FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is BuySAFE, and do I need it?
BuySAFE is an independent third party that acts as a recommendation that we are who we say we are and that we do business the way we say we do. The seal that they provide may be enough for those of you that are new to us, to help you feel comfortable doing business with us. For those that need even more assurance that your order will be processed and delivered in a timely manner, you can opt to click on the button to purchase a bond as insurance that you will receive what you are paying for. By no means is this bond required--your order will be processed in the same timely fashion whether you purchase it or not. So it's totally up to you, and the comfort level you have in dealing with us.
What is MSM?
MSM is a natural organic sulfur compound. It occurs naturally in the foods we eat, but often disappears or is significantly depleted because of the processing done to our foods.
How much is your shipping cost?
The shipping cost for orders within the US is a flat $7.50 for orders under $150.00. It is free for orders of $150.00 and more. We choose which method to ship depending on price, usually between UPS Ground and USPS Priority Mail, but we may also use USPS Parcel Post. If you prefer to choose the method of shipping, then the cost is the actual UPS cost for the weight of the package, or the actual USPS cost plus $2.00 insurance for the weight of the package. For orders outside of the US, we charge what USPS Express Mail International charges for the actual shipping weight including packaging plus $2.00 US to cover the extra paperwork of international shipments. In most cases, the most cost-effective orders for international shipments are in the 5 to 10 pound range because the price for the first pound is fairly high, but is more reasonable for each additional pound. In all cases, US or international, your shipping cost will show up after you enter your shipping address on the next page that appears after that, which is a verification page. The verification page must be submitted once you are sure that everything was entered correctly. We do not see any of the order or your personal information if you do not submit the verification page.
If MSM is a sulfur compound, can I take it if I'm allergic to sulfa drugs?
Sulfa drugs are a different family of products. No one has been verified to be allergic to MSM. Also, since MSM is necessary for life the same as water is, it would be like being allergic to water, which of course no one is.
What is this organic sulfur that I have heard or read about?
Organic sulfur is a marketing term for MSM. Organic refers to the chemical definition of an organic molecule meaning a molecule that contains carbon. Since MSM has carbon and sulfur, it can be referred to as organic sulfur. But it is the exact same substance. The MSM molecule is made up of sulfur, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Even the purest MSM or organic sulfur can contain no more than about 34% of elemental sulfur due to these other components. Our MSM is the purest available and does not contain any fillers or flow agents at all. Most vendors marketing organic sulfur are in fact selling Lignisul granular MSM, the same exact item that we carry. Some of these vendors obtain their MSM directly from us before reselling it as organic sulfur. We prefer to market our product accurately as MSM so that we do not appear to mislead our customers in any way. Note that there are also other names for MSM including methylsulfonylmethane, DMSO2, dimethylsulfone, and organic sulfur. All of those terms are the exact same substance and refer to MSM.
How much MSM do I take?
We always recommend starting at a low level of between 500 and 1000 mg (eighth to a quarter teaspoon) per day. Stay at that level for about a week and then add another 500 to 1000 mg per day and stay at that level for a week. Continue in the same way for several weeks never adding more than 2000 mg (half teaspoon) at one time, until you are taking between 6 and 8 teaspoons per day. This high level makes up for the years of deficiency that your body has experienced. Then reduce the amount to a maintenance level for whatever works for you. This is a balance between addressing what you want to address and being able to sleep as well as you would like at night. For most people the maintenance level is between 1 and 2 teaspoons (4000 to 8000 mg) per day. Always drink LOTS of water when starting on MSM or when increasing the amount you are taking.
How many milligrams of MSM are in a teaspoon?
There are about 4000 mg (or 4 grams) of MSM in a measured level teaspoon.
I've heard about patented MSM. Is yours patented? What are these patents?
The patent issue is currently a hot topic as one manufacturer (Bergstrom Nutrition) pays royalties to MSM Investments Company, LLC which is the current patent holder, and the other (Fine Nutraceuticals) does not, claiming that the existing patents have either expired or are invalid (and won a court case in August 2001 in that regard). Note that neither manufacturer is the patent holder. A list of the patents and their full text is here.
What is detox?
MSM enables your cells and tissues to release toxins that have built up over the years. Apparently sulfur is a vital part of our waste management system, and if we have not had enough of it our bodies were not able to release some of the waste substances. If you take too much MSM, your body will release too much waste at one time for your kidneys and liver to handle. This waste in your blood stream can cause all kinds of problems ranging from flu-like symptoms to re-experiencing the effects of drugs that you have taken in the past. For example, heavy caffiene users may feel extra-jittery. The key to reducing or eliminating detox symptoms is to start on MSM slowly so that the waste in your tissues is released slowly and to drink lots of water so that the released toxins will be flushed out of your body quickly.
What do I do if detox symptoms happen anyway?
If the symptoms are not bad, you may just want to tough it out. They should go away in a few days. Be sure to increase your water intake--for most people this would be double the amount of water that they normally drink. If the symptoms are severe, cut back on the MSM and take baths with water hot enough to make you sweat, but not so hot that you might pass out. Limit the baths to 20 minutes in length. You may find it helpful to add ONE of the following to the bath water and perhaps alternating between these items for different baths: a cup of vinegar, a cup of baking soda, a cup of epsom salts, a half cup of chlorine bleach. These substances each help leach out diffent toxins through your skin.
Is MSM the same as DMSO?
Although they are related, MSM has one more oxygen atom than DMSO does and that difference makes it a significantly different substance. Another example of a difference of adding an oxygen atom can be seen by comparing carbon monoxide (a deadly gas) with carbon dioxide (a relatively harmless gas).
Where does your MSM come from?
MSM used to be made in two different ways ending up with the exact same end product, namely MSM. Click here for a detailed description of the two MSM manufacturing processes. While it used to be in past years that quite a bit of MSM was lignin-based (from trees), this is no longer the case with virtually all MSM being made today using a petro base. At least one Canadian company claims theirs is still lignin-based but when tested in 2008 was found to be petro-based instead. They claim to have made changes to insure it is lignin-based now but have failed to supply new tests that prove it to be so. Even so, the only difference between lignin-based and petro-based MSM is the age of the carbon atom within the chemical structure with lignin-based using younger carbon than petro-based. And what with their so-called lignin-based product costing nearly three times the amount of our US-made petro-based products, I guess it's up to you where to put your trust in your supplement purchases. We have personally used MSM since it was US-made lignin-based MSM and now use the US-made petro-based MSM and we have not noticed any difference at all in taste or effectiveness. Our only caveat if you are considering purchasing from one of these vendors would be to ask them for proof of their lignin-based source, namely where the DMSO is sourced from. If they are able to supply you with some form of certification that is dated this year that proves their source is lignin-based, we would be interested in seeing that proof. Our guess is that they will not be able to supply you with any such proof of a lignin source, and that you should save your money and purchase one of our MSM products.
What brand is your MSM?
We offer MSM made by BOTH of the major US MSM manufacturers. Any price differences between the two brands reflects the difference we pay each of the suppliers. For more information about the two brands of MSM, click here. Use your "back" button to come back to the FAQ page.
I have arthritis. What works?
In The Miracle of MSM - The Natural Solution for Pain, the doctors that wrote the book used MSM in their medical practices for arthritis patients. They found that when MSM was combined with 1500 mg of glucosamine each day that it provided more pain relief than either the MSM or glucosamine alone. They did not find that chondroitin provided substantially any more relief. However, a recent article in a popular consumer magazine cited several studies where both glucosamine and chondroitin were found to provide substantial benefits when used alone. There is currently a major study being conducted to see if both glucosamine and chondroitin combined provide more benefit than either one alone. One of the glucosamine studies found measurable differences in the x-rays between the glucosamine group and the control (non-glucosamine) group which provides much more subjective evidence that glucosamine produces substantial benefits to those taking it. Again, remember that in clinical use it was found that MSM and glucosamine used together provided the most relief.
What is glucosamine?
Glucosamine is an amino acid that is used in the formation of cartilage. It can only be obtained in a combined salt form such as glucosamine hydrochloride or glucosamine sulfate. Glucosamine is usually derived from crab shells. Although no one has been identified as being allergic to glucosamine, those that are allergic to shellfish should use caution.
What is chondroitin?
Chondroitin is a carbohydrate found in cartilage. It is usually derived from cow cartilage although there are other sources that use shark, chicken, or pig cartilage. It is also available only in a combined salt form as in chondroitin sulphate.
What is Ester-C?
Ester-C is a non-acidic time-release form of Vitamin C that has more bio-availability than regular ascorbic acid. It is more expensive than regular Vitamin C, but has more benefits. Beside having no acid and being time-release, you also get some dietary calcium from it.
Why is Vitamin C suggested when using MSM?
MSM promotes healing and healing involves forming new cells. Vitamin C is a required raw material in forming healthy new cells. Yes, other raw materials are also required and each of us should be eating properly or taking the proper supplements. A recent study found that at least a quarter of us are deficient in Vitamin C to start with. While this deficiency is not enough to cause scurvy, it did cause several other problems including weak immune systems and fatigue. If we are already deficient in Vitamin C and we need more when we are healing, then most of us need to supplement with more Vitamin C.
How much Vitamin C should I take?
We recommend taking 1000 mg for each teaspoon (4000 mg) of MSM taken up to a maximum of 3000 mg of Vitamin C daily.
When will I receive my order?
Although we ship all in-stock orders (not special orders) the next business day (Monday through Friday, except holidays), your order may take up to a week after that to get to you depending on how far away from Arizona you are. Please don't consider your order to be late until at least a week and a day (or a week and a weekend, as the case may be) has gone by since you placed your order. Special orders take up to three weeks to get to you. Foreign orders are hard to predict, and even air express orders have taken up to a month to arrive at foreign destinations.
What is your product return policy?
Although there may be exceptions, in general we only accept unopened product for returns, so we suggest starting out with a small order to make sure you like our products and will stick with it. Because of our flat-rate shipping offer, we may impose up to a 15% restocking fee to recover our initial shipping and processing costs.
We do not share your information with anyone, nor do we use it for solicitation ourselves. Our full policy is at this page.
Can I sign up to be one of your distributors?
Although our business is not a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company, you can certainly start your own business by buying our products and reselling them. We may even have volume pricing that is not listed on our order page. If you are interested in pricing for larger amounts, please either e-mail us at the link below or give us a call at 800-453-7516.
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