MSM vs Glucosamine: What's the difference?

by Abhishek Chauhan

Did you know that, in the U.S., arthritis is the most common cause of disability?  This is one of the reasons why arthritis treatment options like MSM or Glucosamine are popular. Glucosamine with MSM is taken in the form of supplements to tackle the most common symptoms of arthritis, pain and swelling. These two compounds are available separately too, leading to confusion about how they work for the body individually and in combination.

MSM vs Glucosamine

To understand which will work for you and to learn why the two are often combined, it helps to see each individually and understand the differences. 

MSM or Methylsufonylmethane

This is a sulfur compound that is found in nature in both animal and plant sources. Sulfur is essential for our body. It plays a key role in the maintenance and repair of tissues, cell, hair, skin and nails. Apart from this, sulfur is also essential for good joint health. It helps the body synthesize the spongy tissue called collagen that cushions the joints.  

MSM, with its 34% sulfur content, is a great way to help the body work at its peak efficiency when it is deficient in sulfur. While many plant based foods are sulfur rich, the chemical is destroyed when the food is processed. We may be running short of this essential component despite taking sulfur rich foods. In such cases, taking MSM in supplement form helps immensely. 

These are the ways in which MSM helps:

  • Inhibits inflammation that is seen in painful joints
  • Has anti-oxidant properties that help the body recover from oxidative stress
  • Improves joint function and helps reduce stiffness
  • Accelerates recovery 
  • Subdues pain 

Glucosamine

When we compare the benefits of glucosamine with MSM, we see many similarities. Both offer significant pain relief in arthritic conditions. Glucosamine is a key component in the cartilage that cushions our joints and it plays an important role by: 

  • Helping build as well as maintain cartilage
  • Helping in absorption of the fluid that surrounds joints
  • Supporting long term joint health by ensuring proper cushioning and reducing bone wear and tear 
  • Aiding in production of glycosaminoglycans which are building blocks for collagen and bone matrix
  • Maintaining the thickness of synovial fluids between joints

As we age, the glucosamine levels in your body drop. With this, the ability of the body to repair and maintain bone and joint in good condition also drops. Slowly, the bones in the joints begin to rub against each other when we move or flex the joint. This results in pain, swelling and stiffness. Replenishing the body’s glucosamine levels with supplements is a good way to tackle this issue. 

Also Read: How Do Your Joints Benefit From Exercise?

The benefits of Glucosamine with MSM for joint ailments

As you can see, glucosamine with MSM are both effective treatment options to deal with the symptoms of arthritis. However, in many supplements you will see them together. This is done to ensure that the benefits of both are delivered to the user.  

Combining glucosamine with MSM yields better effect for the common complaints that arthritic patients experience, mainly, joint pain. In a study involving 147 patients, a comparison was made between glucosamine- chondroitin effectiveness and that when combined with MSM. The results showed that the patients who received the MSM combination felt greater relief in knee pain.   

However, one point of difference does exist in the MSM vs glucosamine comparison. MSM is typically used more than glucosamine for muscle recovery. It is seen that MSM addresses the soreness that comes after a long winded or strenuous exercise session. It helps the body repair muscle that is worn out by exercise, tackles the post- workout pain and helps us resume our fitness regimen quickly. 

A supplement that combines both 

The use of glucosamine with MSM is popular for joint pain, joint swelling and stiffness and supplements that have the right combination of these are the ones that are most effective. Physio Flex Pro is one such that has been recommended and prescribed by physiotherapists to their patients. 

Physio Flex Pro comes with MSM and Glucosamine in a high- grade ingredient supplement form, with no additives that can dilute its effect. The supplement is produced in world class facilities that have FDA approval and comes backed with a 60- day money back guarantee that testifies to its effectiveness. If you are looking for a supplement combining MSM and glucosamine for muscle recovery, joint pain, stiffness and inflammation, look no further than Physio Flex Pro.