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OptiMSM May Help Protect from Exercise-Induced Inflammation

January 31, 2017

Ingredient could aid the immune system and enhance the exercise recovery process.

A new study featuring OptiMSM, a branded form of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) from Bergstrom Nutrition, Vancouver, WA, was published in the 2016 Volume of the Journal of Sports Medicine titled “The Influence of Methylsulfonylmethane on Inflammation-Associated Cytokine Release before and following Strenuous Exercise.”

The study points to OptiMSM’s role in mitigating inflammation caused by excessive exercise, consequentially aiding the immune system and possibly enhancing the exercise recovery process. The full study can be viewed here.

Muscle damage caused by excessive bouts of strenuous training or exercise induces inflammation, which not only leads to discomfort and extended recovery time, but also exhausts and suppresses the immune system. Researchers assessed OptiMSM’s effect on exercise-induced inflammation by measuring inflammatory markers in study participants supplemented with either placebo or OptiMSM. The immune response was then evaluated by exposing blood samples, collected pre-and post-exercise, to the bacterial molecule lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Supplementing with OptiMSM resulted in lower levels of exercise-induced inflammation. It also resulted in a stronger response to LPS after exercise, indicating that OptiMSM protected against exercise-induced immune suppression. 

“The study suggests that MSM proactively reduces damage caused by excessive exercise, which in turn allows the body to mount a better immune response, leading us to believe in MSM’s antioxidant capabilities,” said Marie van der Merwe, PhD, assistant professor, University of Memphis and lead author of the study. “An immune system that isn’t overly taxed is better able to fight infection, whereas an overly stressed system cannot mount an appropriate response. MSM attenuates tissue inflammation, thereby reducing excessive tissue damage and preventing immune suppression.”

Many professional or enthusiastic athletes work themselves into such a state over the course of their training that they become sick and aren’t able to repair the induced muscle damage as quickly. But there is also good news for the average person.

“You don’t have to be a marathon runner or a bodybuilder to benefit from this news. MSM may help even the average person protect their immune systems,” said Richard Bloomer, PhD, professor and director, School of Health Studies, University of Memphis and co-author of the study. “While we used exercise as the stress inducer in our study, the body’s tissue can be placed under oxidative stress throughout the day even without exercise. For example, consuming fatty meals or breathing toxins increases oxidative stress and MSM can reduce this stress-induced inflammation, thereby maintaining immunity.”

“We’ve understood for a while that excessive exercise can dampen the immune system, but these results are pointing us toward believing that MSM might be a dietary ingredient that could be beneficial for overall immunity,” said Tim Hammond, vice president of sales and marketing, Bergstrom Nutrition.

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