WHITE PLAINS, NY — June 4, 2001 — ConsumerLab.com, an independent evaluator of dietary supplements and nutrition products, today released results of its Product Review of MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) supplements, which are used primarily for reducing the pain associated with osteoarthritis — although there is little research to show that it is effective. MSM is chemically related to DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide), which was used until the 1960's for arthritis and other conditions. MSM, however, appears to be safer than DMSO and lack its unpleasant odor. MSM is sold both as a stand-alone product as well as with other ingredients, such as glucosamine and chondroitin in supplements for osteoarthritis. ConsumerLab.com purchased seventeen MSM-containing supplements and tested them for their MSM content and potential contamination with residual DMSO. Neither the FDA nor any other federal or state agency routinely tests MSM products, or other supplements, for quality prior to sale.
Fifteen of the seventeen MSM products purchased passed ConsumerLab.com's review. The two products that did not pass were found to contain 85% and 88% of their labeled amounts of MSM. One of these two products also had a small amount of residual DMSO. While probably not a health risk, small amounts of DMSO in MSM products indicate poor quality manufacturing.
Tod Cooperman, M.D, ConsumerLab.com's President commented, "The results for MSM are actually better than we have seen for most supplement categories. Generally, supplements involving high cost raw materials, such as chondroitin and SAMe, have fared worse, as have many herbals. Dr. Cooperman added, "It is interesting that one of the two MSM products that did not pass seemed to be made from good material — just not enough of it. High quality supplements are certainly achievable, but more attention to detail is needed by some manufacturers."
The complete list of MSM products that passed the review as well as ConsumerTips™ on buying and using MSM are now available to ConsumerLab.com's online subscribers at www.consumerlab.com. General findings and examples of approved products are also available for free from the Web site. Similar information is available from ConsumerLab.com from its Product Reviews of Asian and American ginseng, calcium, chondroitin, CoQ10, creatine, echinacea, ginkgo biloba, glucosamine, multivitamins/multiminerals, SAM-e, saw palmetto, St. John's wort, and vitamins C and E. Other Product Reviews scheduled for release this year include phytoestrogens, valerian, omega-3-fatty acids, iron and protein/energy bars. ConsumerLab.com's Buyer's Guide to Supplements is to be published in print early next year. To further assist consumers, ConsumerLab.com licenses its flask-shaped CL Seal of Approved Quality (see The CL Seal) to manufacturers for use on products that have passed its evaluations.
ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. The company is privately held and based in White Plains, New York. It has no ownership from or interest in companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. Subscription to Consumerlab.com's Product Reviews is available online. Parties interested in purchasing comprehensive Product Review Technical Reports, licensing content, or requesting testing of additional products may contact Lisa Sabin, Vice President for Business Development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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