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Effects of MSM Consuption on HDL levels

Effects of MSM Consuption on HDL levels

The Effect of Daily Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) Consumption on High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Healthy Overweight and Obese Adults


A Randomized Controlled Trial



Interventions to decrease inflammation and improve metabolic function hold promise for the prevention of obesity-related diseases.


Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a naturally occurring compound that demonstrates antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.


Improvements in measures of metabolic health have been observed in mouse models of obesity and diabetes following MSM treatment. However, the effects of MSM on obesity-related diseases in humans have not been investigated.


Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to determine whether MSM supplementation improves cardiometabolic health, and markers of inflammation and oxidative status.


A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design was utilized with a total of 22 overweight or obese adults completing the study. Participants received either a placebo (white rice flour) or 3 g MSM daily for 16 weeks.


Measurements occurred at baseline and after 4, 8, and 16 weeks. Outcome measures included fasting glucose, insulin, blood lipids, blood pressure, body composition, metabolic rate, and markers of inflammation and oxidative status.


The primary finding of this work shows that high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was elevated at 8 and 16 weeks of daily MSM consumption compared to baseline, (p = 0.008, p = 0.013). Our findings indicate that MSM supplementation may improve the cholesterol profile by resulting in higher levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.


More than seventy percent of the adult population aged 20 and over is classified as overweight or obese in the United States. Overweight and obesity are associated with chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, which contribute to metabolic dysfunction and various pathologies including type 2 diabetes, cardiac fibrosis, and cardiovascular disease (CVD), referred to collectively as cardiometabolic disease.


Although overweight or obesity alone is a risk factor for cardiometabolic diseases, the presence of metabolic dysfunction, known as metabolically unhealthy overweight/obesity, further increases the risk for the development of CVD and type 2 diabetes compared to individuals with metabolically healthy overweight/obesity.


Although the precise definition of ‘metabolically unhealthy’ has varied in the literature, the most common definition is based upon the presence of the metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is defined by the International Diabetes Federation as the presence of three or more of the following risk factors: central obesity measured by elevated waist circumference based upon population and country-specific definitions, raised triglycerides (150 mg/dL), reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (<40 mg/dL in males and <50 mg/dL in females) or receiving medications for previously diagnosed dyslipidemia, raised blood pressure (systolic 130 mmHg or diastolic 85 mmHg) or treatment for previously diagnosed hypertension, and raised fasting plasma glucose ≥100 mg/dL) or previously diagnosed type 2 diabetes.


Weight loss programs are often considered the first intervention to improve health outcomes in overweight or obese individuals; however, many programs are unsuccessful, or weight loss is unable to be maintained.


Therefore, additional strategies to improve the inflammatory status and metabolic profile, i.e., a shift from metabolically unhealthy to metabolically healthy overweight/obesity, are of the utmost importance for reducing disease development and mortality in obese individuals.


Recent reports have demonstrated methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a common dietary supplement, has anti-inflammatory effects both in vitro and in vivo. We have recently found that MSM decreases responsiveness to pro-inflammatory stimuli in a model of human cardiac cells, specifically by decreasing the transcript and protein expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6).


Chronic elevation of IL-6 is associated with decreased insulin sensitivity and the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, MSM improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in mouse models of obesity and type 2 diabetes.


Overall, evidence supports that MSM would have a beneficial effect on obesity-related diseases. However, the effects of MSM on cardiometabolic health and disease risk profiles in humans remained unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that MSM consumption would positively impact markers of metabolic health, inflammation, oxidative status, and cardiac fibrosis in individuals with overweight or obesity.


The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of MSM on markers of cardiometabolic health.


Our major finding is that daily MSM consumption resulted in an improvement in HDL levels at 16 weeks compared to baseline. Additionally, CRP levels were lower in the group receiving MSM compared to the placebo group at 16 weeks, although this was due to increased CRP levels in the placebo group.


Strengths of the study include the utilization of a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled design and quantification of MSM levels in serum. However, the small sample size limits interpretation.


More studies utilizing larger participant numbers and a cross-over study design are warranted to further characterize the effects of MSM on inflammation, oxidative stress, and cardiac fibrosis in humans.


In conclusion, oral supplementation with MSM may offer cardiometabolic benefits through increased HDL cholesterol.


Animal models suggest that MSM may also improve insulin sensitivity and glucose regulation. The lack of supportive evidence in the present study should be interpreted with caution due to the lack of a cross-over study design and homogeneity among our participant population (i.e., normal vs. high fasting blood glucose levels) and the relatively small sample size. Future work is needed to determine the full benefits of MSM on cardiometabolic health.








Story Source:

The Effect of Daily Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) Consumption on High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol in Healthy Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Citation: Miller, L.; Thompson,K.; Pavlenco, C.; Mettu, V.S.; Haverkamp, H.; Skaufel, S.; Basit, A.; Prasad, B.; Larsen, J. Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3620; Published: 15 October 2021

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