The number of Americans who have some slight immunological issues is relatively high, though no concrete numbers exist for concerns that are difficult to diagnose and rarely reported. The primary causes stem from chronic inflammation and stress-related factors. Chronic inflammation can arise from environmental factors like toxins or lack of physical activity, and from dietary factors like high levels of sugar or toxins. Stress itself, whether physical or psychological, has an immunosuppressing effect and is ubiquitous in the fast-paced American culture.
MSM is being used to effectively benefit the immune system. MSM benefits chronic inflammation by reducing levels of inflammatory cytokines within the body and maintaining a proper inflammatory response, a benefit demonstrated through reduced symptoms associated seasonal allergic rhinitis. It supports glutathione levels, an internal antioxidant that is fundamental for healthy immune function, and prevents immunosuppression caused by exhaustive exercise, helping athletes stay healthy during training regimens.
Recent research has shown that MSM may benefit the immune systems of athletes by bolstering the immune response after exhaustive exercise – a time in which athletes are prone to decreased immune function. Exercise induces broad and non-specific inflammation, exhausting immune cells of their responsiveness and in some cases causing cell death. MSM is able to reduce the overresponse of immune cells and conserve their ability to properly respond when needed.