Sulfur is a naturally-occurring element that is found in its biologically active form (sulfonyl) in rain water and in many foods that have absorbed rain water – foods such as milk, fruits, vegetables, and even meat. In the form of MSM (short for methyl sulfonyl methane), it is the third most abundant mineral in your body, after calcium and phosphorous. Since this sulfur compound is apparently so easy-to-obtain, it is often overlooked as a necessary dietary supplement. Unfortunately, too few people come into regular contact with rain water, these days, and the MSM that may have permeated your food by way of rain water may not still be there after processing and preparation.
That leaves many people living in our modern world with a less-than-ideal level of sulfur in their body chemistry.
The Role of Sulfur in the Human Body
Bodily functions requiring sulfur to operate include:
- Cell division: the reproduction process of human cells, in which one cell divides into two “daughter” cells.
- Protein synthesis: the metabolic process that fuels most biological functions, from hair growth to digestion.
- Cellular redox and detox: the process by which each human cell maintains its own health and rids itself of toxins.
- Antioxidant and immunity defenses: when sulfur works with antioxidants to neutralize harmful metals, free radicals, and inflammatory chemicals.
- Disulfide bonds: the process by which components such as glucosamine, collagen, skin, and nails hold tissues together.
Are You Consuming Enough?
Since methyl sulfonyl methane (MSM) is an unstable compound, it does not usually survive any type of processing, such as cooking, storing, or preserving. Many of the foods eaten today are processed or cooked in some way, and this diminishes sulfur content, so many people are simply not consuming enough. When sulfonyl levels are low, cellular activity must continue regardless, but the cells cannot function well. The result is a lower quality of cell production. A few symptoms of low levels of sulfur are:
- Higher levels of inflammation
- Higher susceptibility to allergies
- Physical and psychological stress
- Organ and tissue malfunction
- Susceptibility to disease
- Drug hypersensitivity
- Gastrointestinal upset
Unless you are eating a diet composed mainly of raw, unprocessed foods, and perhaps bathing in rain water, you may not be consuming enough sulfonyl. Luckily, MSM supplements are totally natural and non-toxic, with no recorded side effects. It is extremely water-soluble, so any extra is eliminated by the body. Due to the innocuous nature of this mineral supplement, many doctors prescribe it in place of other, more destructive, medications. Since it is so useful to the human body, supplementing your diet with MSM can provide benefits such as:
- Improved flexibility and permeability of arteries, joints, and tissues
- More energy and vitality as destructive particles in the body are neutralized
- Improved immunity and ability to self-heal
- Reduced pain, swelling, and inflammation
- Increased blood flow and blood pressure regulation
- Inhibited breakdown of cartilage in joints
- Improved digestive system functionality
- Less sensitivity to allergies