Are you getting enough sulfur in your diet? You’ve probably been told that we get all the sulfur we need from the foods we consume. Does this still hold true? This statement may have been true in the days of our grandparents. But today, almost all of our foods are greatly deficient of this essential mineral as a result of the broken sulfur cycle.
In this article, I am going to explain what natural sulfur cycle is and the effects of the broken cycle on our health.
There are two forms of sulfur that exist in nature. Yellow sulfur and organic sulfur are both produced by volcanic activity, the difference between them is yellow sulfur forms in the atmosphere whereas organic sulfur forms in the sea water.
The natural sulfur cycle occurs when yellow elemental sulfur, from mining, is present in a volcano’s lava that’s forced into the ocean floor through volcanic activity.
The yellow sulfur in lava from under-water volcanoes, also known as black smokers, then reacts with ocean water and is chemically changed into bioavailable organic sulfur.
Through evaporation, condensation, and ingestion by sea life, organic sulfur would then end up on land as a part of the nutrient cycle for plants and animals. In turn, people would get organic sulfur through consumption of these plants and livestock. This is a natural sulfur cycle that repeats itself until we decided to change the way we grow our foods.
In the 1930s, Farben collaborated with Nelson Rockefeller and Prescott Bush to develop and aggressively market chemical fertilizers made from crude oil, which contains ammonium nitrate and ammonium sulfate.
Manufacturing chemical fertilizers require high temperature in which bioavailable sulfur is extremely temperature-sensitive of.
Production requires temperature 100 degrees Fahrenheit above the vaporization point of organic sulfur. As a result, this essential mineral for our health was ignored and eliminated in the process.
These chemical fertilizers not only devoid of organic sulfur due to 380 degree Fahrenheit heat used in production, they also bind up any free sulfur available in rain water from the sulfur cycle.
In the early 1950’s, farmers were encouraged to use sulfur-depleted chemical fertilizers, which are easier to apply and cheaper. This has significantly interfered with the natural sulfur cycle.
Many experts in agriculture have proven that the sulfur cycle was broken decades ago when farmers switched from using manure as a fertilizer to chemical fertilizers. This means our soils are no longer supplying enough sulfur to our vegetables and fruits.
According to Linus Pauling, who was the only person in history awarded two unshared Nobel prizes said that “You can trace every sickness, every disease and every aliment to a mineral deficiency.”
Sulfur is a mineral in our body that is needed for enzyme activity, hormone balance, and function of the immune system. It enables the transport of oxygen across cell membranes which is necessary for healthy cellular regeneration in mammals. Sulfur lets oxygen in by increasing the permeability of cell membranes, making it easier for cells to absorb nutrients and waste products to be eliminated.
After chemical fertilizers were mandated in the U.S. in 1954, the incidence of cancer and other major degenerative illnesses have increased by an astounding 4000 percent. Diseases we hadn’t even heard of in the 1970’s have become common.
Health problems such as allergies, autoimmune diseases, cancer, obesity, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and chronic fatigue, mood disorders, and gastrointestinal disorders have grown at an unprecedented rate.
According to West Coast Organic Sulfur Project, the lack of sulfur in the diet and the inability of the body’s cells to regenerate are responsible for the greatest increase in diseases in the United States. The study also showed that countries using natural fertilizer have much lower rates of diseases than those that use chemical fertilizer.
Pre-industrial fertilizers were organic, which were created by the natural decomposition of organic materials, primarily manure. Our body does not store sulfur; it is passed every 12 hours which makes most forms of manure excellent sources of sulfur.
Finland Vs United States
Let’s take a look at Finland. Finland was one of the few countries in the world to recognize the dangers of chemical fertilizer. In 1985, Finland was alarmed by the same astounding increase in diseases at similar levels to those found in the United States.
But only Finland chose to do something for its citizen. They banned the use of chemical fertilizers altogether fearing the levels of cadmium, yet they were totally unaware of the sulfur connection.
This resulted in their disease rates to drop to one tenth of the rate in 1985. Interestingly enough, United States chose not to ban chemical fertilizers. As the disease rate continues to drop in Finland, U.S. disease rate continues to climb.
Today, Finland is not only one of the healthiest countries in the world; it is also the leading supplier of organically grown foods in Europe.
Let’s take a look at Iceland. Is it a coincidence that this country enjoy some of the world’s lowest rates of chronic ailments that have afflicted so many other countries?
Perhaps not. It is possible that Icelanders’ remarkably low rates of diseases be attributed to the line of volcanoes.
The volcanic eruptions that occur periodically help to blanket the soil with sulfur containing volcanic rock. Iceland’s soil and water are full of sulfur ash, which is tremendously beneficial to the plants and animals. In turn, when people consume these plants and livestock, they will also experience great health benefits.
It was once thought that the Icelandic diet was so protective against chronic illness due to a high intake of fish. In fact, this theory does not hold up, as Icelanders who moved to Canada and continued consuming a lot of fish did not continue to enjoy the same low rates of disease.
It seems that the Icelandic soil and water which are unusually rich in sulfur plays an important role in the residents’ good health and the low rates of disease.
Our body uses up to 750 mg of organic sulfur daily. Organic sulfur is found in the water we drink, and ideally in fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products. But because of sulfur depletion in our soils, unless you mostly consume organic raw foods and drink natural water, you are likely not getting enough sulfur to keep your body at its optimal level of health and vitality.
I think it is very sad that when I asked my doctor about sulfur, her response was that we get all the sulfur in the foods we eat. This may have been true until we changed the way we grow our foods.
Organic sulfur or Methylsulfonylmethane is such an essential mineral for the body and surprisingly very few doctors even know about it. Why? Because the American Medical Association does not endorse natural remedies and doctors are trained to only suggest conventional therapy, which are drugs, radiation, and surgery.
So What Can We Do About It?
A diet high in sulfur is important for optimal body function. In fact, of 20 amino acids present in our foods, only two contain sulfur, which are methionine and cysteine. Methionine is an amino acid that cannot be synthesized by our body and must be supplied through diet. Cysteine is synthesized by our body but requires a steady supply of dietary sulfur in order to do so.
Neither of these amino acids are stored in our body. Any dietary excess amounts of methionine and cysteine are either eliminated through the urine or in the feces or stored in the form of glutathione. Glutathione is comprised of three amino acids: cysteine, glutamate, and glycine. These are our body’s most potent antioxidants, which also keep all other antioxidants performing at peak levels.
Since these amino acids are not normally stored in the body, consuming foods containing sulfur on a daily basis is the way to keep our body at its optimal level of health and vitality.
If there is too little sulfur in our body, it could lead to reduced protein synthesis. Common health complaints associated with low concentrations of sulfur in our body include fatigue, depression, high sensitivity to physical and psychological stress, degenerative diseases, acne, brittle nails and hair, convulsions, memory problems, gastrointestinal problems, rash and even slow wound healing. Sulfur deficiency in the body may also contribute to obesity, insulin resistance, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and chronic fatigue.
I truly believe that the best way to obtain sulfur is through diet. However, this may be challenging for many of us. Unless we consume mostly organic raw foods and drink natural water, then we are likely not getting enough sulfur in our body.
Sulfur is readily obtainable from our diet, excellent sources of sulfur are organic, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, turnips, bok choy, onions, coconut oil, olive oil, wheat germ, garlic, legumes such as beans, pastured eggs, grass-fed meats, nuts, and wild-caught Alaskan salmon.
If your diet is primarily refined and processed and thoroughly cooked food, you are likely to be sulfur deficient. Refined and processed foods barely have any nutritional value. Additionally, cooked foods destroy much of the sulfur in vegetables and fruits due to heat.
I understand not everyone likes vegetables, If the above option is a challenge for you, you can also take gold standard organic sulfur crystals to defense yourself against the modern poisoning of our soil, water and air. There are numerous health benefits associated with taking organic sulfur. This mineral helps to detoxify our body by oxygenating cells, alkalizing the blood, removing toxins and heavy metals, speeding up healing, and keeping our body cells running at optimal efficiency.
Another option to help your body obtain sulfur is to soak your body in a warm bath with magnesium sulfate or Epsom salt. Epsom salt is made up of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. While most of the benefits associated with Epsom salt baths are related to magnesium, however, its sulfur content also plays an important role for health. This type of bath can help your skin absorb sulfur. Take bath with Epsom salt twice a week with about ½ -1 cup in your bath to help compensate and counter act sulfur deficiency.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment box below. I will get back to you as soon as possible.
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