Sulphur is an essential element for human body. It is an important non-metallic trace mineral. It is the third most abundant (after calcium and phosphorus) mineral based on percentage of total body weight. It is the sixth most abundant macro mineral in breast milk. It is present in saliva, bile, protein, amino acids, muscles, skin, bones and insulin. Sulphur is required for building amino acids which are used to create protein for cells and tissues and for hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.
Importance of Sulphur for Human body
- It is essential for life.
- It is required for vital amino acids, and to create protein for cells and tissues and for hormones, enzymes, and antibodies.
- It is required for synthesis of many amino acids and large number of key metabolic intermediates.
- It is also called ‘beauty mineral’ as it is required for healthy hair and skin. Sulfur containing medicine are prescribed for treatment of diseases of skin psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis. It has also been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and hay fever.
- It is beneficial in supporting strong tendons, cartilage and ligaments.
- It supports the secretion of bile salts by the gall bladder.
- Deficiency of Sulphur in body can cause various ailments. Some of them are given below. Sulphur deficiency, when it occurs, is linked with protein deficiency.
- Skin diseases
- Psoriasis, Eczema, rough skin, dryness
- Skin and hair dryness, roughness
- Arthritis, weak ligaments, cartilage, tendons
- Brittle nails
- Epilepsy etc.
Sulphur Rich Food
The excellent source of Sulphur include cruciferous and Allium vegetables. Sulfur can also be accessed from the sulfur-containing amino acids, cysteine, taurine, glutathione and methionine. There is high amounts of sulfur present in foods with high protein content. Eggs are especially rich in Sulphur.
Sulphur is also found in products that have been preserved with sulfate compounds. Examples of sulfate-containing additives and preservatives are substances designed with the E-numbers E220 to E228. These substances are found mainly as preservatives in dried fruits and vegetables and in potato products.
- Shallots, chives
- Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage
- Brussels sprouts
- There is no recommended dietary allowance for sulfur. The diet usually provides an adequate amount of sulfur.
Sulphur Side Effect in Ulcerative colitis
People suffering from ulcerative colitis should take food low in Sulphur. As the colon in such people tends to contain abnormally high levels of bacteria that turn sulfur-containing molecules into hydrogen sulfide and other metabolites. These compounds may disrupt mucosal integrity and promote ulcerative colitis. Sulphur rich foods such as eggs, may cause inflammation of mucosa. Therefore it is highly recommended to take less dietary Sulphur.