Sulfate Combats High Blood Pressure

In the journey of discovery of how nutrients, in various forms, affect our bodies, I have been really amazed at the importance of sulfur for our health.  I guess this should not have surprised me as you think about many of the health remedies that have a sulfur connection.  All mud baths and mineral waters have sulfur, usually as sulfate, in their make-up.  Garlic has always been associated with its many curative properties.  Garlic, even in low sulfur soils, will find a way to reach high sulfur content.  There are over thirty sulfur compounds to be found in garlic.  When soaking in Epsom salts baths, it has typically been thought that the magnesium was the curative ingredient in the magnesium sulfate.

As I discovered that vitamin D3 controls the transporters for sulfate in various organs, I now wonder if this is not part of the curative effect of vitamin D3.  Vitamin D3 improves the ability of our bodies in how we handle sulfur.  As you already know from my earlier post, sulfur is extremely important in many biological functions.

I have some issue with high blood pressure, but not high enough to where I needed a med.  Although at times, my blood pressure has been much higher than it should have been.  It was not unusual to see numbers of 130/90.  This is caller pre-hypertension.  As I begin to supplement with vitamin D3 and then magnesium, my blood pressure became normal reading typically around 125/80.  As I added sulfate to my diet through additional cruciferous vegetables and alliums and mineral water, my blood pressure has dropped again.  It now typically runs at 115/70.  This is a significant indicator of improving health.

It seems that our medical professional in the US have not considered sulfate when trying to reduce high blood pressure.  It seems that they have always thought it was the magnesium in magnesium sulfate that was effective.  Consider this article from Livestrong.  The article starts by quoting a physician saying that magnesium sulfate is the only treatment for high blood pressure and then proceeds to discuss magnesium.  The assumption has always been that we have an excess of sulfate available to us.

Intravenous magnesium sulfate has always been the choice in reducing high blood pressure issues like pre-eclampsia and pulmonary hypertension.  Why have we not considered that it was the sulfate as the primary actor and not the magnesium?  The Chinese seem to be ahead of us in their approach to discovering methods to combat hypertension with sulfate.  Consider these two journal papers:  Effects of sulfur dioxide on hypoxic pulmonary vascular structure remodeling, Sun, et.al. and Endogenously generated sulfur dioxide and its vasorelaxant effect in rats, Shu-xu Du, et. Al.

Sulfur dioxide, a toxic gas usually associated with acid rain, is the effective form of sulfur for hypertension.  Sulfur dioxide is not to be confused with hydrogen sulfide, the toxic gas found in sewers.  It seems that sulfur dioxide works in synergy with nitric oxide in this relaxation effect in our blood vessels.  It is interesting to understand this because one of the catalysts for the production of acid rain from sulfur dioxide is also nitric oxide.  How odd.  Certainly the body cannot generate the sulfur dioxide as needed if we do not have enough sulfur in our bodies.

The intake of sulfur compounds most be made on a daily basis.  As we have discussed before, sulfate in the body acts as our waste removal system.  This constantly depletes the sulfur stores in our bodies.  Nature has made sulfur as sulfate readily available to us through high mineral content water.  However, we have consistently removed the minerals from our water because of issues like hardness and plugging water piping.

Eat your vegetables, drink your mineral water, and soak in an Epsom salts bath while being replete in vitamin D.  Imagine yourself soaking in a mineral spring in the summer sun – ah, the curative effect.  – Pandemic Survivor

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Understanding Vitamin D with other Nutrients

When the understanding that cod liver oil would help to prevent and heal rickets was made, there was no understanding as to the mechanisms of action of the components of cod liver oil.  All that was known was that if you used cod liver oil, rickets and some other diseases were prevented and cured.  When modern medical research began to decide mechanisms of action to predict the correct amount of vitamin D in combination with vitamin A, confusion has issued.  There is currently a battle about the correct amounts of vitamin D and vitamin A between the Vitamin D Council and the Weston Price Foundation.   Vitamin D Council on the ratio for vitamin D and A (please note the other articles in the left hand column on Vitamin A and CLO) Weston Price discussion;  and update

I believe that the confusion arises from trying to extrapolate useful information from a nutritional or medical study considering one or two nutrients that is being evaluated using analysis of the variance -ANOV.  Human biology is much more complicated as the interaction of many nutrients gives us health or disease.  After decades of making the same error, manufacturing has been able to overcome this confusion by using analysis of the means.  ANOM gives not only the outcome of the principle inputs but also the interaction of the various inputs.  Until better methods are adopted by medical/nutritional research, we are just left with the best guess interpretation of the ‘experts.’

So where does that leave us?  I believe it is about what gives you health or disease.  I have been supplementing with the nutrients in which we are deficient for eight years now.  The interaction and the amounts of daily intake of vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin C, sulfate, iodine, and magnesium are critical.  When I have started to feel bad or had other less than desirable symptoms, I have found that I have to change the balance of one of these deficiencies.

After much trial and error this is where I am now in units per pound of body weight per day:

Vitamin D3    40 IU
Vitamin A from fish liver Oil             20 IU
Vitamin C       20mg
Sulfate             40mg
Magnesium      4.5 mg
Iodine                 0.05mg  (example 150 lb weight –  7.5mg)

This of course says nothing of the other nutrients from diet and supplementation that are essential to health.  However, the ones listed above are typically difficult if not impossible to get from the American diet.

These amounts and the sources that you derive the nutrients from may be different for you as our bodies do not all process a given nutrient the same way.  This is due to the fact that we may be deficient or have an over abundance of other nutrients in our bodies to say nothing of our state of health.  Let’s examine an example and you can see what I mean.

Suppose you have low energy and feel cranky.  Knowing that magnesium is responsible for the action of over 300 enzymes you may decide that you need to increase magnesium.  However, there are several other things that may be the problem even if you are getting enough of the above nutrients.  It may be that you are not absorbing enough vitamin B12 because of your age.  Or, it could be that you are not getting enough of the correct types of fats and proteins.  Or, it may simply be that you are eating too much sugar and you blood sugar spikes are the issue, etc.

Eating a great diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and meats while supplementing with the nutrients in which you are deficient will give you optimum health.  It is only through your record keeping of how you feel, trial and error of amounts, and types of foods that are consumed can you reach this desire.  There is no magic formula.   There is magic for health when the balance of nutrients is correct     -Pandemic Survivor

Inorganic Sulfate and the Nervous System

We had established earlier that inorganic sulfate has many roles for health in this post:  Human Health – Sulfur and the Vitamin D Connection

We also found that the sodium-sulfate co-transporters are controlled by vitamin D.  “Critical role of vitamin D in sulfate homeostasis: regulation of the sodium-sulfate cotransporter by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 ” Bolt, et.al. Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, May 27, 2004. 

I would now like to consider what effects sulfate has on the central nervous system.  In the article found on the USDA website, “Sulfate” (pdf),  there is a list of many compounds that are critical to health that are formed out of the energy cycle ATP-ADP in combination with inorganic sulfate.  One of the listed compounds is cerebroside sulfate.  A variation of this compound (galactose) makes up two percent of grey matter and twelve percent of white matter.  The glucose variation is found in many organ cells, neurons, and skin where it acts to maintain water permeability.

The galactose variation is the major component of the myelin sheath that protects your nerves throughout the body.  The health of this sheath also dictates the speed and proper response of nerve signal transmission by maintaining a local reservoir of sodium and potassium.  I think that this is the major pathway of vitamin D that reduces pain all over the body.  Galactoslycerimides are not found in plants.  I guess since there is not a nervous system there is no need.

I may have related a story to you earlier by a pharmacist that had difficulty in controlling a patient’s pain without having the patient pass out from the meds.  At the insistence of a relative of the patient for a change in meds, the pharmacist decided to try adding a significant amount of vitamin D.  With the addition of the vitamin D3, the patient was able to have the meds reduced by half and remained lucid.  To me this is an amazing story that says generalized pain can be significantly reduced just by the addition of vitamin D3.

In the morning, I notice a significant clearing of the brain after drinking a mineral water that has a significant amount of sulfate added as magnesium sulfate.  I go many times without any coffee because it is not needed with the mineral water.

There are two things that we do as a society that really bothers me.  First, we spend huge amounts of money to take the hardness out of the water.  The hardness is normally caused by calcium and magnesium sulfate and/or chloride.  This water is not harmful to human health, but beneficial to human health.  It has been promoted as theory that the reason the low death rate for heart disease in both Greece and Japan are because of the high sulfate in the water.  This hardness is not a problem for water systems as long as carbonate is not introduced.  If carbonate is introduced or occurs naturally, then the calcium carbonate precipitates out of solution fouling the water system.  Our water supply systems should remove the carbonate and leave the rest of the minerals.  Of course, we would not get many suds formation when washing.  This could actually be a good thing in washing.

Second, when you have a blood test only three of the four major anions in the blood are measured routinely.  Phosphate, chloride, and bicarbonate are routinely measured and the levels used as markers or indicators for various biological functions.  However, the fourth, sulfate, is not measured.  To me this is an extremely necessary part of health and standards should be developed for serum sulfate levels.  It most likely could be used as a marker for various disease states like heart disease or the ability to cope with pain.

In whatever way you decide through diet, supplementation, or soaking in an Epsom salts bath; be sure that you are getting enough sulfates.  – Pandemic Survivor

Taking Out the Cellular Trash

It is a bright sunny day.  I am anxious with the anticipation of sun on my face and then,

“Mark”

“Yes dear.”

“Will you take out the trash before you go into the sun?”

Our cells just like my wife are constant in their alerting you cells have become clogged with trash that needs to be removed.  You feel down and out or have not waked completely from that long restful sleep.  So how does the body get rid of this cellular trash?  There are many mechanisms that are responsible at the cellular level for removal of left over fragments  from the normal respiration of the energy engines of the cells – mitochondrial bodies.

Over looked in this array of ‘trash removal’ is the need for sulfate to form water soluble esters that latch onto the fragments and remove them through the normal process in the kidneys.  The esters will grab onto anything that is a carbon radical or metal that should be removed.  This includes things like the method used to detoxify the liver when one has taken too much acetaminophen.  The common practice is to use methionine, a high sulfur protein.  Sulfur, as sulfate, also acts to remove metal from the brain such as toxic aluminum.  Aluminum is one of the toxins implicated in Alzheimer disease.  I suspect that other diseases that are hard to define are also a result of the clogging of energy engines in the cells like fibromyalgia.

Municipalities spends millions each year in removing the hardness from our water that most commonly occurs as sodium and calcium sulfate.  If the content of this ‘essential’ mineral is too high in the water, above 500 ppm, it will lead to an uncomfortable taste.  If the high mineral water comes into contact with a carbonate, it will precipitate in the pipes as a hard calcium deposit.  This is not that dissimilar to what happens in your arteries when you develop plaque, which is mostly a calcium plaque.

Vitamin D controls the balance of minerals in our bodies.  Vitamin D3 and its metabolites along with vitamin K2 act to help the body take care of calcium in the metabolic process of the body.  Vitamin D is particularly beneficial in controlling the sodium sulfate co-transporters that can be found in the dermal linings of all parts of the body as well as all the organs.    “Critical role of vitamin D in sulfate homeostasis: regulation of the sodium-sulfate cotransporter by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 ” Bolt, et.al. Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, May 27, 2004. 

Are you getting enough sulfur as inorganic sulfur?  The science is very thin on this subject.  You may find this article helpful from the USDA website:  “Sulfate” (pdf) The authors state that most of the sulfur in our diets comes from the turnover of sulfur rich proteins both from plants and meats.  However, it also describes the body’s need for the inorganic sulfate.   How can you assure that you are getting enough sulfur?  Many nutritionist that ascribe to the paleo diet suggest you need at least three cups of cruciferous and allium vegetables per day in addition to the other proteins that you get from your normal diet.  Here is a helpful post from the Dr. Mercola website:  “Dr Reverses MS in 9 Months by Eating These Foods”    Also this full free text article from Pub Med “Allium vegetables and organosulfur compounds: do they prevent cancer?”     Please note the volatile compounds listed in this article are all sulfates.  This is what causes your eyes to tear when you cut into an onion.  The volatile sulfate forms sulfuric acid in your eyes and results in the ‘burn.’

Listen to your Mom when she says, “Eat your vegetables.”   If you want to become fully awake in a hurry or get over a handover, try an onion.   – Pandemic Survivor

Human Health – Sulfur and the Vitamin D Connection

Earlier in the year, I did several posts on sulfur.  Stephanie Seneff has proposed sulfur and vitamin D sulfate play a significant role in human health in her essay:  “Could Sulfur Deficiency be a Contributing Factor in Obesity, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?” None of the agencies through Health and Human Services has even established an incorrect minimum daily requirement for sulfur like they have for vitamin D3.

So what does sulfur do in the human body?

  • Both organic sulfur from amino acids and from sulfur compounds in the cruciferous (cabbage, broccoli, etc.) and allium (garlic, onions, etc.) vegetables and inorganic sulfur from sulfates in foods and our water supply are critical to human physiology.
  • Sulfate is needed for the formation of glycosaminoglycans (GAGS i.e. glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, etc.) or amino acids necessary for joints, skin, connective tissues, and joint lubrication through synovial fluid.
  • Sulfate is needed to start the cascade of digestive enzymes.
  • Sulfate is necessary to line the gut wall with mucin proteins.
  • Sulfate is needed for the formation of neurons where neurons are laid down on a platform of sulfated carbohydrates.
  • Sulfation is a major pathway in detoxifying from drugs, environmental toxins especially in the brain (aluminum), liver (i.e., acetaminophen), and removing waste from cells after the mitochondrial processes.
  • Sulfur is most abundant element (approximately one half percent by weight) in our body after calcium and phosphorus and is the fourth most abundant anion in our plasma.  It helps to maintain the balance of anions (bicarbonate, chloride, and phosphate) to effectively carry oxygen to the cells. Interestingly enough, sulfates are not normally measured in serum analysis.

After reading the above list it is easy to see the connection between sulfur deficiency and many chronic diseases as suggested by Seneff and others: heart disease, Alzheimer’s, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia, arthritis, interstitial cystitis, multiple sclerosis, congestive heart failure, diabetes, cancer, and AIDS.

Interestingly, there is an excess amount of sulfur found in the serum of persons with ALS.  I suspect this is a breakdown of the mitochondrial enzyme (superoxide dismutase) that requires manganese to properly form the water soluble sulfur ester necessary for waste removal.  Could it be that people with ALS are just manganese deficient along with copper and zinc?  Their mitochondria all plugged up with waste?  Or perhaps the manganese transporter is not working properly because the person is vitamin D deficient or both?  It is never just one thing, but the combination of nutrients and systems effectiveness that prevents and cures disease.  Doctors, do you have patients with ALS, then, nutrition is the way to go in addition to drugs.  You certainly are not going to do any harm by given them enough vitamin D3, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc.

Sulfate and Sulfation  R.H. Waring, School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham. B15 2TT U.K. Summary 

Sulfur in human nutrition and applications in medicine – Review: sulfur by Stephen W. Parcell

Are we getting enough sulfur in our diet?   Marcel E Nimni, Bo Han,and Fabiola Cordoba

Seneff suggested that the importance of sulfur in heart disease was through the effect of vitamin D sulfate.  I would like to suggest that it is even more important because of the action of vitamin D on the sodium sulfate cotransporter, NaSi-1, in both the lining of the gut, the skin, and in the kidneys.  This allows the balance of sulfate in the body for the many physiological roles that sulfate plays, in particular in the energy cycle of mitochondria.  Could enough sulfate stop angina?  Perhaps the sulfate is more important to relaxation of arterial walls than nitric oxide and more importantly to the action of the heart muscle and neural fibers?   “Critical role of vitamin D in sulfate homeostasis: regulation of the sodium-sulfate cotransporter by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 ” Bolt, et.al. Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, May 27, 2004. 

How important is sulfur in preventing heart disease?  Consider this graph from an earlier post on the importance of calcium and magnesium in balance.  The fact that Greece is an outlier in the balance of calcium and magnesium in the diet suggest that sulfur is more important than the balance of calcium and magnesium in heart disease.  Like Japan, Greece is located of a volcanic riff and along with Japan is the world largest exporter of sulfur.  In these two countries, the rate of death from heart disease is five times less than the US.

Have heart disease?  Consider lots of vitamin D, Epsom Salt baths several times per week (or mineral water made from magnesium, sodium, and calcium sulfate ), and at least three cups of cruciferous and alliums vegetables each day. – Pandemic Survivor   Happy Fourth of July!

Reversing Alzheimer’s Follow-Up

My wife’s sister took her mother to lunch today.  Mother-in-law remembered she was going to lunch and was dressed and waiting.  My nephew went with them and his remark was how wonderful her face was starting to fill out.  That is an amazing recovery for someone with a prognosis of needing to be placed in a memory care unit.  The question has occurred to me; is my mother-in-law an anomaly?  Maybe she was not getting Alzheimer’s but had some other form of dementia.  We certainly pray a lot and I am sure that God is involved, but maybe this is more for you and the person you know with has Alzheimer’s.

Consider what Ronald Roth said in his article, Alzheirmer’s: Nutritional Causes, Treatments and Prevention;  “The positive response to sulfur-raising therapy I have observed in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease has been inversely proportional to the progression of the disease, with sulfur levels of every patient tested having been from significantly below-normal in early stages, to totally deficient – or no longer being measurable – at late stages of the disease.”  He also says that in other types of dementia, the sulfur level is not low.  The question for Ronald Roth is, how much more positive would the results have been if the patients had a vitamin D3 raising therapy as well.  In another post, I will discuss how vitamin D aids in control of the sodium sulfur co-transporters.  In other words does vitamin D3 regulate the body’s sulfur level.

So why are you waiting?  Sulfur as MSM, Vitamin D3 in enough quantity to get the serum level of 25(OH)D above 50 ng/ml, and phospholipids ( I suspect that phosphadityl choline is the best, but fish oil, krill oil, or other omega-3’s may be as effective.  However, a diet of several egg yolks per day would work too as egg yolks are rich in suffer and phospholipids).  These nutritional substances are very safe and should not have a negative effect so there is really no excuse but to try it.  Discuss it with the doctor and go for it.

Memory improved while living well in the sun, eating egg yolks, and drinking hard water where the sulfate has not been removed – Pandemic Survivor

Surviving Alzheimer’s by Vitamin D, Phospholipids, and Sulfur Supplementation

My mother in law is one of the sweetest women that you can imagine.  At four feet eleven she is a powerhouse of joy.  About seven years ago, she had a minor stroke, that caused her a day or so of being ‘lost’.  She took off in her car up the interstate looking for a place to turn around until she ran out of gas.  A good-samaritan found her and put her in a motel room.  We got her situated in an elderly care facility some weeks later.  She was doing well enough that she did not need to be in assisted living.  The docs wanted to put her on an Alzheimer’s med, but my wife and her sister decided against it.

She did well until a year ago when she had a urinary tract infection and a bad reaction to the antibiotics used to treat it.  It is my belief that she was not getting good nutrition and this was part of her problem.  After this episode she was moved into assisted living.  Late last summer we were advised that she needed to be moved to the Alzheimer’s unit because her memory was failing.  That decision was delayed and we decided to start giving her sulfur supplements as MSM and a supplement that supports the phospholipids in the brain – phosphatidyl choline.  And of course we were giving her vitamin D3 and multiple vitamins.

At ninety-three years old, she seems to be stabilizing very well.  In any case, we have been able to keep her out of the Alzheimer’s unit. In fact she was doing so well this past fall, she borrowed her great-granddaughter’s Halloween costume, dressed as the Queen of England, and won best dressed at the party they had.  And of course her great-granddaughter won the next day in the same costume at her Halloween party.

We arrived at using the sulfur through Stephnie Seneff’s paper, Could Sulfur Deficiency be a Contributing Factor in Obesity, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s, and Chronic Fatigue.

In her paper she refered to a work by Ronald Roth, Alzheirmer’s: Nutritional Causes, Treatments and Prevention.  It is amazing to look at the chart and see how far below normal that sulfur is.  Sulfur is also a natural antagonist (removes if from the body) of copper and alumminum, two culprits identified as being elevated in Alzheimer’s.

I have since found a paper that says that vitamin D regulates one of the biological pathways or the sodium-sulfur cotransporter.  More on that later.

Allow God to smile on you through good nutrition.  – Pandemic Survivor