Nutritional & health benefits: studies point to its use in metabolism in joint health as well as symptoms of arthritis, joint pain & stiffness. Allergies to sulfur compounds are not uncommon and those who are sensitive to the mineral should be careful of foods that contain either naturally occurring sulfur or sulfur based additives
Sulfur, which goes by the letter S on the periodic table, is necessary for the proper functioning of all living cells. There are
two types of Sulfur that can be taken as health supplements: dimethyl sulfoxide, which is known as DMSO, and methylsulfonylmethane
which is known as MSM. Both of these supplements have many supposed health benefits.
One popular application of sulfur is as an ingredient in mud baths, which may actually be more beneficial than they appear. There is evidence that mud baths deliver many health benefits to the skin, and benefit a variety of skin related problems such as eczema, warts, psoriasis, and dandruff.
Another health benefit of sulfur that has been studied to a limited degree is its use a treatment of arthritis. Studies have shown that a type of therapy called balneotherapy,
which can include sulfur mud baths, offers health benefits to those suffering from many different forms of arthritis,
including psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid
arthritis. There have also been studies that demonstrate that when sulfur is applied to the skin as a topical treatment,
it improves many symptoms of arthritis such as joint swelling and pain.
There is also some limited evidence to suggest that topical sulfur may be useful in treating more general joint pain. Studies done on this have found that when sulfur is applied topically there is an increase in the joint's range of motion along with a lowered amount of pain. The evidence for this is mixed, however, and additional research needs to be done before anything conclusive can be said.
For those looking to supplement their sulfur intake, there are many excellent food sources of sulfur including eggs, garlic, onion, meats, legumes, and dairy.
More information about sulfur & diet around the Web:
Discover more about the nutrient that is found in every cell in the
body, its relationship to other nutrients, information on high sulfur foods and low-sulfur diets...
MSM Information - With facts on methylsulfonylmethane, the organic form of sulfur with a discussion on the need for clinical studies, its use for
muscle and joint pain in conjunction with glucosamine and chondroitin, and possible side effects.
Selenium Sulfur DRI/RDA - Overview of systemic effects, interactions with other nutrients, above normal levels associated with diseases such as Lou Gehrig's, Alzheimer's and Chron's disease, recommended daily allowances, food sources.
TJClark - Sulfur - Section of a nutritional supplement site that does a very good job of covering sulfur's role in the body, sulfur's benefits, sulfur-containing amino acids, food sources, deficiency symptoms and related resources.