, because it looked at muscle tissue, not just connective tissue. In addition, “It caused a dose-dependent decrease in pain. The higher dose resulted in decreased pain.” In addition, the present study is the first to connect MSM with an increase in TEAC. This is significant, says Benjamin, because “if you increase antioxidant activity, you protect against antioxidant stress and protect against oxidative stress.”

Based on these results, the ingredient supplier feels there could be new opportunities for OptiMSM. Stated Tim Hammond, director of sales and strategic relations for Bergstrom Nutrition, “OptiMSM has been known in the joint health category, typically for mature clients. But, there’s also benefit for younger customers that may enjoy recreational activity or even athletes or weekend warriors. We think we can introduce a well-known and respected ingredient into a new category.”

Hammond added that his company partnered with Glanbia on prototype for an OptiMSM protein powder mix-in and gels in the sports nutrition category.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, January 2013 (online 11/26/12)