methylsulfonylmethane, sulfonyl sulfur, DMSO2
MSM is a compound found in many foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains and milk. MSM is a derivative of DMSO, a produt that could have anti-inflammatory properties. MSM is a source of sulphur. It appears to be involved in the production of immunoglobulins, which play a role in the preservation of the immune functions. It also appears to act as a catalyser of biochemical reactions in the body. Preliminary data suggest that this product may attenuate certain degenerative changes brought on by arthritis. The product can be taken orally or applied to the skin, even though we do not know if it's absorbed through the skin.
In 2004, Canada adopted new regulations that control the manufacturing, packaging, labeling and importing of natural health products. The new regulations also include an adverse reaction reporting system. Products that conform to the regulation's criteria are identified with a natural product number (NPN) and can be legally sold in Canada. This number indicates that the product meets specific criteria for safety and purity, not that it is effective for any indication.
Medicinal plant contents vary naturally from plant to plant - just as fruits from the same package may vary in taste and texture. There is no standard to measure the active content of each plant. Thus, efficacy of natural products should be expected to vary from brand to brand as well as from bottle to bottle of the same brand.
For more information about the Natural Health Products Regulations, or to check if a product has been assessed, visit the Health Canada website at www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/index-eng.php.
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