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Sulfur-Based Supplement May Fight Arthritis

TUESDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A naturally occurring sulfur compound decreased pain and improved physical function in patients with knee arthritis, researchers report.

Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM, has become a popular dietary supplement, but few studies have been conducted involving patients.

Researchers administered 3 grams of MSM twice a day to 25 arthritis sufferers in a randomized, double-blind trial for 12 weeks. The team consisted of doctors from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Ariz., and the Arthritis Health Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The patients taking MSM reported significant decreases in pain and improvements in their physical function, compared with a control group taking a placebo, the researchers said.

However, no notable differences were found in stiffness or aggregated total symptoms.

The findings were presented last week at the annual meeting of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians in Phoenix.

More information

The Arthritis Foundation has more about MSM.

-- Dennis Thompson

SOURCES: American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, news release, Aug. 24, 2005

Last Updated: Aug-30-2005
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