MSM shows strong promise in ingestible beauty even at low dosage

By Nikki Hancocks contact

- Last updated on GMT

Getty | puhhha
Getty | puhhha

Related tags: Beauty from within, Supplements, botanicals

A new study into a supplement usually taken for its anti-inflammatory benefits, has reaffirmed its effectiveness in reducing visual signs of skin ageing, even at a dose as low as 1 gram per day.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) represents is an organic form of sulfur crucial for body function and structure. MSM supplements, sourced from plants such as fruits, vegetables, grains, as well as milk, are traditionally used to treat a wide array of symptoms and conditions, most commonly joint pain and inflammation. But more recently, a growing body of research has also linked the sulfur-containing compound to beauty​, because of its fundamental role in physiological processes, including the synthesis of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and keratohyalin.

The current study, published in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research, ​has reaffirmed these benefits and further discovered they may be seen from doses as low as one gram per day.

“What surprised me about the results was how effective the product was in reducing wrinkles, which is the most visual ageing element of concern,”​ said  study's co-author, Neelam Muizzuddin, Ph.D., from Skin Clinical Research Consultants. “Even the visual pictures showed promising change. There was also some nice softening of the facial skin, but I think the reduction in wrinkles is the most important part of this study.”

Authors used a two-phase approach to show how OptiMSM, Bergstrom Nutrition’s branded MSM product, could improve the visible signs of ageing.

The study

The study was conducted in two steps; Part 1 was a pilot study with a panel of 20 participants. The participants ingested either 3g a day of MSM or placebo capsules for 16 weeks. Visual and subject self assessment of wrinkles and skin texture as the predominant sign of ageing was observed. 

The researchers found that oral ingestion of MSM (3 g/d) reduces signs of ageing like facial wrinkles (p​ < 0.05) and skin roughness (p​ < 0.05) as compared to placebo. 

Part two was a dose-response study, in which 63 participants ingested either 1g or 3g per day of MSM for 16 weeks. Expert clinical grading, instrumental measurements and consumer perception was used to evaluate skin conditions like lines and wrinkles. Additionally, instrumentational analysis was conducted using corneometer and cutometer for investigation of skin hydration, firmness and elasticity. 

Detailed analysis showed a significant (p​ < 0.05) improvement from baseline in the severity of facial wrinkles, as well as improved skin firmness, elasticity and hydration with MSM.

Some of these parameters exhibited a good dose-response indicating that the higher (3g/d) of the supplement was more effective than the lower dose of 1g/d, but generally the lower dose of 1 g/d appeared to be sufficiently effective in reducing the facial signs of ageing.

Dr Muizzuddin added: “This research was very fascinating to me because the bulk of my experience has been in topical skincare solutions.

“Examining the ‘beauty-from-within’ approach has me believe it is an extraordinary way of improving beauty because it helps improve the whole body.”

Source: International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research

Muizzuddin. N., and Benjamin. R.

"Beauty from within: Oral administration of a sulfur-containing supplement methylsulfonylmethane improves signs of skin ageing"

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