THE PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT MSM
DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR MSM COMES FROM, HOW IT IS MADE, AND HOW IT IS PURIFIED?
HAVE YOU EVER PURCHASED ANY OF THESE MSM TYPES:
“NATURAL” – “ORGANIC” – “PLANT DERIVED” – “SOURCED FROM TREES” – “FRESH FROM NATURE”?
If you take a brief look around health websites, you will see many descriptions of many different types of MSM, as well as warnings about other poor quality types. You will also see many claims made about purity, water content, heavy metals, organic, synthetic, petrol-based vs plant-based, and so on.
Many sites claim to sell whole, pure, organic, natural MSM, that has been directly sourced from plants & trees – and such sites often condemn others who sell “cheap and nasty” synthetic factory MSM, made with dangerous chemicals.
But is that really the case??
WHERE DOES MSM ACTUALLY COME FROM?
MSM is found in humans, animals, plants, and trees. However, contrary to what some would have you believe, it is not possible to “harvest” MSM directly from any organism. All MSM that is available to purchase, had to be made in a factory – using chemicals, high temperatures, then being purified at the end of the process.
SO ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MSM?
Fundamentally, MSM is simply C2H6O2S – MethylSulfonylMethane. Just as water is always H2O, and salt is NaCl (sodium chloride), MSM always has the exact same formula.
All MSM is made by mixing DMS (DiMethylSulfide) with Nitrogen Tetroxide to form DMSO (DiMethyl Sulfoxide). This in turn gets mixed with Hydrogen Peroxide. Any statements that imply some brands of MSM are naturally sourced, or were not synthesised in a lab are misleading and inaccurate!
SO IS ALL MSM THE SAME THEN?
Yes, and No...
Yes, there is only 1 “type” of MSM – however, the end product that you consume is not always the same, and there are 3 areas where MSM can vary:-
- All MSM is made from DMS – but DMS can be produced in 2 ways. The most common (also the cheapest, and least “natural”) is the petrochemical method, where natural gas is mixed with sulphur. The 2nd method method is to use a paper mill pulp fluid (called Black Liquor), made by chemically pulping trees. The Black Liquor is then mixed with sulphur, heated, and processed to give the DMS required. All DMS comes from one of these processes.
- Once the “raw” MSM solution is made, it then has to be purified. Again, there are 2 methods to do so – either Crystallisation, or Distillation. Crystallisation is very cheap, and therefore is the more common option – the MSM is washed in water, centrifuged, then crystallised – meaning that the end product has a higher water content (more susceptible to mould, and microbes) – and, more worryingly, the crystallisation process traps any impurities that were in the water, or still in the MSM. The 2nd option is Distillation, where heat is used to slowly remove all impurities from the MSM solution – and the distillation can be performed multiple times to get greater and greater levels of purity – and with an extremely low water content at the end.
- Finally, the end product can be altered by changing the particle size, and by adding “flow agents”. By adding other substances, the MSM can be made more “manageable”, easier to pour, and to prevent it from “clumping” together.
SO WHAT DOES THAT ALL MEAN FOR A REGULAR CONSUMER?
Both the petrochemical, and wood pulp methods give DMS, and after that, the same process is used to give the raw MSM solution – chemically, the MSM is the same.
Far more important is the next step – the purification! The solution starts with impurities which have to be removed – but distillation removes up to 5000x more heavy metal contaminants than crystallisation, and reduces water content to less than 0.1% (which gives you a massive 5 year shelflife)! Crystallisation also introduces impurities from the local water supply – something avoided by distillation.
Basically, whilst the MSM itself stays the same, when you buy cheaper products, you can also get additional “nasties” that come along with it.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Don't be mislead by advertising buzzwords like “organic”, “plant-sourced”, “naturally obtained from trees”, since they don't apply to MSM!
The only truly important question, is whether the MSM was purified by distillation, or the vastly inferior crystallisation.
We sell Bergstrom Nutrition's OptiMSM, which is made using the pulp method, then distilled 4 times for maximum purity, and super low water content.