Bergstrom Nutrition, producer of OptiMSM®—the world’s only GRAS-designated proprietary and patented MSM (methylsulfonylmethane)—has released further details regarding the product’s possible role in nutricosmetic applications. Traditionally used to help reduce joint pain and inflammation, OptiMSM has most recently been touted with supporting the structural integrity of the skin and possibly down-regulating the damaging effects of ultra violet–induced oxidative stress.
The most visible effect of aging occurs when there is a decline in healthy collagen, a type of connective tissue that gives the skin its strength. The stronger the connective tissue, the more nutrients reach the skin, giving it a youthful appearance. Wrinkles—or structural deterioration within skin’s connective tissue—are caused by progressive cross-linking, or “hardening” of protein within collagen fibers.
“MSM is 34 percent sulfur which has been a long-valued ingredient in dermatology. Sulfur is important for supporting disulfide bonds between collagen fibrils helping to preserve the pliancy of our skin,” said Rodney Benjamin, technical director for Bergstrom Nutrition. “If healthy collagen levels are maintained the appearance of wrinkles in the skin can lessen.”
Another important factor for healthy skin is glutathione, a molecule that maintains defenses against oxidative stress induced by ultra violet rays (UVR). Similar to intense exercise that creates oxidative stress and a decrease in glutathione levels, the skin also experiences an influx of oxidative stress when exposed to UVR and other environmental factors.
“Our good friend sulfur comes into play again,” said Benjamin. “Because MSM may be a source of bioavailable sulfur and methyl groups, it has been shown to effectively prevent glutathione depletion during activity and increase plasma glutathione levels post exercise.”
Researchers concluded OptiMSM protected skin from UVR damage by removing damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and suppressing skin inflammation. It is proposed that MSM’s anti-inflammatory effect may be due to its ability to inhibit pro-inflammatory intermediates that further damage skin homeostasis and accelerate deterioration.