Study confirms “MSM provides moderate evidence of efficacy for knee OA”

Arthritis Research & Therapy reviews 2,026 OA nutritional supplement studies and concludes that only three supplements including MSM are supported by good to moderate evidence.

VANCOUVER, Wash. USA, April 4, 2007—Researchers from the Nestle Research Center, Lausanne, Switzerland, Laurent G. Ameye and Winnie S.S. Chee, have concluded that of 2,026 human clinical trials evaluating the effects of nutritional compounds on osteoarthritis, only 53 studies provided minimum acceptable evidence and only three nutrients, including methylsulfonylmethane or MSM, showed good to moderate evidence. The research was published in Arthritis Research & Therapy, July 2006. The study did not include evidence for glucosamine or chondroitin sulfates, which are known to have significant research support.

Good evidence was found for avocado soybean unsaponifiables. Moderate evidence was found for methylsulfonylmethane and SKI306X, a cocktail of plant extracts. In regards to MSM, the research noted two randomized clinical trials, qualified to be evaluated in this systematic review. Kim LS, Axelrod LJ, Howard P, Buratovich N, Waters RF. Efficacy of methylsulfonyl-methane (MSM) in osteoarthritis pain of the knee: a pilot clinical trial, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 2006;14:286–94; Usha PR, Naidu MUR. Randomised, double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled study of oral glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane and their combination in osteoarthritis. Clin Drug Invest 2004; 24:353–63. According to the best-evidence synthesis, “MSM provides moderate evidence of efficacy for knee OA.”

The researchers concluded that “overall, scientific evidence exists for some specific nutritional interventions to provide symptom relief to osteoarthritic patients. It remains to be investigated whether nutritional compounds can have structure-modifying effects.” The full article is online at

A bibliography of MSM research is available at

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Contact: Leo MacLeod

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