Wednesday, October 13, 2010

DMSO, Inflammation and Running

One of the many tricks I have discovered in keeping my aging body pulled together is a compound called DMSO.  I learned about it from a former professional boxing trainer.  It has a lot of uses and a bit of controversy around it.  It has been used as a solvent, a racing horse medication and other applications.  There are some who argue that it has anti cancer properties as well.

Athletes use it because it appears to lessen inflammation in joints and tendons.  I lifted this information from http://www.dmso.org/....

DMSO and Inflammation

DMSO reduces inflammation by several mechanisms. It is an antioxidant, a scavenger of the free radicals that gather at the site of injury. This capability has been observed in experiments with laboratory animals7 and in 150 ulcerative colitis patients in a double-blinded randomized study in Baghdad, Iraq.8 DMSO also stabilizes membranes and slows or stops leakage from injured cells.

At the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1978, 213 patients with inflammatory genitourinary disorders were studied. Researchers concluded that DMSO brought significant relief to the majority of patients. They recommended the drug for all inflammatory conditions not caused by infection or tumor in which symptoms were severe or patients failed to respond to conventional therapy.9
Stephen Edelson, MD, F.A.A.F.P., F.A.A.E.M., who practices medicine at the Environmental and Preventive Health Center of Atlanta, has used DMSO extensively for 4 years. "We use it intravenously as well as locally," he says. "We use it for all sorts of inflammatory conditions, from people with rheumatoid arthritis to people with chronic low back inflammatory-type symptoms, silicon immune toxicity syndromes, any kind of autoimmune process.
"DMSO is not a cure," he continues. "It is a symptomatic approach used while you try to figure out why the individual has the process going on. When patients come in with rheumatoid arthritis, we put them on IV DMSO, maybe three times a week, while we are evaluating the causes of the disease, and it is amazing how free they get. It really is a dramatic treatment."
As for side effects, Dr. Edelson says: "Occasionally, a patient will develop a headache from it, when used intravenously--and it is dose related." He continues: "If you give a large dose, [the patient] will get a headache. And we use large doses. I have used as much as 30ÝmlÝIV over a couple of hours. The odor is a problem. Some men have to move out of the room [shared] with their wives and into separate bedrooms. That is basically the only problem."

DMSO was the first nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory discovered since aspirin. Mr. Bristol believes that it was that discovery that spurred pharmaceutical companies on to the development on other varieties of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. "Pharmaceutical companies were saying that if DMSO can do this, so can other compounds," says Mr. Bristol. "The shame is that DMSO is less toxic and has less int he way of side effects than any of them."


So, where do you get it?   There are a ton of places on the web that you can get it.  Or, you can run down to your local equestrian supply store and pick up a bottle.  (Really.)

A couple of recommendations....

1)  Make sure your skin is really clean.  As DMSO sucks whatever is on your skin into your body, you don't want to absorb bad stuff.

2)  Don't over use it.  It can burn your skin if you over apply.

3)  You may suddenly desire sugar cubes, carrots, runs in open meadows and nice clean hay to eat.  (Okay, so maybe not the hay.)


Read up on it and judge for yourself if you want to try it.  I have found that it is useful for normal aches and pains associated with training. 

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