MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane, is a common chemical compound that is naturally produced by the body in certain amounts and also found in certain foods.
Supplements containing MSM have been touted to have benefits for hair, skin, and nails -- but just how does this compound help with these things?
Below, we will delve into just what MSM is, the potential hair benefits, possible side effects, the recommended dosage for supplementation, and foods that contain MSM in decent amounts.
MSM is a naturally occurring sulfur-containing compound that is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
MSM can be found in certain foods as well as the breast milk of cows and humans, and is also naturally made in the human body.
Doctors may recommend taking MSM as a supplement for a few different situations including: arthritis pain, osteoporosis, muscle pain, joint inflammation, tendonitis, and even headaches.
More research is needed to confirm just how well or definitively if MSM helps boost hair growth in some people.
But, the potential benefits for hair in the claims include healthier looking and feeling hair that can grow to longer lengths.
Just what may be happening in the body after you take MSM that correlates with these claims?
First of all, MSM is a known anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and this can be great to soothe the scalp and reduce free radical damage to the hair follicles. So, if an inflammatory process in your scalp is contributing to reduced hair health, MSM may be able to take off a bit of the inflammatory edge.
Another potential mechanism to MSM hair benefits is in its sulfur-donating abilities. The hair has sulfate bonds within the protein keratin structure, and when MSM donates sulfur to these structures they may form stronger bonds leading to healthier hair and nails.
Additionally, a study which combined MSM with magnesium ascorbyl phosphate found that these compounds applied topical on mice promoted a faster switch from the resting hair phase (telogen) into the growth hair phase (anagen). Ultimately, this would mean that each hair has a longer time for growth before it is ultimately shed in the next phase. This led the researchers to conclude that this combination may help with treating alopecia.
To summarize, MSM may help cool scalp inflammation, strengthen the protein structure of growing strands, and may give the hair a longer growth period to reach longer lengths than usual.
According to the FDA, MSM is generally recognized a safe (GRAS) in supplements, meal replacements, beverages, and food bars. You shouldn’t notice any negative side effects from consuming MSM in recommended amounts according to the product packaging.
If you are planning to apply MSM to your skin or scalp, most people also do not notice any negative effects although skin and eye irritation may occur. Keep products away from your eyes during application and discontinue if irritation persists.
MSM dosages found to be safe for use in clinical trials include a range of 500mg (0.5gm) - 3,000mg (3gm) daily.
If you feel like mixing in some MSM to your regimen, something in this range would be a good place to land on.
As always, give your doctor a heads up before adding anything into your regimen, even over the counter products or supplements. Sometimes these products can interfere with your current conditions or medications and your doctor can help identify if it is a good route for you.
Certain foods also contain good amounts of MSM, and adding some of these into your diet may be a good route for you to increase your intake rather than using a supplement.
Food items that are a source of MSM:
MSM may be a safe addition to a strong hair routine, and potentially may help your hair reach longer lengths, although more studies need to be done to confirm this.
But, if you are dealing with hair loss from issues like male pattern hair loss, the root cause is still genetic and hormonally driven from DHT.
MSM may be a good part of the regimen for male pattern hair loss, but you may want to consider a DHT-blocker medication like Finasteride or Dutasteride.
Here at Strut, we carry Finasteride and Dutasteride customizable oral and topical options for men dealing with male pattern hair loss.
If you are interested in seeing if these prescription medications may be a good fit for you, you can have a free online questionnaire and image-based telemedicine consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors today.
If you are a good candidate for treatment, your medication will be shipped to your front door with our free shipping.
If you have questions or concerns during your treatment, you can get back in touch with our team and doctors with our free unlimited follow-ups.