Above image by Yeexin Richelle/Shutterstock.com
What comes to mind when you think of Sulfur – is it a yellow substance, a Sulfur spring, something you learned about in chemistry, or a remedy used to treat burns?
I would describe Sulfur as a forgotten mineral. It helps repair tissues, assists in the production of collagen, detoxifies the body and perhaps most importantly, it helps the cells in the body become more penetrable yet despite all of this, it has no recommended daily allowances set by government. This mineral could be considered critical to life however I’ve never seen it fortified in cereals or any other foods.
I see the definition of health to be the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, and to rid itself from toxins. Sulfur allows this, and without it, the cells become leathery, unnecessarily holding onto toxins, and not absorbing nutrients efficiently. When our body cannot eliminate toxins through the usual pathways (liver, kidneys, and large intestine), they are stored in our fat cells for many years. This can cause fatigue, weight gain, oxidative stress, insulin resistance (possibly leading to diabetes) and other illness.
I first heard about Sulfur whilst researching nutrition in general, and after realizing its importance, decided to supplement with it for a short period to see if there were any benefits. This decision was based on the fact that Sulfur appeared to be lacking in the modern diet as it was easily destroyed through the freezing, dehydrating, cooking and storage of food. Although it can be found in eggs, onions, garlic, leeks, and cruciferous vegetables, I didn’t believe this would be sufficient given the possible lifelong deficiencies dating back to ancient Egyptian and Roman times. We used to live a life that involved bathing in Sulfur springs and drinking Sulfur-rich rain water. However with the modern day convenience and sterilization processes, we have eradicated many of those common practices.
Sulfur can be supplemented by using Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) which is available in powder, crystal, and tablet form. I began supplementing with Msm powder since the tablet form often contained bulking agents and fillers. I only needed a tiny amount, 1\8 of a teaspoon which I mixed with my ultra fine oat drink every day usually in the morning. After a few weeks, during a workout, I noticed I had increased stamina. After this occurred in every subsequent workout, I began researching whether MSM could have this benefit. I discovered that it was being supplemented by athletes and body builders alike, for this exact reason! It is through Sulfur’s ability to detoxify the tissue cells in the body, that it brings more oxygen into the cells. It also reduces muscle fatigue, and improves recovery.
After a few months of supplementation, I began to suffer some flu-symptoms which lasted for about 2 weeks and I knew a friend who had also been supplementing with MSM that also experienced the same symptoms, occurring after 2 weeks and both quickly passed. Other side effects include aches in the legs, depression, and dehydration which don’t tend to be experienced long term. These may be dependent on how much MSM you take and the individual.
Some positive observations include improved digestion, increased mental clarity, and improvements of the skin; my friend noticed reduced cellulite on her legs, reduced fat on the stomach and elimination of period pain.
Isn’t it time we reacquainted ourselves with the possible benefits of Sulfur?
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Jacob, M.D., Stanley W., Ronald M. Lawrence M.D., Ph.D., and Martin Zucker. The Miracle of MSM, the Natural Solution for Pain. New York: Penguin Putnam, 1999.
Les Sellnow. (1996). MSM and DMSO These related products have helped correct several equine ailments.. Available: http://www.vitaflex.com/res_msmdmso2a.php. Last accessed 24th March 2018.