The benefits of MSM & vitamin C

by Hannah de Gruchy September 29, 2019

The Benefits of MSM and Vitamin C

A healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein is considered to be among the best diets for our health.

When our diet is deficient or we've gone through a tough period and require support, supplements are there to help.

MSM, or methylsulphonylmethane, is one such supplement, and when paired with vitamin C, can benefit our joint and skin health.

What is MSM?

Sulphur MSMMSM is a compound found naturally in certain foods like leafy green vegetables, tomatoes and tea.

In recent years, it has become a popular dietary supplement because it is a good source of sulphur, which the body needs to help keep levels of inflammation under control and support tissue health.

It’s this anti-inflammatory effect that makes MSM a good choice for those with arthritis and joint pain (Wong, 2019).

MSM and vitamin C for joint health

Elbows and knees joint healthStudies have shown that taking MSM supplements, with added vitamin C and collagen, can help improve the symptoms of arthritis, including pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints (Xu, 2015).

Researchers attribute this to its ability to reduce inflammation – arthritis is a type of chronic inflammatory disease. Reducing inflammation helps to reduce the symptoms associated with it, such as pain and difficulty on walking and using stairs.

Studies have also shown that MSM can reduce the breakdown of the spongy tissue within the joints called cartilage. Cartilage helps to protect the tips of the bones within our joints from the potential damage caused by constant movement and acts as a barrier between the bones (Ezaki, 2013).

As we age, our levels of cartilage naturally begin to decline, which is why many older adults begin to develop joint pain and arthritis.

Vitamin C also plays a role in joint health and is often added to MSM supplements. Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen, which in turn helps to produce cartilage.

MSM and vitamin C for skin health

Beautiful Healthy SkinCollagen is a protein that not only helps to protect our joints. It also forms a framework, like a biological scaffold, that our skin sits on. Sadly, as we age, we also begin to lose collagen. This results in the familiar sagging and wrinkling of the skin with age, as the scaffold begins to weaken.

Taking vitamin C supplements can help to keep collagen levels topped up and the skin plump. But not only that. The sulphur within MSM supplements is also beneficial for the skin and helps to treat the inflammation associated with acne and rosacea (Berry).

Another protein in the skin (and the hair and nails) is keratin. It helps to give the skin its structure. Keratin contains long chains of the amino acid cysteine which itself requires sulphur for strength.

The sulphur within MSM supplements can, therefore, help to boost the strength and structure of keratin within the skin, helping to reduce wrinkles and fine lines (Schagen, 2012.)

The suggested daily intake of MSM is up to 3 grammes daily, so if you’re concerned about joint health or ageing skin, this could be the supplement you’ve been looking for.

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Berry, J. (n.d.). Top MSM benefits for health. Retrieved from
Ezaki, J., Hashimoto, M., Hosokawa, Y., & Ishimi, Y. (2013, January). Assessment of safety and efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane on bone and knee joints in osteoarthritis animal model. Retrieved from
Schagen, S. K., Zampeli, V. A., Makrantonaki, E., & Zouboulis, C. C. (2012, July 1).
Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. Retrieved from
Wong, C. (2019, August 15). The Health Benefits of MSM. Retrieved from
Xu, G., Zhou, T., Gu, Y., Wang, Q., Shariff, M., Gu, P., … Rao, J. (2015, June). Evaluation of the Effect of Mega MSM on Improving Joint Function in Populations Experiencing Joint Degeneration. Retrieved from

Hannah de Gruchy
Hannah de Gruchy


Health and wellness author and biologist specialised in sustainability, nutrition and eco-living.

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