Benefits of Sulfur Supplements
Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in your body. It plays a critical role in our overall health – yet most of us never even think about it.
Sulfur comes with a powerful range of benefits. But should you really start taking a Sulfur Supplement? Today, we’re going to explain the role sulfur supplements play in our health.
MSM Versus Sulfur
One of the first things to clear up about the benefits of sulfur supplements is that there are two types of sulfur supplements: MSM and sulfur.
The first supplement, MSM, is a chemical found naturally in plants, animals, and humans. Scientists can also synthetically manufacture MSM in a laboratory, and many people use MSM as a medicine. MSM stands for methylsulfonylmethane.
When used as a medicine, MSM claims to offer a wide range of health benefits. It’s been suggested to cure arthritis, chronic joint pain, and similar diseases, for example. Some people also use it to relieve allergies, cure digestive problems, or even slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and HIV.
What’s The Secret Behind MSM?
Well, it contains sulfur.
All MSM contains sulfur, but not all sulfur contains MSM. MSM is simply a naturally-occurring compound which is produced by most living creatures – so it’s one of the easiest forms of sulfur to access.
Much of the hype around sulfur supplements has been fuelled by a book called The Miracle of MSM: The Natural Solution for Pain. That book makes bold claims about the benefits of sulfur, although most of those claims are unproven.
Nonetheless, MSM supplements are often recommended as one of the best ways to add sulfur to your diet and heal common aches and pains.
According to supporters, here are some of the benefits of sulfur:
Sulfur Works as an Antioxidant
One of the key benefits of sulfur is its antioxidant effects. Many people take advantage of these effects to detoxify the body. Sulfur is thought to be a powerful antioxidant because it encourages the body’s natural production of glutathione, which is one of the body’s most important antioxidants.
Without sulfur, your body can’t produce glutathione.
Amino Acids and Protein
Sulfur is one of the building blocks for amino acids. Without sulfur, your body can’t produce amino acids. Amino acids play important roles throughout the body, but they’re especially important for promoting lean muscle growth.
Amino acids are called the building blocks of protein for a reason.
Improve Bone and Joint Health
Up above, I mentioned that many people take MSM to relieve aching joints and bones. Sulfur is thought to reduce bone and joint pain by acting as a calcium phosphate dissolver. Thus, it breaks down unhealthy calcium deposits throughout the body.
Some people take MSM regularly to treat conditions like arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis, where it’s been suggested to reduce stiffness, improve flexibility, and reduce pain.
Improve Skin and Hair Health
Some people called sulfur “the beauty mineral” because of its ability to add thickness, strength, and luster to your hair. Sulfur encourages the body’s natural production of collagen and keratin, both of which are important for skin, nail, and hair health.
As we age, our bodies produce less and less collagen, which is why we lose our youthful glow and develop wrinkles. Sulfur may be a way to reclaim that glow. That’s why some people use sulfur to treat rosacea, dermatitis, acne, or psoriasis.
Acts as a Natural Energy Booster
Out of all the benefits listed here, this is the benefit backed by the least amount of science. Some people take sulfur as a natural energy booster. The idea is that sulfur will increase the permeability of the cell membrane, which means cells need less energy to expel toxins. When cells can more easily expel toxins, it means they have more energy to digest food and turn that into physical and mental energy.
Ultimately, the benefits listed above are entirely unproven among humans: there have been no reputable scientific reports or clinical tests involving humans and sulfur. If you read a reference to some “groundbreaking” sulfur study, it was most likely performed on animals and not humans.
Best Sources of Sulfur
Sulfur and MSM can be found in almost all raw foods. Here are some of the surprising natural food sources of sulfur:
— Leafy Green Vegetables
— Beer And Coffee
— Raw Milk
— Meats, Poultry, And Fish
— Soy Products, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, And Grains
— Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, Garlic, Onions, Kale, And Wheat Germ
— B Vitamins
— All Fruits
There’s a reason sulfur deficiency isn’t common: it’s in almost every food we eat.
There’s something important to note about MSM: it’s extremely water-soluble and susceptible to pasteurization. When you cook foods with high MSM levels, much of the MSM could float off in steam.
Pasteurization, on the other hand, reduces MSM levels by about 50%.
If you want to maximize the amount of sulfur in your diet, you should focus on eating raw fruits and vegetables.
Another reason why sulfur deficiency is rare is because our bodies produce about 1 gram of sulfur on their own every day. Whether you ingest dietary sulfur or not, your body will make enough to keep you healthy.
How Much Sulfur Should You Take?
Unlike with other vitamins and nutrients, there is no Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for sulfur.
Well, there has never been a documented case of sulfur deficiency. Yes, sulfur may be able to lead to the health benefits listed above, but not taking sulfur hasn’t been shown to negatively impact your health.
If the above benefits sound important to you, then consider adding a sulfur supplement to your diet. But if you don’t take a sulfur supplement, you’re not going to experience any negative health effects, either.