Monday, November 17, 2008

MSM for Hair & Nail Growth - Results after Three Months

MSM won't turn your nails blue - in fact, it seems to do nothing. (Photo by scragz)

In my previous post about methylsulfonylmethane, I mentioned I had ran out of my MSM + chondroitin + glucosamine powder and was looking for another product with more MSM and a lower price tag. The only study done on the subject used 3,000 mg per day, while the product I was testing had only 1,000 mg per serving. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I noticed no results.

Since then, I've purchased a jar of pure MSM, made by Natural Balance. This product has 4,000 mg per teaspoon and is therefore better suited for my experiment. I first started out by taking 2,000 mg (half a teaspoon) of the stuff per day for three weeks. Again, I saw no results.

For the past three weeks I've been taking 4,000 mg, as suggested on the label. At first I took the whole teaspoon at once, but then I separated it into two 2,000 mg portions; one taken in the morning and one in the evening. Even at this dose, I've noticed no increase in the rate of hair growth, nail growth or nail thickness.

At this point, I strongly suspect MSM is ineffective at any dose and that the positive results some people have claimed are most likely due to a placebo effect. Subjective evaluations - which the study was based on - are notoriously untrustworthy, and even objectively measured moderate changes in hair growth and thickness can be due to seasonal variation. Note that my experience is only with MSM's effects on hair and nails - I can't comment on MSM's possible effectiveness for joint pains, as I don't have any.

As I still have some of this hideous-tasting powder left, I'm once again going to take it to extreme (so you won't have to) and double the dose to see what happens. That's right, I'm going for a full 8,000 mg dose; 4,000 mg in the morning and 4,000 in the evening. How I'm going to get so much of this stuff down is beyond me at the moment, but the fact that I'm doing all this in the name of science grants me some comfort in these dark and lonely moments.

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