31) Nat Med J. 2015;7(11):1-21

Effects of oral supplementation with methylsulfonylmethane on skin health and wrinkle reduction.
Anthonavage M, Benjamin R, Withee E.

Objective. The effects and perception of aging are directly reflected in the health and condition of the skin. Beauty and antiaging products largely focus on treatment of the skin with an outside-in strategy. There is demand for “beauty from within” products that support underlying internal processes necessary for healthy and vital skin. This study assesses the effectiveness of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) as an oral supplement on skin health using expert grading, instrumental measurements, and participant self-evaluation. Methods. An initial preclinical in vitro gene marker study evaluated the effects of 2.5% MSM solution on the expression of 92 genes associated with skin function. The primary double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial randomized 20 female participants to receive either 3 g per day of MSM or placebo over 16 weeks. Skin health was evaluated through expert grading, instrumentation, and participant self-assessment at weeks 8 and 16. Results. MSM regulates the genomic expression of key genes responsible for skin health and the prevention of aging. Furthermore, MSM supplementation showed statistically significant improvements over placebo by expert grading in crow’s feet and skin firmness, and statistically significant improvements from baseline in crow’s feet, skin firmness, tone, and texture. Using photo instrumentation analysis, MSM supplementation produced statistically significant improvements over placebo for wrinkle (crow’s feet) total count, length, severity, and deep line counts and for wrinkles (global) total count, length, and severity. The product was well tolerated, and overall, the MSM group gave more favorable self-assessment than the placebo group, though the improvement was not statistically significant. Conclusion. MSM supplementation appears to benefit skin health, primarily the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. Effects on gene expression may partially account for the benefits, but further research is needed to verify results and mechanism of action.