MSM is made by adding oxygen atoms to a chemical called DMSO.
Despite what you may read on some websites, ALL DMSO comes from industrial chemical processes, either mineral hydrocarbon processing or paper processing.
DMSO is not extracted from pine trees. Wood pulping (a chemical rather than purely mechanical process despite it's name) removes unwanted constituents (like lignin) from wood chips using sodium hydroxide and sodium sulphate. The waste from the wood pulping process is called black liquor, which is traditionally used as fuel by the paper mills.
Both black Liquor and mineral hydrocarbons can be refined to produce DMSO. Wherever the DMSO comes from, it is oxidised to produce MSM. MSM is generally distilled and therefore very pure so it is impossible to establish which chemical process the original source of the methyl content of MSM comes from (except possibly carbon dating).
MSM is a naturally occurring substance in foods, it is found in raw fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. MSM contains sulphur, and sulphur is known to be one of the basic elements of life, the 4th most abundant mineral in the body. Sulphur is active in maintaining the correct balance of acid / alkaline in the body. It is vital to the creation and regeneration of the bodys tissues, and is found in every cell. One of the essential components in all life forms, Sulphur is involved in amino acid production, connective tissue, skin, hair, nails, enzymes, hormones, and immunoglobulins. It is held in the muscles, skin, bones, nails and hair. When this mineral becomes deficient a number of symptoms can occur. A deficiency in sulphur can cause slow growth, fatigue, inefficiency in the body to deal with potential allergens, weak joints and connective tissue, poor immune response.Dr. Stanley Jacobs, M.D. Director of the DMSO Clinic and Professor of Surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University, has conducted clinical studies on MSM dietary supplements and used it with his patients for over 20 years and has documented his findings in the book entitled "The Miracle of MSM". In the book Dr. Stanley Jacobs lists MSM's most significant actions.
MSM is an analgesic (pain controller),
MSM brings relief from inflammation,
MSM dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow,
MSM blocks the action of cholinesterase, thereby helping to restore normal bowel activity,
MSM reduces muscle spasms,
MSM alters the cross linking process in collagen, therefore reducing scar tissue,
MSM has anti parasitic properties (particularly for giardia),
MSM has an immune normalizing effect, as observed in some autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and scleroderma.
MSM helps the body respond to allergens, and recover from allergies.
Dr. Jacobs lists the following as the most frequent health conditions responding to MSM
Chronic back pain Muscle pain
Tendonitis and bursitis
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Post-traumatic pain and inflammation
Connective tissue and joint flexibility
Circulation Cell vitality
Carpal tunnel syndrome