Is Sulfur Deficiency Causing Osteo Arthritis?

Could the arthritis problem in the USA be tied to a sulfur deficiency? Many naturally health minded experts are beginning to think so.

Sulfur is one of the top abundant minerals in your body. In the past decades, people have gotten sulfur from organic food sources because our soils contained sulfur. But recently, as in the past 20 years, the farming industry in the United States (and other places around the world) has evolved into large technologized farms that produce high yields. This focus on high yields tend to deplete the vital nutrients like sulfur from the soil. Mega farms typically also apply artificial fertilizers to the soil that have phosphates but low sulfur. The veggies our grandparents ate had more sulfur in them than the ones we eat today!

Sulfur amino acids, methionine and cysteine, are very important for the maintenance of our cellular systems. They play an essential role throughout the body. Yet, sulfur is consistently overlooked by government agencies that address nutritional deficiencies. The National Academy of Sciences hasn’t assigned a minimum daily requirement for sulfur, yet it is the 8th most common element by mass in the human body, after oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus and potassium.

Sulfur plays a very important role in joint, cartilage, skin & blood vessel formation through the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) compounds.  Some of the familiar GAG compounds include glucosamine, heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate.  When sulfur levels are depleted the body is unable to replace the old and inferior GAG molecules in the joints.  With inadequate repair materials the joints, blood vessels, & skin cells suffer and degenerate faster.

According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. It is sometimes called degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis. It most frequently occurs in the hands, hips, and knees. With OA, the cartilage and bones within a joint begin to break down. These changes usually develop slowly and get worse over time. OA can cause pain, stiffness, and swelling, and can result in disability. OA affects over 30 million US adults.

Sulfur bonds are required for proteins to maintain their shape, and these bonds determine the biological activity of the proteins. For example,  hair and nails consists of a tough protein called keratin, which is high in sulfur, whereas connective tissue and cartilage contain proteins with flexible sulfur bonds, giving the structure its flexibility. With age, the flexible tissues in your body tend to lose their elasticity, leading to sagging and wrinkling of skin, stiff muscles and painful joints.

Sulfur also plays an important role in:

  • Your body’s electron transport system, as part of iron/sulfur proteins in mitochondria, the energy factories of your cells
  • Vitamin-B thiamine (B1) and biotin conversion, which in turn are essential for converting carbohydrates into energy
  • Synthesizing important metabolic intermediates, such as glutathione
  • Proper insulin function. The insulin molecule consists of two amino acid chains connected to each other by sulfur bridges, without which the insulin cannot perform its biological activity
  • Detoxification
  • Analysis of the minerals present in the cells of the typical Alzheimer’s patient reveals that sulfur is almost nonexistent compared with a normal profile.


  • Reduces bodily discomforts and is an anti-inflammatory acting agent.
  • Supports joint health by providing building blocks for strong cartilage and collagen.
  • Supports healthy nail and hair growth.
  • Normalizes recovery time after your exercise!
  • Improves cellular uptake of many nutrients including Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, amino acids, selenium, calcium, magnesium, coenzyme Q10
  • Supports healthy DNA replication
  • Alleviates seasonal discomforts and allergic reactions.
  • Supports healthy digestive system and reduces parasite infections.
  • The body starts with a sulfur containing amino acid called Methianoine to make every single protein. We NEED sulfur.
  • Metals are detoxed with the sulfur pathway.
  • Supports healthy neurological system. Supports healthy cell elasticity and permeability.
  • Supports a healthy inflammatory response.
  • Promotes healthy insulin function.
  • Improves lung function by allowing your body to more effectively take up oxygen.
  • Relieves muscle discomfort.
  • Supports healthy arteries and a healthy heart.
  • MSM is needed by our bodies daily to maintain the structure of proteins, protect cells and cell membranes, replenish the connections between cells, preserve the molecular framework of connective tissue. It supports immune, liver, circulation systems and proper intestinal function. Scavenges free radicals

So what can you do about it? You can make an effort to eat more sulfur containing foods and you can take a quality sulfur supplement. MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is an excellent form of sulfur that you can find as a supplement.

MSM can be found in raw grass-fed milk, fresh vegetables and fruits. The amounts of sulfur you can obtain from these sources range between 1-5mg/kg. Pasteurization kills the MSM (it is lost rapidly during heating), so pasteurized milk is not a good source. If you eat a diet of primarily processed and cooked foods, you can be virtually guaranteed that you’re not getting sufficient amounts of sulfur in your diet. Our soils are so often depleted and don’t have enough sulfur in them either. It’s a big problem.

Dr. Joseph Mercola recommends to get  5000-7500 mg of Sulfur a day. There is no government recommendation. They forgot to add it to the USDA’s list of recommendations!

Dr. Lindsey Elmore, a pharmacist who leans natural, recommends the product Sulfurzyme by Young Living Essential Oils and she recommends a minimum of 4 capsules a day. A bottle of Sulfurzyme costs about $76 retail. We found it at but it is available many places. A membership to Young Living will get it to you for around $60 wholesale. You can find it at






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