MSM trials for osteoarthritis
In the first trial, 118 participants with osteoarthritis of the knee were randomly given one of the following treatments once a day for 12 weeks:
- 1.5 g glucosamine
- 1.5 g MSM capsules
- both glucosamine and MSM
- placebo capsules.
The trials found the following results:
- Participants given MSM or glucosamine showed a significant improvement in pain and joint swelling compared to participants who were given a placebo.
- The degree of pain reduction was similar in both groups, but glucosamine seemed to have a better effect in reducing joint swelling.
- The group who were given both glucosamine and MSM had the most significant reduction in both pain and swelling compared to the other three treatment groups.
- The combined treatment group had the best functional ability of joints at the end of the trial period.
- MSM was well tolerated with no significant side-effects reported.
In the second RCT, 50 participants with osteoarthritis-related knee pain were given either 6 g MSM capsules or placebo capsules for 12 weeks.
- Only 25% of participants taking MSM showed some improvement of pain and physical function compared to those who took the placebo.
- There was no difference in stiffness.
This trial has only been published as a conference summary so we don’t know about the quality. Sixty participants with knee osteoarthritis were randomised to take either 3.375 g MSM capsules or placebo capsules once a day for 12 weeks.
Participants who were on MSM showed improvement in pain and general functional well-being compared to those who took the placebo.
MSM didn’t have an effect on improving knee function (for example walking, climbing stairs).