Monday, August 4, 2008

Increasing the Absorption of MSM with Vitamin C

Onions are a good source of sulfur. (Photo by Mullica)

I've been taking one teaspoon of the MSM - chondroitin - glucosamine combo daily to see whether it has any effect. The spesific effects I'm looking for are those mentioned in the study by Ronald Lawrence: increased hair growth, brilliance and thickness, and improvement in nail strength, thickness and appearance. All this after only six weeks. Imagine that.

I haven't noticed such effects just yet, but what I have most certainly noticed is the foul taste of this stuff. Apparently the taste comes from the sulfur, which is the main ingredient of this osteoarthritis-fighting, hair-growing, nail-thickening mixture. Sulfur is also the reason why things like onions are sometimes recommended for hair loss. There may be some logic to that, as at least one study suggests that onion juice is effective for alopecia areata.

To get this vile powder down my throat, I tried adding it to a spoonful of orange jam, which made the taste quite bearable. I've since then read claims that it should be taken with vitamin C to aid its absorption, though the validity of these claims is debatable. I haven't seen any actual references to studies done on how well MSM is absorbed with and without vitamin C, so the evidence seems to be purely anecdotal.

Still, since there's no harm in taking some extra vitamin C, I'm now mixing the MSM, chondroitin and glucosamine with water, into which I dissolve a 500 mg table of vitamin C The taste is very unnatural - nothing like onions, in case you were wondering - but I'm beginning to get used to it.

It seems that people who report positive effects are taking much more than 1,000 mg of MSM daily. As far as I know, overdosing is not really a problem. If there are no results after I've finished this expensive but small bottle, I think I'm going to try and find a cheaper source and increase the dosage.

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