What is Sulfur?


Sulfur - The 4th Most Abundant

Mineral in the Human Body

Are You Sulfur Deficient?


Did you know that Sulfur (Sulphur) is the 4th most abundant mineral in the human body? A form of sulfur we can use is methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM). Sulfur is present in the human body at about 140g, mainly in the proteins but there is some in all cells, tissues and joints. Much Sulfur (maybe half) is found in skin, hair and nails. Sulfur is also found in four amino acids, methionine, cystine, cysteine and taurine. Cystine and cysteine can both be made from methionine and taurine Methionine (an essential amino acid) must be available from the food we eat as we cannot make it in our bodies. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, hence the need for a bioavailable (absorbable) form of Sulfur like MSM.


There are lots of different types of proteins in the body, not only in muscles, some of the others are: transport proteins, enzymes, insulin and heparin, an anticoagulant. Taurine is found in bile acids, and the sulfur containing amino acids help form other necessary substances such as biotin, coenzyme A, lipoic acid and glutathione. Sulfur is needed to help the cells use oxygen in energy production, thus helping brain function and all cell activity and it is needed for the immune system because antibodies have several di-sulfide bonds.


Sulphur is found in approximately half of the total human body. Sulphur is concentrated in the muscles, skin and bones. It is present in keratin, the tough substance in the skin, nails and hair. Sulphur is necessary for making collagen, the primary constituent of cartilage and connective tissue. It is responsible for the formation of body proteins that form the disulfide bonds which hold connective tissue together.

Optimal health is dependent on maintaining the process for producing healthy and flexible cells. Without proper nutrition, the body can run short of the materials it needs. Lacking sufficient MSM, the body is a compromised system, deficient in it’s ability to repair and replace damaged tissue and organs. The inability of the body to do it’s work causes it to produce dysfunctional cells which can lead to illness and disease.

Sulfur (in the form of MSM) is called the forgotten mineral by several prominent researchers, and Earl L. Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D. says that organic sulfur or what we know as methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM) is the kind our bodies can use and absorb. He wrote the booklet "The MSM Miracle" in 1997 (I bought mine from Amazon) in which he states that the reason for writing it is to change its undervalued status by “turning the spotlight on sulfur.”

In the 1800’s Grandma’s “spring tonic” consisted of sulfur and molasses, our more mature readers will perhaps remember it, and younger ones can ask their older family members. It was highly valued to promote wellness and improve skin, hair and nails.  MSM was not known then, but Sulfur was known as the “beauty mineral.” Sulfur is absorbed in the small intestine and is necessary for collagen production (connective tissues, muscles etc), it is a part of antibodies (immune system), bile production and cell energy production (cellular level, very basic).

MSM could be the modern version of this age old remedy!


MSM and Animals

MSM also works extremely well for Animals.  Cats, Dogs, Horses etc.  Animals also suffer a lot of the same complaints we suffer from.  Animals Suffering from Arthritis, Inflamed joints, Back Pain etc all can benefit from taking MSM.  Its also been found that horse studs using MSM on both the mare and the stallion get much better success rates when breeding.  Success rates have risen drastically.  Race Horses recover faster after heavy training or a race.  It works on all  animals that are mammals large and small.

John Metcalf, DVM, a well-known equine practitioner, started his evaluation of MSM to treat a variety of illnesses in horses, including chronic muscle soreness, epiphysis's, acute laminitis, pleuritis, recurring digestive tract disorder and arthritis.  He had good success where other more traditional treatments were not as effective.

Where can we find dietary Sulfur?

Dietary Sulfur can be found in protein foods, particularly eggs.  It's also found in smaller amounts in garlic, onions, very fresh green vegetables and turnips, nuts and some fruits. The problem is that bioavailable Sulfur (like MSM) is very water soluble and can be lost in storage, washing and cooking. The practice of spraying water on the green vegetables in the shops may possibly deplete water soluble nutrients before we even take the vegetables home! Sulfur is found in two of the B vitamins, thiamine and biotin, thiamine being important to skin, insulin and carbohydrate metabolism, and biotin is important for hair. Sulfur deficiency may be more common when foods are grown in sulfur deficient soils.  When people are on low protein diets (or low in stomach acids to process proteins) and when there is a lack of the right kind of intestinal bacteria to finish the digestion process. Our soils are deficient in lots of minerals! Some people have even sprinkled MSM on their vegetable patch to ensure the plants get enough.

History: for centuries, Arthritis pain sufferers have bathed in sulfur rich springs, used oral sulfur as sulfates, and eaten eggs, fresh raw garlic and onions with the hope that they would help. Reference: “Staying Healthy with Nutrition” Elson M. Haas, M.D.

Sulfur deficiencies can be associated with:
Slow wound healing, Scar tissue, Brittle nails, Brittle hair, Gastrointestinal problems, Inflammation, Lung dysfunction, Immune dysfunction, Arthritis, Allergies, Acne and other Skin conditions.

Supplementing with MSM assures an adequate supply of easily absorbable organic Sulfur for the body to use.

Animals know what is good for them - if they need MSM they take it readily, in their drinking water or in their food. MSM can be lacking in your pets diet. Horses of all types recover faster after a workout or race when they are given MSM daily. Like cats and dogs horses are mammals.

Scientists around the world have investigated the possible benefits of MSM in treating Arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, inflammatory diseases (most of the degenerative diseases involve inflammation), allergies, asthma, dermatological problems, periodontal conditions etc...


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