Is There Really Such a Thing as Sulfur Intolerance? (Minich, 2018)

Pyrrhus

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Is There Really Such a Thing as Sulfur Intolerance? (Minich, 2018)
(a self-published blog)

Excerpt:
Minich 2018 said:
Unlike some of the potential triggers in diets, such as lactose or gluten, sulfur is an essential mineral your body needs to perform certain functions, possibly leading some to think it’s not possible to be intolerant to it.
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As will be discussed, two major places to find sulfur are the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cysteine.
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One major place you will find sulfur in the human body is sulfur-containing amino acids, specifically homocysteine, taurine, methionine, and cysteine. These amino acids are used in many key roles in the body, including your immune system, oxidation reactions, metabolism, and protein structures, although methionine and cysteine are the only two used in proteins. Methionine acts as a precursor to SAM (S-adenosylmethionine), while cysteine is a precursor to glutathione and taurine. SAM is an antioxidant, and it is the methyl donor for most methyltransferases that make changes to DNA, RNA, and proteins. Thus, sulfur plays a role in the cell’s methylation processes.
[...]
Methionine and cysteine play a role in glutathione synthesis and recycling. Glutathione is the body’s major intercellular antioxidant, which not only counters oxidative stress and is necessary to reduce inflammation and keep your immune system strong, but it is also a part of the detoxification process. Cysteine is a precursor of glutathione, while methionine can synthesize glutathione through the transsulfuration pathway, which can also use homocysteine to create glutathione.
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If our bodies were meant to have sulfur and need them for the above elements and functions, then how can so many people have issues with sulfur? Is it really the sulfur causing the problem, or is it something else? Let’s see what the literature says.
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As of yet, there is limited research into sulfur intolerance or allergy specifically. However, there are potential underlying issues that could affect one’s ability to tolerate sulfur-rich foods, which may present as something similar to intolerance to sulfur-containing foods.

Some of the current hypotheses about possible causes include:
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So, is there such a thing as sulfur intolerance? There is no definitive answer in the literature about whether sulfur intolerance is real. Anecdotally, there are many individuals who do better when consuming a low-sulfur diet, possibly due to the underlying causes mentioned above. Thus, sulfur intolerance most likely is not due to the sulfur itself per se, but an inability to keep the right sulfur balance, which may throw off homeostasis and disrupt processes further downstream.
 

Pyrrhus

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Note that many people may experience start-up effects when consuming methionine or cysteine, especially in the form of supplemental N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC).

For me, these start-up effects were almost intolerable, but faded after about 8-12 weeks of supplementing with NAC: https://forums.phoenixrising.me/threads/glutathione-causing-anxiety-irritability.81246/#post-2304206

The reason for these start-up effects remain a bit of a mystery, but a glutathione deficiency or methylfolate trap in some key cells might just explain them...
 

ahmo

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I can't do sulfur. My mother was allergic to sulfa in drugs. I can't eat sulfurous foods. I might have a small amount, but if I do it 2 days in a row, I will have skin outbreaks. This is only since ME.
 

seamyb

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The reason for these start-up effects remain a bit of a mystery, but a glutathione deficiency or methylfolate trap in some key cells might just explain them...
NAC is also a binder of gliotoxin (and possibly other toxins) in the gut, I believe. Over on the "Multiple binders" thread we're posting often about how we're in agony from binding toxins in the gut.

Another toxin-related mechanism might be the mobilisation of toxins in cells from increased production of glutathione. The cells make a best effort to neutralise them if they're forced to harbour them, but when they go flying out and into the blood, they get to the brain and nervous system and do you in.

I'm not a fan of any explanation of ME that doesn't involve foreign pathogenic microbes or substances. It's just who I am. It's my hill to die on.
 

Marylib

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MSM gave me a noticeable good response back when I was FM -ish (I could exercise in other words.) I wonder how that fits in with the sulfur question?