April 11, 2013

Organic Sulfur - Part 1

Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

I am always on the lookout for interesting health information. A few months back, I started reading articles on organic sulfur, aka methylsulfonylmethane or MSM. I’ve used MSM with many patients over the years. It helps with relief of pain from arthritis. What I didn’t know were the details of this crucial compound.

Every day the body needs about 750 mg of sulfur. Small amounts are found in water, fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products. Unless you consume mostly organic, raw foods, you are likely deficient in organic sulfur (OS). Anytime food is cooked, dehydrated, stored during shipping or refrigerated a length of time, it is depleted of most sulfur. This means pasteurized milk and any frozen veggies have no significant supply of sulfur. This is because OS bands with moisture and is carried away when dehydration occurs.

Even if you do eat raw fruits and veggies, and meat from the grocery; you still are not getting what you need. Not so many years ago, the majority of our food was grown in soil fertilized with manure, which replenished the soil with OS. Since the 1990’s , petro-chemical fertilizers have become the norm, which has depleted the soils of the vast majority of our food supply of OS, and robbing the food grown in it of OS. This is why produce grown on a small scale using organic means, are the best foods to purchase.

The majority of sulfur we get is through dietary protein, such as fish and high quality organic and grass feed beef and poultry. Meat and fish are considered ‘complete’, because they contain  the sulfur containing amino acids you need to produce new protein. Do you see how people who abstain from animal protein are at a greater risk of sulfur deficiency?

Chlorine and fluorine are detrimental to oxygen transport, are poisonous at higher concentrations, and block uptake of oxygen and sulfur. Yet we add them to our water supply in many areas?

About half of the sulfur in your body is founds in muscles, skin and bones. The other half plays a major role in many body systems.

Hesh Goldstein lists 21 important body functions that must have OS. I will list a few you will recognize. It increases enzyme production in the glands of the body, increasing resistance to illnesses. It increases flexibility in the tissues and increases blood circulation. It reduces joint inflammation and promotes recovery when tissue is damaged. Athletes benefit from OS because it dramatically reduces recovery time. It eliminates ‘free radicals’ and promotes hair and finger nail growth.

OS facilitates oxygenation of cells and tissues, helping to keep the body in a consistent aerobic environment so that cancer cells cannot survive or exist.

Studies have shown OS can help reverse osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Consider that since our food supply went to petrochemical fertilization in the 1990’s, what has happened with the diseases aforementioned? They have sky rocketed. (Not to mention flu shots with formaldehyde and mercury, but you already know that!)

We will stop here this week, and next time, we’ll look at more benefits of OS, how it differs from mineral sulfur, how to ingest it and how much you need to see the benefits of OS.