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Select Supplement Article
Commonly found in topical creams and ointments, DMSO can help to reduce pain and inflammation and also prevent the symptoms of interstitial cystitis ...

Dimethyl sufoxide (DMSO) is an organic sulfur-containing molecule that can dissolve polar and non-polar molecules. This means that DMSO can dissolve both fat-based and water-based substances, making it easily absorbable in the human body.  It is commonly used to reduce pain and speed healing in the body. Natural health practitioners commonly recommend DMSO for the treatment of: Interstitial Cystitis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and painful skin conditions like Shingles, bunions, and scleroderma.

In the human body DMSO is naturally converted to MSM.  It is still unclear if this is the cause of its beneficial anti-inflammatory and pain-killing effects.  Some practitioners will recommend using MSM instead of DMSO, although there is no research comparing the two.  For more information, please see our MSM article.

Interstitial Cystitis
Supplementation with DMSO has been shown to help treat bladder infections and interstitial cystitis, and it is approved by the FDA for use in these conditions.  Often it will be directly delivered to the bladder by using a flexible catheter and allowed to sit for 15 minutes before being expelled with the urine.  This helps to reduce inflammation and reduce the bladder contractions that cause urgency and increased frequency.  It also penetrates the bladder wall and blocks the nerves that transmit bladder pain.  Orally supplemented DMSO may not have the same degree of benefit in these cases.

Topical Use
Because of its ability to easily mix with both fat and water, DMSO can travel through our skin and body cells very easily.  The presence of DMSO in the body can create a “garlic taste” in the mouth.  In fact, contact of DMSO with the skin can result in a garlic-like taste in the mouth because of its incredibly fast dispersion in the body.  Most often it is applied topically to help reduce local nerve pain in conditions such as arthritis, shingles, bunions, and scleroderma.  Sometimes DMSO is prescribed to help reduce the side effects of cancer treatment as well.

How can I get DMSO?

DMSO does not naturally occur in food, and is a byproduct in wood and paper processing.  Supplemental DMSO can be taken by mouth, used topically in creams or ointments, or given intravenously.  Because of its ease of absorption through the skin, it is most commonly found in topical solutions. It may be alone or in combinations for the treatment of pain, inflammation, and arthritis.  When using DMSO creams, be sure to monitor the other ingredients, as it can easily carry impurities along with beneficial ingredients across the skin barrier.  The percentage of DMSO contained in the cream can vary anywhere from 25% - 90%, so choose your supplement according to your needs.

Nutritional Information
dmso – quick facts
parts used · supplemental dmso.
applications· pain, inflammation, osteoarthritis, interstitial cystitis
optimum dosage · apply topically as needed to the affected area. (clinical doses may be higher as recommended by your practitioner.
works well with· glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, collagen type ii
important information

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· the safety of dmso in pregnancy and breastfeeding has not yet been established.

· those with liver or kidney conditions should use caution when using dmso.

· dmso may affect blood sugar levels in those suffering from insulin-dependent diabetes.

· dmso can change the absorption of other medications that you are taking, be sure to ask your healthcare practitioner if it is safe for use in your case.
· dmso supplementation can cause dry skin, headache, dizziness, digestive upset, and allergic reactions in some people. if these symptoms occur, discontinue use.
all articles copyright of national nutrition 2001-2012. for informational purposes only. please consult your health care practitioner before taking natural health care products. click here for full disclaimer.

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