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Over the next few weeks I will be posting about nutrients for nail growth. These are nutrients found in foods and can be taken as supplements to increase nail thickness, appearance and growth. Many things that are good for nails can also be good for hair growth, shine, and thickness so keep that in mind too!
MSM is short for methylsulfonylmethane. It is a naturally occurring nutrient in foods like milk, some grains, seafood, onions, garlic, some fruits, tea, coffee, corn, tomatoes, and green vegetables. The key component of MSM is Sulfur. Sulfur is required for healthy collagen and keratin which are essential for healthy hair, skin and nails. MSM is a pure white, odorless, essentially tasteless, water-soluble crystalline solid sulfur powder. It is a source of 85 percent of the sulfur found in all living organisms. MSM and related sulfur compounds work to repair cells and create healthy cells. It can work as an antioxidant to heal damaged cells. Deficiencies in these compounds can cause illness.
Since sulfur is the building block of connective tissue it seems evident that it would be good for nails. MSM helps build collagen and keratin, which increase the strength and thickness of nails (and hair). Eating foods high in MSM is the best way to ingest this nutrient. However, cooking damages and depletes MSM so most of us don’t get enough unless we eat a primarily raw diet. So most of us would need MSM supplements. I bought a bottle of 1000mg MSM from Whole Foods. I think I paid around $15 for 180 tablets. I usually take 1-2 daily (when I remember). I found a cheaper brand at Swanson for 120x 1,500 mg tablets for $6.39. You can get a $5 coupon by clicking here.
Many people have said they take 3g or more daily. I have read on some hair blogs that people were taking as much as 10g (10,000mg)! They claim to have achieved 1” or more of hair growth monthly. Apparently MSM lengthens the growth cycle of the hair. I would start at 500mg and work your way up. I might up my dosage to see what happens. Subscribe to stay posted for blogs of my results. My nails and hair have always grown pretty quickly but I have noticed more thickness of my hair and nails and less breakage. It may take up to 6 weeks of supplementation before you see noticeable results. Since MSM is water soluble it is not considered to have toxicity levels because the body uses what it needs and flushes out the rest. Though allergies are not common, I would warn against higher doses unless you know you can handle it.
Though not severe, many report certain adverse reactions to taking MSM. These include:
It has not been contraindicated with other supplements or medications. But please consult a medical professional before taking anything.
MSM has long been used to treat other medical conditions. Actually, increased hair and nail growth was a noted side effect of those treating arthritis and fibromyalgia pain. Kind of like the discovery of Viagra’s.. ahem potency …when used to treat Angina. Or Latisse’s treatment of glaucoma with a side effect of longer lashes. Other uses for MSM besides nail growth include treating:
* Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
* Bursitis, tendinitis, or tenosynovitis
* Muscle cramps
* Temporomandibular joint ( TMJ ) disorders
* Headaches or hangover
* Premenstrual syndrome
* Wound healing
* Inflammation in eyes or mucous membranes
* Lessen appearance of scars and stretch marks
* Periodontal disease
* Poor circulation
* High Blood pressure
As you can see MSM does a lot more than making your nails pretty. Do your own research and experiments. Have you had any experiences with MSM? Leave comments below!