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Will a low sulfur diet reduce hydrogen sulfide production?

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by Hip, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    In another thread, Richvank posted:

    I am just wondering whether these bacteria that ferment sulfur-containing amino acids are one and the same as SULFUR-reducing bacteria (bacteria that reduce elemental sulfur to hydrogen sulfide), and if they are a source of hydrogen sulfide in ME/CFS patients.

    Furthermore, if SULFUR-reducing bacteria (as opposed to SULFATE-reducing bacteria) are involved in making hydrogen sulfide in some ME/CFS patients, might a low sulfur diet be the answer for these patients, as a means to limit the hydrogen sulfide production?

    A low sulfur diet essentially involves avoiding cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, cress, broccoli and similar green leaf vegetables), all dairy, eggs, onions, peas, which are all high in sulfur (thiols), so the low sulfur diet is relatively easy to follow.

    A full list of foods that are high in sulfur (thiols) is given here:

    http://livingnetwork.co.za/chelationnetwork/food/high-sulfur-sulphur-food-list/

    Could such a low sulfur diet help treat ME/CFS, by reducing hydrogen sulfide levels ??




    I came out as a strong positive on de Meirleir's hydrogen sulfide urine test (the neurotoxic metabolite test).

    Now, from my Genova Diagnostics Digestive Stool Test, I know have the bacterium Proteus mirabilis in my gut, and I believe I also have Proteus mirabilis as a chronic recurrent kidney infection that I can never get rid of. (The other bacteria in my gut are: alpha hemolytic Streptococcus, gamma hemolytic Streptococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, hemolytic Escherichia coli)

    Anyway, since Proteus mirabilis is a SULFUR-reducing bacteria (along with Campylobacter, Pseudomonas and Salmonella), could Proteus mirabilis be making hydrogen sulfide from the sulfurs in my diet, either in my gut or in my kidneys, where this Proteus mirabilis resides?

    Anyone familiar enough with the chemistry to answer this question?
  2. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I just found this webpage on sulfur-reducing bacteria that says:

    The author, however, may be confusing SULFUR-reducing bacteria and SULFATE-reducing bacteria.
  3. Emootje

    Emootje Senior Member

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    The Netherlands
  4. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    That's useful to hear. Though I wonder if the effectiveness of such a diet depends on whether you have SULFUR-reducing bacteria or SULFATE-reducing bacteria? My knowledge of chemistry is very limited.
  5. ramakentesh

    ramakentesh Senior Member

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    This is an interesting area, although I am not yet convinced that elevations in hydrogen sulfide are automatically derived from the gut. Being a vasodilator molecule that works in a careful balance with nitric oxide I dont think would take much for a pathological condition to arise where its endothelial or neuronal expression is moved out balance. When you consider the large evidence that changes in nitric oxide bioavailability can cause or exaccerbate many cardiovascular pathologies and that these are now accept etiological mechanisms, I cant see why genetic abnormalities or perhaps chronic inflammation could result in altered hydrogen sulfide expression specific to the vascular endothelium.

    Many of the tests being used to detect hydrogen sulfide in CFS patients are speculative and have issues - particular the breath tests.

    But in answer to your question it would be certainly worth trying as I would personally find it easier to believe that excess expression of this molecule could be effected by dietary bioavailability than that it can be effected by manipulating the bacteria in the stomach that are suggested as its source.
  6. ramakentesh

    ramakentesh Senior Member

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  7. richvank

    richvank Senior Member

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    Hi, Hip.

    I would be concerned that a diet low in sulfur-containing amino acids (methionine, cysteine and taurine) would make things worse for PWMEs, because their sulfur metabolisms are already depleted in many cases. Many already have low methionine. The methylation cycle is at the beginning of the sulfur metabolism, and glutathione is an important member of it. I think that it would be better to keep the sulfur amino acids coming in, but to make sure that the gut issues are dealt with so that dysbiotic bacteria in the gut do not divert the sulfur-containing species to the production of excess hydrogen sulfide.

    As far as I know, the normal human metabolism does not utilize elemental sulfur. I would also not expect that there would be much elemental sulfur in the normal diet, though some crops, such as grapes, are dusted with elemental sulfur to keep down mildew in the vineyards, so there may be some residual elemental sulfur on table grapes.

    Best regards,

    Rich
    Sallysblooms likes this.
  8. hixxy

    hixxy Woof woof

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    What I would like to know is why these bacteria produce hydrogen in some people, but hydrogen sulfide in others. Under what conditions does this change happen?! Or am I completely missunderstanding the H2S producing bacteria issue?

    hixxy
  9. Graeme

    Graeme almost there...

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    I've not tried to sort out sulfate from sulfide reducing bacteria or from H2S producers. Too tedious for me, but I can offer a few observations from my experience.

    When I eat carbs I end up expelling a lot of gas that has that unmistakeable H2S smell -rotten eggs. So sugar feeds H2S producers, I think that much is known.

    MSM makes my ankylosing spondylitis flare up something awful. It's thought by some that A.S. is caused by a sensitization to klebsiella, which corresponds to the exacerbation with sugar intake, but the MSM flare is just as interesting. Is MSM feeding the same bacteria or is it feeding another resulting in leaking gut. Could sulfur-fed bacteria be seriously increasing intestinal permeability? If that's the case I think one would be better off going after the dysbiosis than trying to starve the bugs -I think the patient would be the one to lose. Though using bismuth with appropriate antibiotics, or directly starving bugs while using ABX might be a good short-term strategy.
  10. end

    end Senior Member

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    Graeme funny you mention that, as I have documented IP with a strongly positive H2S test. I feel from years of trial and error that dysbiosis must be corrected to lower H2S production. And more interestingly some dysbiosis can not be cultured read through Dr Usman's protocols for GI Biofilm infections/treatment. Organic Acid testing is an indicator of this type of dysbiosis.
    Christopher likes this.

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