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Sulfur: Definition, Health Benefits, Sources, Deficiency and More

Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in the human body, it is next to calcium and phosphorous, and it contributes greatly to the maintenance and integrity of your cellular system.

It forms parts of some amino acids and it is involved in a lot of bodily processes. It also forms important parts of our hair and nails. That bad smell your hair produces when you mistakenly burn it is caused by sulfur.

Sulfur bestows a lot of important benefits on our bodies. It is involved in protein synthesis and also takes part in several enzyme reactions.

The body uses sulfur in making collagen, an important substance in the body used in making connective tissues and strengthening the walls of the arteries and cell structure.

Below are some of the amazing health benefits of this important mineral.

Amazing Health Benefits of Sulfur

Arthritis

Studies have shown that sulfur has positive effects on osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Mud-soaks also known as sulfur baths help in alleviating the inflammation and painful swellings induced by arthritis.

Having a sulfur bath at night can help you sleep better and reduce the stiffness arthritis patients usually have in the morning when they wake up. It also boosts your overall strength and improves your walking ability.

Creams containing DMSO (Dimethyl sulfoxide) reduces pains in some types of arthritis. Some studies have also proven that taking at least taking 6,000 mg of MSM sulfur supplement (methylsulfonylmethane) can reduce pain associated with arthritis.

Take it along with glucosamine to boost its effectiveness.

Alzheimer’s disease

Sulfur protects against Alzheimer’s by blocking the absorption of aluminium in the brain. Also, a study showed that people with early stages of Alzheimer’s are deficient in sulphur while those with the last stage of Alzheimer’s are completely deficient in sulfur.

Sulfur prevents and reverses Alzheimer’s if it has not already caused permanent damage in the brain.

Beautifies your skin

Sulfur has many wonderful benefits on the skin and because of this, it is called nature’s “beauty mineral”. It maintains a vibrant skin health and promotes youthfulness. It fights aging and makes your hair smooth and glossy.

Sulfur boosts the production of collagen in your body, this creates healthy skin cells and heals wounds and scars. It removes toxins from your skin, boosts the production of health skin cells and all these makes your skin glow.

Your skin and hair will be healthy, flexible, smooth, and soft when you have optimum amount of sulfur in your body. Your nails won’t be left out also.

Oral health

Sulfur boosts oral health by preventing halitosis (bad breath), buildup of plaques, oral cancer, and gingivitis.

Boosts the production of insulin

The hormone insulin controls the metabolism of carbohydrates and if this hormone is not functioning well or its amount is too low in the body, it can result into diabetes and other health problems.

Low levels of sulfur in the body makes it difficult for the pancreas to produce insulin, it also leads to the inability of the cells to absorb nutrients from the blood.

This leads to hyperglycemia, diabetes, and other sugar problems.

Respiratory problems

Sulfur prevents and reverses inflammation of the respiratory airways which leads to allergies and asthma. It reduces swellings in the airways and eliminates fluid retention.

Fights parasites

MSM, a type of sulfur complement is believed to fight parasites that attach themselves to the lining of the intestines.

When these parasites are not handle, they can live in your body permanently and even reproduce and also reduce the amount of nutrients you absorb from the foods you eat.

Endometriosis

There are no official studies concerning this but there are strong anecdotal evidence that lower inflammation in women suffering from endometriosis (this is the by inflammation and the presence of scar tissues in the womb/uterus).

Sulfur also speeds up the regeneration of healthy cells and eliminate toxins and dead cells from the body.

Allergies

Sulfur help relieve the symptoms of allergies, MSM supplements are even used in treating this condition.

Pains and muscle spasms

Organic sulfur lowers oxidative stress, it also helps your muscles recover from stress, and injury more quickly. Just 10 days of supplementing with organic sulfur will show a great difference in pain management and muscle repair.

Anti-cancer

Studies have shown that sulfur helps in fighting cancer and it also reduces the size of tumors. It does this without producing side effects like chemotherapy.

Sulfur also expels free radicals from the body, one of the major causes of cancer. It lowers oxidative stress and boosts the production of glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant in the body.

Mood disorders

Organic sulfur treats mental disorders like PMS, depression, mood swings, ADD, ADHD, and seasonal effective disorder. This wonderful mineral called nature’s miracle stabilize mood by improving your gut health.

Majority of dopamine and serotonin are produced in your gut and sulfur also helps mental health by boosting the production of glutathione. Organic sulfur is a good alternative to antidepressant drugs.

Detoxifies the body

Sulfur detoxifies your body at the cellular level and relieves pains. Healthy cells in your body absorb sufficient nutrients and release wastes and toxins in your body.

Sulfur counteracts the negative effects of this by building strong breathable cell walls that brings a balance to cell pressure. Sufficient levels of sulfur in your body aids detoxification. This supports quick elimination of toxins which are capable of choking your cells.

Toxins can also cause other damages to the cells of the body, they can make them swollen, thereby leading to pains, muscle soreness, stiffness, and allergies.

Liver problems

Organic sulfur boosts the regeneration of liver, the only organ in the body that can regenerate itself. Sulfur heals the liver and maintains a healthy liver.

Heart health

Sulfur has incredible benefits on the cardiovascular system. In a particular study, patients due for open heart surgery were fed organic sulfur for 6 weeks and this resulted in the cancellation of their surgery because the EKGs displayed healthy results.

Sulfur boosts the repair and regeneration of blood cells, it breaks down the deposits of plaque in the blood vessels and eliminates scar tissues.

Glaucoma

An ongoing large scale study has shown that organic sulfur shows promise for glaucoma. It reduces the pressure and swellings on the eyes and helps the eyes to drain properly.

Organic sulfur does all these without any side effects.

Skin disorders

Sulfur helps heals the skin and treats disorders and infections of the skin since it forms part of the skin and our hair and nails. Some of the skin disorders sulfur effectively treats are rosacea, acne, folliculitis (inflamed follicles), eczema, dandruff, warts, and psoriasis.

Creams, bar soaps, and lotions containing sulfur are used to alleviate redness and swelling in acne. Dermatitis and scabies are also treated with special sulfur ointment.

There are a good number of sulfur treatments available over the counter but in severe cases, you might need a prescription from your doctor or dermatologist.

Digestive problems

Sulfur helps treat a lot of digestive problems including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut, and GERD. It does this by promoting the health of the cells in the gut lining and it also helps the cells to regenerate quickly.

This prevents food particles from leaking into the bloodstream thereby preventing autoimmune diseases which usually results when this happens.

Sulfur prevents and reduces inflammation and swellings in the intestines, and esophagus, and it also and it also relieves the symptoms of IBS and GERD.

There are lots of anecdotal evidence showing that sulfur also relieves the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease.

Protects your blood vessels

Sulfur protects your blood vessels by making them flexible and free of obstruction. This, in turn, prevents hardening and narrowing of the arteries which leads to chronic conditions like high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.

Optimum levels of sulfur in your body leads to breathable and elastic blood vessels which will aid the smooth circulation of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to all parts of the body.

This will make you healthy and boost your overall health.

Hemorrhoids

Studies have proven that organic sulphur treats hemorrhoids, it relieves pains, swellings, and bleedings. Take it with tea tree oil to boost its effectiveness.

Natural Sources of Sulfur

Rich sources of sulfur in nature are protein-rich animal foods such as eggs, seafood, beef, poultry, and dairy. Nuts such as cashews, almonds, and walnuts are rich in sulfur; also garlic, raspberries, onions, seaweed, kale, asparagus, fennel, celery, and turnips.

Sunflower seeds and sesame seeds are also high in sulfur. Cucumber contains a very high amount of sulfur and most of this sulfur is found in the skin of cucumber.

Milk, cheese, bone broth, and sour cream from organic grass-fed cows are rich in sulfur. Also, certain fruits like bananas, watermelon, coconut, and pineapple contain sulfur.

You can also find sulfur in cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, mustard green, cabbage, bok choy, and Brussels sprouts. Shallots and leeks also contain a good amount of sulfur.

Don’t overcook your vegetables and the best way is to take them raw so that the levels of sulfur won’t be affected and you would also maintain the cancer-fighting properties of these vegetables by doing so.

If you don’t like raw vegetables, you can steam your broccoli for just 3 to 4 minutes, this will also optimize the content of sulforaphane by getting rid of epithiospecifier protein.

There are no specific dietary requirements for sulfur because we generally get the amount we need through food, however, some people are at risk of sulfur deficiency.

This includes vegetarians and people who eat lots of processed and junk foods. These people can increase their intake of sulfur-rich foods and also sulfur supplements but this has to be prescribed by a physician.

Sulfur supplements are available in two forms, DMSO (dimethyl sulfoxide) and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane). DMSO is a chemical byproduct of paper manufacturing but it has been approved for medicinal purposes by the FDA while MSM is abundant in plants, fruits, and vegetables and it is also called “organic sulfur”.

These supplements are taken orally. I would advise you get your sulfur from natural foods except your case is severe, the reason is that the scientific supports for these supplements are limited.

Sulfur Deficiency

Sulfur deficiency is quite common and it leads to a lot of health problems like heart disease, obesity, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue, and hypertension.

A deficiency in sulfur leads shingles, arthritis, and other skin disorders. This deficiency gives your skin a dull and sickly appearance.

Symptoms of Sulfur Deficiency

Sulfur deficiency is one of the easiest deficiencies to address.

References;

  1. The MSM miracle MSM
  2. The sulfur study PDF
Ebiojo David
I am a Biochemist and Naturopath, I love writing and educating people on health and wellness matters.

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