Paleo Diet: Could Sulfur Be a Hidden Factor in Heart Disease and Diabetes?

In an un-dated article on Mercola.com, Dr. Mercola managed to grab my attention and firmly hold onto it, with an article titled “Could THIS Be the Hidden Factor Behind Obesity, Heart Disease, and Chronic Fatigue?”.

Sulfur

Sulfur

Considering all of the recent talk about the heated “Cause of Obesity” debate between Gary Taubes, Stephen Guyenet, and just about anyone else that feels froggy enough to join in, this obviously peaked my interest.

The article is lengthy and addresses several very important and potentially groundbreaking theories in detail, so I’ll keep my commentary short. However, if you are scientifically savvy, I invite you to read the original article by Dr. Stephanie Seneff. The article can be found here, on the Weston A. Price Foundation website.

Here are some of the main points, taken from Mercola’s “Story at a Glance” side bar:

  • Sulfur deficiency is common, and may be a contributing factor in obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other chronic health conditions
  • Sulfur, cholesterol, and vitamin D produced in your skin as a result of sun exposure, are all intricately connected and necessary for optimal health, particularly heart health
  • When exposed to sunshine, your skin produces two types of sulfur: cholesterol sulfate, and vitamin D3 sulfate.
  • It is believed that vitamin D3 from oral supplements, which is unsulfated, cannot be converted to D3 sulfate, and may therefore not have the identical health benefits as the vitamin D your skin synthesizes

Please also take the time to watch the 7-part video of Mercola’s interview with Dr. Seneff, that total to a hair less than an hour and a half of your time.

Here are a few other important points from the article:

“…conventional medicine is seriously confused about cholesterol, which is closely interrelated with sulfur. Furthermore, healthy cholesterol and sulfur levels are also highly dependent on your vitamin D levels! Here, she discusses the importance and the intricate relationships among these three factors.”

“Through her research, she believes that the mechanism we call “cardiovascular disease,” of which arterial plaque is a hallmark, is actually your body’s way to compensate for not having enough cholesterol sulfate.”

“So, in a nutshell, high LDL appears to be a sign of cholesterol sulfate deficiency—it’s your body’s way of trying to maintain the correct balance by taking damaged LDL and turning it into plaque, within which the blood platelets produce the cholesterol sulfate your heart and brain needs for optimal function… What this also means is that when you artificially lower your cholesterol with a statin drug, which effectively reduces that plaque but doesn’t address the root problem, your body is not able to compensate any longer, and as a result of lack of cholesterol sulfate you may end up with heart failure.”

“Sulfur also plays an important role in glucose metabolism. She hypothesizes that if sufficient amounts of sulfur is available, it will act as a decoy to glucose, effectively diverting it to reduce the sulfur rather than glycating and causing damage. This would have the beneficial effect of reducing inflammation, as sugar (glucose) is highly inflammatory and wreaks havoc in your body.”

“Sulfur also plays a vital role in the structure and biological activity of both proteins and enzymes. If you don’t have sufficient amounts of sulfur in your body, this deficiency can cascade into a number of health problems as it will affect bones, joints, connective tissues, metabolic processes, and more.”

“Any diet high in grains and processed foods is likely to be deficient in sulfur, because once whole foods are processed, sulfur is lost.”

Could Sulfur REALLY be a hidden factor in heart disease, Diabetes, and obesity? See for yourself. If we are to believe Dr. Seneff, it certainly looks like it could be the case.

Ok…at this point, we all know what I’m going to say, don’t we?

What’s the best way to ensure that your levels of Sulfur, Vitamin D3, Blood-Glucose, and Insulin, are at optimum levels? You’ve guessed it; eat a healthy Paleo diet that includes plenty of fat, and lots of whole, real foods. Also, get plenty of sunlight on your skin, and avoid processed foods like the plague.

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Go to www.undergroundnutritionist.com, and download my 30-Day UN-Challenge eBook now……It’s a step-by-step guide to your personal health revolution.

Barry Cripps is a Paleo-based Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, who operates out of Bowling Green, Kentucky.

For more information please visit: www.undergroundnutritionist.com

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2 Responses to Paleo Diet: Could Sulfur Be a Hidden Factor in Heart Disease and Diabetes?

  1. James Lundquist November 10, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    I am a 7 year triple cancer surviver (prostate and colon) I believe due to bringing my D3 level from 18 up to 75 nm/ml. I now understand that getting D3 sulfate from the sun is much more beneficial.

    My question is whether good sunlamps would add the sulfate needed per Dr. Stephanie Sneffer.

    Many thanks,

    James Lundquist

    • Lila Solnick November 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm

      Hi James,

      Thanks for visiting.
      Given the Dr. Mercola highly recommends the use of sunlamps for vitamin D production, I say it’s a fair bet that a good sunlamp would also help add to sulfate levels.

      From the article at mercola.com:

      “This is where sun exposure enters the picture. When you expose your skin to sunshine, your skin synthesizes vitamin D3 sulfate. This form of vitamin D is water soluble, unlike oral vitamin D3 supplements, which is unsulfated. The water soluble form can travel freely in your blood stream, whereas the unsulfated form needs LDL (the so-called “bad” cholesterol) as a vehicle of transport.

      Her suspicion is that the simple oral non-sulfated form of vitamin D likely will not provide the same benefits as the vitamin D created in your skin from sun exposure, because it cannot be converted to vitamin D sulfate. This is yet another reason to really make a concerted effort to get ALL your vitamin D requirements from exposure to sunshine!

      “[S]ulfate actually inactivates vitamin D,” Dr. Seneff says. “The sulfated form of vitamin D does not work for calcium transport, which I find very intriguing. And in fact, I think it’s the sulfated form for vitamin D that offers the protection from cancer. It strengthens your immune system. It protects you from cardiovascular disease. It’s good for your brain. It helps depression. I think all of those effects of vitamin D are effects of vitamin D sulfate.”

      For those who are still under the mistaken impression that sun exposure is the primary cause of skin cancer, the following explanation may be of great help. In a Weston A. Price article on sulfur,

      Dr. Seneff states that:

      “Both cholesterol and sulfur afford protection in the skin from radiation damage to the cell’s DNA, the kind of damage that can lead to skin cancer. Cholesterol and sulfur become oxidized upon exposure to the high frequency rays in sunlight, thus acting as antioxidants to “take the heat,” so to speak. Oxidation of cholesterol is the first step in the process by which cholesterol transforms itself into vitamin D3.”

      Honestly, I cannot see a downside to using a sunlamp, as long as you don’t over expose yourself. Using a sunlamp is the preferred way of producing vitamin D, if sun exposure is not possible. And the key here is a GOOD sunlamp that provides full spectrum light, as the sun does. The Mercola website has several types of products for this: http://tanningbeds.mercola.com/tanning-beds/standup-tanning-systems.aspx
      You may also want to read “UV ADVANTAGE” by Dr. Michael Horlick. He’s been researching vitamin D for years and is THE authority on this nutrient, basically a pioneer in the field.

      I hope this information has been helpful. If your vitamin D levels are as high as you say, 75ng/ml you are doing very well and are among the small percentage of people with levels that good.
      Good luck with your research
      Lila