Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), an organosulfur compound, is effective against obesity-induced metabolic disorders in mice

Inês Sousa-Lima, Shin Young Park, Michelle Chung, Hyun Ju Jung, Min Cheol Kang, Joana M. Gaspar, Ji A. Seo, M. Paula Macedo, Kyong Soo Park, Christos Mantzoros, Seung Hoon Lee, Young Bum Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), an organosulfur compound, has been used as a dietary supplement that can improve various metabolic diseases. However, the effect of MSM on obesity-linked metabolic disorders remains unclear. The goal of the current study is to determine whether MSM has beneficial effects on glucose and lipid homeostasis in obesity-associated pathophysiologic states. High-fat diet-induced obese (DIO) and genetically obese diabetic db/db mice treated with MSM (1%–5% v/v, by drinking water) were studied. Metabolic parameters involved in glucose and lipid metabolism were determined. Treatment of DIO mice with MSM leads to a significant decrease in blood glucose levels. DIO mice treated with MSM are hypersensitive to insulin, as evidenced by decreased serum insulin and an increase in the area above the curve during an ITT. Concurrently, MSM reduces hepatic triglyceride and cholesterol contents in DIO mice. These effects are accompanied by reductions in gene expression of key molecules involved in lipogenesis and inflammation. FACS analysis reveals that MSM markedly increases the frequency of B cells and decreases the frequency of myeloid cells in peripheral blood and in bone marrow. Moreover, overnutrition-induced changes of femur microarchitecture are restored by MSM. In db/db mice, a marked impairment in glucose and lipid metabolic profiles is notably ameliorated when MSM is supplemented. These data suggest that MSM has beneficial effects on multiple metabolic dysfunctions, including hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, and inflammation. Thus, MSM could be the therapeutic option for the treatment of obesity-related metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes and fatty liver diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1508-1521
Number of pages14
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.


  • Hepatic steatosis
  • Inflammation
  • Methylsulfonylmethane
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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