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Brent A. Bauer, M.D.read biographyclose window
Brent A. Bauer, M.D.Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Brent Bauer, M.D., is board certified in internal medicine. He is a consultant in the Department of Internal Medicine and director of the Department of Internal Medicine's Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dr. Bauer, a native of Madison, Wis., is also a professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School and a graduate of Mayo Medical School.
He serves on the editorial board of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter and is medical editor for EmbodyHealth Newsletter. He has been on staff at Mayo Clinic since 1992, first practicing at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., before joining Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., in 1996.
Dr. Bauer's principal research focus is the scientific evaluation of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies that patients and consumers are using with increasing frequency. He has authored several book chapters and papers on this topic, and is the medical editor of the "Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine." Dr. Bauer also spearheaded collaboration between Mayo Clinic and Gaiam in the creation of a series of 10 DVDs (Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions). These DVDs address common health problems (for example, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure) with integrative medicine approaches that empower people to take charge of their health. His work is at the forefront of the emerging field of integrative medicine which combines the best of conventional medicine with the best of evidence-based complementary therapies.
Dr. Bauer has served on the NIH-NCCAM study section and is currently collaborating on over 20 studies being conducted at Mayo Clinic evaluating CAM therapies ranging from acupuncture to valerian. He is also a member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society; the American Federation for Medical Research; the North Central Cancer Treatment Group and other professional organizations.
- 'Degenerative changes' in the spine: Is this arthritis?
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Can it affect the eyes?
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Can it affect the lungs?
Treatments and drugs (6)
- Arthritis pain medications: Do they raise blood pressure?
- Botox injections: Can they relieve arthritis pain?
- After a flood, are food and medicine safe to use?
- see all in Treatments and drugs
Lifestyle and home remedies (5)
- Water exercise: Does pool temperature matter?
- MSM for arthritis pain: Is it safe?
- Isometric exercises: Good for strength training?
- see all in Lifestyle and home remedies
Alternative medicine (3)
- Yucca: Can it relieve arthritis pain?
- Mangosteen juice: Can it relieve arthritis pain?
- Glucosamine: Does it protect cartilage in osteoarthritis?
MSM for arthritis pain: Is it safe?
Are there any adverse effects from long-term use of MSM for arthritis pain?
from Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Few studies have examined the long-term effects of the dietary supplement called methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), which is formed by oxygenation of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), an organic form of sulfur also used as a dietary supplement. Animals observed for 90 days on a daily dose of MSM five to seven times greater than that typically used in people had no serious problems. Stomach upset, diarrhea and headache have been reported in human trials of MSM lasting up to 12 weeks.
Given the lack of data about the long-term safety of the supplement, it's no surprise that its efficacy is also unproven. According to a review of studies involving people treated for spinal arthritis with glucosamine, chondroitin or MSM, no MSM studies published between 1984 and 2009 were conducted carefully enough for useful statistical analysis. An earlier review of studies testing MSM for arthritis in any joint found two small trials suggesting that the supplement may be helpful for knee arthritis.
Although there is great interest in using MSM to treat a variety of conditions, including arthritis, more research is needed to determine its benefits and risks.Next question
Isometric exercises: Good for strength training?
- MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane). Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed June 20, 2011.
- Stuber K, et al. Efficacy of glucosamine, chondroitin, and methylsulfonylmethane for spinal degenerative joint disease and degenerative disc disease: A systematic review. Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. 2011;55:47.
- Brien S, et al. Systematic review of the nutritional supplements dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 2008;16:1277e.
- Horvath K, et al. Toxicity of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in rats. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2002;40:1459.
- Kim LS, et al. Efficacy of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) in osteoarthritis pain of the knee: A pilot clinical trial. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. 2006;14:286.
- Usha PR, et al. Double-blind, parallel, placebo-controlled study of oral glucosamine, methylsulfonylmethane and their combination in osteoarthritis. Clinical Drug Investigation. 2004;24:353.