MSM is usually recommended for degenerative joint disease. (Photo by hradcanska)
As my experiment with biotin produced no results, it's time to move on to the next supplement for hair and nail growth. This time I'm testing a combination of MSM (or methylsulfonylmethane), chondroitin and glucosamine. It comes in powder form and is made by a brand called Phenomenal®, for which very little information is available (I ordered it from eBay). This of course raises suspicions, but if you know more about the manufacturer, leave a comment.
MSM is one of those supplements you hear lots of good things about, but unfortunately many of those good things are purely anecdotal and not backed up by scientific studies. It is often marketed as a treatment for osteoarthritis and is sometimes combined with glucosamine and chondroitin, though it is questionable whether this will help its efficiency. At least one study has concluded that MSM may in fact be effective in improving symptoms of osteoarthritis, however.
Some people claim taking MSM has boosted the growth of their scalp and body hair and nails. The only study I could find on the subject was done by Ronald M. Lawrence, who is also the co-author of the book 'The Miracle of MSM: The Natural Solution for Pain'. In the study, they fed 21 patients either 3,000 mg of MSM or a placebo. The patients taking MSM reported increased hair growth, brilliance and thickness, and improvement in nail strength, thickness and appearance after only 6 weeks. The sample size seems quite small, and the results haven't been reproduced elsewhere, so I'm not entirely convinced yet.
The suggested daily amount on the bottle is one teaspoon which, according to the label on the side of the bottle, will give me 1,000 mg of MSM, 600 mg of glucosamine and 400 mg of chondroitin. I'm going to start with that amount and see what happens.