The Arthritis Solution for Dogs

by Shawn Messonnier, D.V.M.

(The following is quoted from Dr. Messonier's book in "The Natural Vet Series" of books published by Prima Pet.)

MSM

Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM for short, is a natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It is a stable metabolite of DMSO (dimethylsulfoxide). MSM supplies sulfur to the body, which can be used for the treatment of a variety of disorders including osteoarthritis, allergies, and digestive disorders. For example, sulfur is an essential chemical needed for the synthesis of cartilage, which may explain its use in the treatment of arthritis.

MSM is found naturally in a variety of foods including meat, fish, eggs, poultry, milk, and to a lesser amount, in vegetables, legumes, and fruits. Because of mineral depletion in soil and because MSM is lost during the storage and preparation of food, some concern exists that dietary sources may not provide enough sulfur to our pets. Additionally, the amount of MSM in the body decreases with age, indicating a possible need for this compound in older pets.

In arthritic cartilage, the concentration of sulfur is about one-third the level found in normal cartilage. MSM may help treat arthritis via an anti-inflammatory benefit and by providing sulfur used by the cartilage in the healing process.

Studies in people and animals showed improved joint flexibility, reduced stiffness and swelling, and reduced pain. Animals with rheumatoid arthritis that were given MSM showed no cartilage degeneration.

MSM is very safe and may help treat arthritis via an anti-inflammatory benefit and by providing sulfur used by the cartilage in the healing process.

MSM is considered very safe, although extreme overdoses can make animals ill. No long-term side effects were seen when human volunteers were given MSM for up to 6 months.

While MSM may be of benefit to pets, more research is needed to determine the optimum dosage and treatment schedule."

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