WHAT IS SULPHUR?
Sulphur is a macromineral that is well known for its healing properties. It is often used to treat skin conditions and other ailments. However, sulphur does much more than provide you with clear skin. In this article I will be discussing sulphur and its functions in greater detail.
WHEN WAS SULPHUR DISCOVERED?
Sulphur occurs as a free element and can be found in hot springs, meteorites and volcanoes. It was known to ancient people as brimstone and is referenced a number of times in the Bible. Early alchemists even gave sulphur its own alchemical symbol. However, since awareness of sulphur dates back to ancient times the date of discovery and the name of the person who made the discovery are unknown. Despite this sulphur was not recognised as an element until 1777 when the French chemist Antoine Lavoisier managed to convince the scientific community that it was not a compound.
HOW DOES YOUR BODY USE SULPHUR?
Sulphur represents around 0.25% of an average person’s bodyweight. It is stored in all the body’s cells and tissues with the hair, nails and skin containing high levels. Sulphur is often used to treat skin conditions and joint problems. Some of its many functions include:
– Assisting with cellular respiration which means your body uses oxygen more efficiently.
– Assisting with the metabolism of carbohydrates, dietary fats and certain B complex vitamins (including vitamin B1, vitamin B5 and vitamin B7).
– Assisting with the production of collagen (the main connective tissue in your body which helps maintain your skin’s elasticity and is essential for healing all types of wound).
– Assisting with the production of insulin (a hormone that helps moderate your blood glucose levels).
– Assisting with the production of keratin (a protein which promotes healthy, strong hair, nails and skin).
– Detoxifying the body and removing waste materials.
– Keeping the skin clear, glossy and blemish free.
– Relieving the painful symptoms associated with age related conditions such as arthritis.
HOW MUCH SULPHUR DO YOU NEED?
Currently there is no set recommended daily allowance for sulphur but most sources suggest an intake of between 800mg and 1000mg is enough to meet the body’s needs. If it is being used therapeutically (i.e. to relieve joint pain or treat a skin condition) then higher intakes of up to 5g may be required. However, you should consult your doctor or nutritionist before you start using sulphur to treat these conditions.
WHICH FOODS CONTAIN SULPHUR?
Sulphur is generally found in the amino acids so high protein foods such as dairy, fish and meat are often the best source. Certain vegetables including garlic, onions and spinach are also good sources of this micronutrient. The list below contains some of the richest sulphur food sources:
– Brazil Nuts:- 290mg per 100g.
– Cheddar Cheese:- 230mg per 100g.
– Chicken:- 300mg per 100g.
– Egg:- 180mg per 100g.
– Lobster:- 510mg per 100g.
– Spinach:- 90mg per 100g.
– Whole Grain Bread:- 80mg per 100g.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF GETTING TOO MUCH SULPHUR?
At the time of writing there are no known symptoms associated with consuming too much sulphur.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NOT GETTING ENOUGH SULPHUR?
Sulphur deficiencies are extremely rare and often only affect people who follow a low protein diet. In the rare instances when they do occur, sulphur deficiencies can cause:
– Circulatory problems.
– Muscle pains.
– Nerve disorders.
– Poor hair and nail growth.
– Skin problems.
I hope this article has given you a better understanding of this macromineral. Whilst sulphur is best known for its skin boosting properties, it also has many further benefits. So if you want to enjoy healthy, strong hair, nails and skin whilst also helping your body perform optimally, make sure your diet contains some sulphur.
What do you guys think? Have you used sulphur in the past to treat skin conditions? Were you aware of its other benefits. Leave a comment and let me know.