Methylsulfonylmethane as an antioxidant and its use in pathology


Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring organosulfur antioxidant. Based on its small size and unique physicochemical properties, MSM exhibits broad tissue distribution and pleiotropic effects. Animal toxicity studies suggest MSM is safe and nontoxic. Though the antioxidant mechanism is presently unclear, MSM has demonstrated the ability to protect against the activities of superoxide dismutase, catalase, and myeloperoxidase while also altering glutathione levels in numerous tissues. Through the modulation of antioxidant enzyme activities and redox hub cycling, MSM impacts cellular and tissue redox status, which can metabolically reprogram cells through redox-sensitive transcription factors. Alternatively, MSM may also affect membrane properties, specifically of mitochondria, thereby affecting reactive oxygen species production. By altering antioxidant potentials in various tissues including the brain, MSM may demonstrate unique immune modulatory properties that could prove useful to various pathological states.

Publication Title

Pathology: Oxidative Stress and Dietary Antioxidants