|HOMOCYSTEINE REDUX vs MSM
Sulfur supplementation has become popular,
because sulfur is such an important element that is utilized in many reactions, especially
those involved with joint/cartilage repair and liver detox pathways. The question is, what
is the best source of sulfur?
Products such as MSM
(methylsulfonylmethane) have surfaced on the market to provide an outside source of sulfur
that in turn may hopefully be incorporated into the body and utilized for all the
reactions and building blocks requiring sulfur. As you can see from the above diagram,
when the homocysteine pathway is functioning correctly, the end-product is NATURAL sulfur,
which is manufactured IN the body and is already endogenously (inside) present for
Additionally, resources such as
Jonathan Wright, MD point out that MSM can create a molybdenum deficiency because
exogenous, (outside) sources of sulfur will drain molybdenum resources because the
molybdenum is essential for sulfur metabolism. On the contrary, NATURAL provision of
sulfur makes what the body needs, and does not create an excess pool which then must drain
molybdenum to be metabolized.
Additionally, the product that was
formulated to optimize the correct functioning of the homocysteine pathway (Homocysteine
Redux) contains ALL of the necessary, synergistic nutrients (including molybdenum) to
ensure that all the reactions that depend on the homocysteine pathway are optimized.
These reactions include: 1. The
synthesis of building blocks for cartilage/tissue repair that depends on the natural
sulfur molecule; 2. The liver detox path that utilizes sulfur to detox insults to the
system (especially metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium); 3. The methyl donations
from SAM (S-adenosyl methionine), which are used for the synthesis of neurotransmitters,
and essential cell components such as phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylserine. SAM has
also been used by itself as a nutritional supplement, but look at the pathway - unless you
have all the necessary ingredients to optimize the efficiency of the whole pathway
(nutrients that are in Homocysteine Redux), SAM can metabolize to the toxic homocysteine
in just two more metabolic steps!
There is another reason that addressing
the correct functioning of the homocysteine pathway is important - if the necessary
nutrients are not present, homocysteine can build up and become toxic. A synergistic
balance of the nutrients can recycle homocysteine to methionine to avoid toxicity (vitamin
B-12, folic acid, and methyl donors such as choline or betaine (trimethylglycine).
Reducing homocysteine levels has been associated with reducing the risk for a whole host
of conditions, from heart disease to osteoporosis, and MSM doesn't have that claim
associated with it. Excess homocysteine is implicated in the following conditions:
Folic acid, one of the B vitamins used
to lower homocysteine levels, is suggested as a useful supplement to prevent osteoporosis
which may have been caused by high homocysteine levels (Metabolism 198938:734-739).
Chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine sulfate,
N-acetyl glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, and mucopolysaccharides are all building blocks of
cartilage, and they are all dependent upon sulfur groups for complete synthesis of healthy
cartilage tissue. These sulfur groups are provided by a correctly functioning homocysteine
The New England Journal of Medicine
reported that homocysteine was THE strongest modifiable predictor of overall mortality
among patients with coronary artery disease (NEJM 1997;337:230-236).
Neural tube defects
It is well-known that supplementation
of folic acid can reduce the risk for neural tube defects. What is less well known is that
the mechanism could be that it is reducing risk by reducing elevated homocysteine levels.
Preeclampsia is the leading cause of
maternal and perinatal mortality in industrialized countries, and usually stems from
damage to the thin layer of endothelial cells lining the blood vessels. Women with
preeclampsia or who had given birth to low-birth weight babies were shown to have much
higher levels of homocysteine than the general population (Am J Obstet Gyn
Homocysteine nutrients, which include
the B vitamins, are related to depression in several ways (Fava, M et al., Folate, B-12,
and homocysteine in major depressive disorder. Am J Psy 1997;154:426-428). The methyl
group metabolism provided for by the pathway of homocysteine (correctly-functioning) is
necessary for the production of depression-relieving neurotransmitters such as serotonin
and dopamine. The B vitamins are also crucial in the direct synthesis of the brain
neurotransmitters. Aside from the fact that they are needed (especially B-6, B-12 and
folate) for the homocysteine pathway to provide methylation, they are essential to the
pathway of these neurotransmitters (J Affect Disord. 1986;10:9-13; Psychosomatics.
High homocysteine levels have been
linked to Alzheimer's disease, probably because of some correlation with the development
of the neurofibrillary tangles involved in the condition that are thought to block oxygen
from reaching the nerve cells and making them unable to produce acetylcholine, the brain
neurotransmitter necessary for thought processes.
Multiple sclerosis has been linked to
high homocysteine levels. High homocysteine levels interfere with the synthesis of SAM,
and thus interfere with methyl donations for neurotransmitters, which are essential for
nerve conduction in MS patients. MS patients need the sulfur provided by the pathway for
joint and cartilage repair, and even more importantly, for the detox pathways in the
liver, since the sulfur detox pathway binds metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium, and
MS patients are especially susceptible to these metals and cannot detox them well. To add
insult to injury, the metals exert their toxicity in the body by robbing essential
proteins of their sulfur groups so that they can't function; this means that in addition
to not being able to detox the metals well, the exposure to metals robs their bodies of
much needed proteins for cell rebuilding, and also proteins in key enzymes. The
ill-effects of heavy metal toxicity include the neurotoxic damage associated with MS The
ill-effects of heavy metal toxicity include the neurotoxic damage associated with MS.
Mercury amalgams have long been associated with the symtoms of MS - Multiple sclerosis
patients have been found to have up to eight times higher levels of mercury in their CSF
than neurologically healthy controls (Denton, Sandra, M.D., The Mercury Cover-Up:
Controversies in Dentistry, Townsend Letter For Doctors, July 1990;488-491).
Other conditions which have been linked
to high homocysteine levels include: rheumatoid arthritis, spontaneous abortion, placental
abruption, renal failure, and type II diabetes.
It is easy to see that high
homocysteine levels dramatically increase the risk for many conditions. A nutritional
product which offers reduction in risk for all of these conditions and more is a claim
that MSM can't make, because it only provides an outside source of sulfur, and that's it.
It is an expensive source at that. MSM supplements are not cheap. Providing necessary
sulfur groups the natural way, through complete metabolism of the homocysteine pathway,
still seems to be the most efficient and economical route. This route also provides for
natural production of SAM, and prevents the buildup of homocysteine and its toxic effects
and resulting diseases. The complete list of ingredients covers all the bases; the list
includes: vitamin B-12, folic acid, pyridoxal-5-phosphate (active form of B-6), betaine
(trimethylglycine), dimethylglycine, niacinamide, choline,molybdenum, magnesium, and zinc.
The choice appears easy: an outside source of sulfur which may deplete molybdenum stores
(MSM), OR a complete, synergistic formula which is less expensive, provides an endogenous
source of sulfur (along with necessary nutrients such as molybdenum), and provides a
natural source for SAM.
Presented by Nutri-West as an
The above statements have not been
evaluated by the FDA. The nutritional information, suggestions, and research provided are
not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease and should not be used as a
substitute for sound medical advice. Please see your health care professional in all
matters pertaining to your physical health.
Copyright © Nutri-West, Inc. All rights reserved. sitemap