Organic Sulfur - Healing mineral
Sulfur is the third most common mineral in the body (after calcium and phosphorus). An adult human body is ~4% sulfur ( ~100mg).
How does sulfur affect our health?
Sulfur is needed to regenerate cells. Sulfur's primary function is to enable oxygen transport across cell membranes; also used to make amino acids / protein;
Known as a healing mineral, a sulfur deficiency often leads to pain and inflammation associated with various muscle and skeletal disorders. Sulfur is especially known for its role in the disulphide bridge (S_S) between peptide chains, a structural component of many proteins, E.g. in skin's collagen, GAGs (E.g. chondroitin sulfate) in cartilage, and keratin in nails and hair. The high sulfur content / # of S-S bridges in nails makes them hard, whereas fewer S-S bridges provide desirable flexibility/softness in skin and cushioning in cartilage.
Where do we obtain sulfur
An essential mineral, we must obtain sulfur from our diet or an external source. The body can not make or store it;
Main dietary input is from:
Fish, Beef, poultry, eggs
Two forms of sulfur
Inorganic sulfur (A non-metallic, lemon yellow mineral)
Useful forms of inorganic sulfur:
- Sulfates - Inorganic sulfate (SO42-) provided in food and water, is required for the synthesis of many important sulfur-containing compounds in the body:
✔ GAGs (glycosaminoglycans) chondroitin sulfate and keratin sulfate in cartilage.
✔ Sulfate component of methionine and cysteine in dietary protein,
✔ Cysteine component of the body's major "in house" antioxidant glutathione;
✔ Dietary supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates, and bath salts, such as magnesium sulfate (Epson salts), ammonium sulfate (used as fertilizer)
TOXIC Forms of inorganic sulfur:
- Sulfur oxide processed into sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is toxic and poisonous to the human body and cannot be digested, absorbed, or assimilated by the human body;
Eg. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) /Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) - esters of sulfuric acid, commonly used in many soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes; mimic the estrogen hormone;
- Sulfites. Sulfur preservatives, such as sulfites and sulfur dioxide, inhibit the growth of microorganisms and prevent discoloration of foods. Sulfur preservatives are used in fruit juices, dried fruits, vinegar and wine to extend the shelf life of products.
Organic sulfur (Organosulfurs/ molecules contain carbon)
Organosulfur in amino acids E.g. methionine, cysteine, components of protein;
Organosulfur MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane). Found in rain water, fresh fruit and vegetables, raw milk from pastured cows