12.01.2011

My Favorite Vitamin Right Now

Hi guys!

I never write for this blog anymore!... I always promise I'm going to, but I always get busy!  Instead of getting busy writing on the internet, I'm usually getting stuck reading...and reading... AND READING.  But regardless... here is some killer information I've stumbled upon while trying to find the right supplements to ease my problems with blood sugar and immune support.  Right now I'm taking 11 supplements in the morning, 11 in the afternoon, and 7 at night, all for different things.  Out of all of them, one of my favorites right now that I've been researching is MSM.

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is found in the cells of all living things and is very essential to the health of the human body.  It is known to shorten healing time and support healthy cells, cartilage and collagen for healthy joints and strong, fast-growing hair, skin, and nails.  This means great anti-aging benefits for the skin and body.  It also works with other vitamins, especially vitamin C, by improving their absorption and increasing their effects.  MSM has shown to improve asthma symptoms and also relieve or eliminate different kinds of allergies and allergy symptoms.  Before taking the supplement, I read about the different benefits online, both from articles and from user reviews. 

I've heard differing opinions about the correct dosage, but most sources of information on MSM will tell you to start low, and slowly build up the dosage every week or two weeks (depending on the increment).  I started myself at 2,000mg a day (capsule form, one in the morning, one in the afternoon both on an empty stomach) and am now increasing to 3,000mg a day, 4,000, and so on.  My main focus on using MSM was my TMJD (arthritic) discomfort and cracking/popping in my jaw.  After the first couple doses I already noticed an improvement in the fluidity.  Any dull aches have disappeared, but the sharp pains (although less frequent) and cracking are still there.  I have read, however, that a minimum dose of 8,000mg a day is needed to see dramatic improvement in arthritis symptoms... which I'm slowly working myself up to.

Although I'm waiting for the jaw problem to subside (or completely disappear!) I have noticed a few other benefits that I wasn't expecting as much... or at least not so early on!

Hair, Skin and Nails:  My skin looks great.  I did take a hair, skin, and nails vitamin (B complex and Biotin) for a while a couple years ago, which gave my skin an amazing glow, but it took MONTHS to achieve.  With MSM, I started noticing it on day two, and it's been getting better ever since.  The area I'm noticing the improvement the most is around my eyes; my complexion looks less translucent and the area overall looks a lot healthier.  It's been only just short of a month, so I haven't seen much with my hair/nails yet, but seeing what MSM did with my skin -- I can't wait to see what it does with the rest.

Sleep and Mood:  Out of all of the supplements I've taken so far, the only two I've seen to greatly improve my sleep and mood are MSM and Magnesium.  With both of these, I've noticed I get to sleep quicker, stay asleep longer, and feel very well-rested in the morning (sound like a sleeping pill commercial?!). I started taking Magnesium after finding out that a lot of the symptoms I have had over the past several months were appearing to be VERY similar to that of a Magnesium deficiency (irritability, poor memory and concentration, anxiety, dizziness, etc.).  Sure enough, once I started taking 800mg a day, almost immediately I felt better.  But, over a couple weeks, the benefits stayed, but my blood pressure tanked.  Usually at a textbook 120/80, I was at a 98/76... when I was feeling NERVOUS!  I dropped down to 200mg a day, and the blood pressure problem stopped, but the benefits also subsided a bit.  Starting MSM, I've noticed an increase again in the stress relief and mood improvement.  Like with Magnesium, as I increase my dosage, I feel calmer everyday.. but without the low blood pressure.  I've also noticed more mental clarity and more ability to focus.  In any situation where I would normally get nervous and feel overworked, I feel calm and focused.

Muscles and Exercising:  Possibly the most exciting benefit I've noticed, since I love to overwork myself when working out (especially with stretching and yoga)... muscle soreness in the morning after a vigorous workout is GREATLY reduced, if not completely eliminated.  After a whole night of dancing, which usually kicks my ass, not only are my muscles not sore in the morning, but I don't find myself nearly as exhausted by the end of the night.  I almost feel like the Energizer Bunny...

Word to the Wise: Obviously before taking any supplement, do the research and/or talk to your doctor.  For example, I almost bought a bottle of glucosamine for joint support from Vitamin Shoppe the other day, convinced it would help more than anything -- and I was ready to start taking it that night.  Thankfully I didn't, because glucosamine is nothing but TROUBLE for people constantly having issues with too much insulin and low blood sugar.  So, do the reading first!

But on a better note, vitamins are absolutely essential to the health of the human body and mind.  I've done quite a bit of research in my spare time (which I'll try to pull together to share soon!), and I'm convinced that most of the health issues we see regularly can be fixed by looking at the levels of vitamins and minerals in our bodies.  Different supplements have been shown to cure and treat some of the nastiest of diseases like diabetes, depression and anxiety, and IBS... without of the nasty side effects of prescription drugs that are so easily given away by doctors. 

Maybe it's just me, but I think nutrition is absolutely amazing.

-Mia

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