Customer writes, “A naturopath told a client of mine that sulfur blocks the lymphatic system. Have you heard of this?”

My response

What the naturopath is probably describing are the potential health risks to the lymphatic system caused by exposure to sulfur dioxide and sulfites.

Sulfur dioxide (also sulphur dioxide) is the chemical compound with the formula SO2. At standard atmosphere, it is a toxic gas with a pungent, irritating smell. Sulfur dioxide blocks nerve signals from the pulmonary stretch receptors and abolishes the Hering–Breuer inflation reflex.

Source: Wikipedia

While sulfur dioxide is not a sulfite, it is a closely-related chemical oxide consisting of one molecule of sulfur attached to two oxygen molecules that can be toxic when inhaled in large amounts. Sulfur dioxide is an intermediate agent in the manufacture of sulfuric acid and protects wine from not only oxidation, but also from bacteria. In addition, fruits such as apricots and figs are often preserved using sulfur dioxide. Many people avoid drinking wines containing sulfites because of their allergic reaction to this chemical compound.

How is Organic Sulfur different?

Unlike sulfur dioxide, organic sulfur (methylsulfonylmethane or MSM) is a white crystalline solid (not a gas) made of carbon, hydrogen, sulfur, and oxygen atoms that is naturally found in certain plant foods and beverages. MSM is considered ‘Possibly Safe’ at therapeutic doses, and animal studies indicate that it has a very low toxicity when administered both orally and topically.

In 2014 a team of orthopedic specialists led by Thomas A. Pagonis of The Ipswich Hospital published their 26-week study that revealed that their control group of osteoarthritis patients suffered no adverse consequences from ingesting 6 grams (approximately 1.5 teaspoons) of MSM each day.

In addition, Cellular Matrix Study Director Patrick McGean has found that in the 17 years that he has been monitoring the health effect of organic sulfur that individuals are better able to tolerate taking in more of the food supplement than needed, rather than too little, which can trigger a Herxheimer-like detox response. Any excess organic sulfur that the body cannot utilize becomes excreted through urine or the bowels.

A 2014 article entitled, “Healthy Lymph System-Healthy Life” describes six steps to take to ensure that this important part of your immune system is working optimally. The consumption of organic sulfur is included in this health regimen, as noted in the article excerpt below.

(To help in keeping a smooth-running lymph system) increase your consumption of organic dietary sulfur. Dietary sulfur is known as MSM sulfur, or methyl-sulfonyl-methane. It should not be confused with the yellow sulfur oxide, which is processed into sulfuric acid and is toxic. Sulfur helps remove toxins from your blood and lymphatic system. Among other benefits of sulfur, it also helps your body absorb vitamin C, and preliminary research suggests that it may help alleviate osteoarthritis. You can get it in pill and powder form from many retailers, but also from food sources, such as garlic, kale, chocolate and sunflower seeds.


Sulfur dioxide
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Effect of Methylsulfonylmethane on Osteoarthritic Large Joints and Mobility
Thomas A Pagonis, Panagiotis A Givissis, Aristidis C Kritis, Anastasios C Christodoulou
International Journal of Orthopaedics.
Published online: June 23, 2014

Healthy Lymph System-Healthy Life
Thermal Imaging of the Southwest
Posted on February 3, 2014

Detoxing the Lymphatic System
Altered States

Is the lymphatic system compromised by sulfur?

One thought on “Is the lymphatic system compromised by sulfur?

  • 2017-10-26 at 3:29 pm

    Edema or water retention is a documented side effect of MSM. I have experienced this myself when MSM is taken daily and/or in the higher 1.5 t. amounts. Is lymph involved in this reaction to MSM Sulphur? Assume an optimized thyroid.


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