Dr. Stanley Jacob and Dr. Robert Herschler, chemists with the pulp and paper plant Crown Zellerbach Corporation, were asked to find a use for lignin, one of the primary waste products of the plant. Oxidation of lignin in a reactor was shown to result in the formation of DMSO (Dimethylsulfoxide), a natural, organic form of sulfur. Oxidation of DMSO was found to produce MSM, a much more stable, organic sulfur compound with medicinal properties.
MSM is found in protein-rich foods such as eggs, meat, poultry, fish, and legumes. Other good sources include garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, kale, and wheat germ. It enhances the activity of cortisol, a natural anti-inflammatory hormone produced by the body. MSM improves the permeability of cell membranes, which improves the uptake of nutrients and many vitamins and the elimination of waste products and excess cellular fluids. MSM dilates blood vessels, enhancing the blood circulation which also helps to eliminate waste products from the body and speeds up healing. MSM is a muscle relaxant. This is an important and often overlooked benefit of MSM.