Sulphur as Mineral – Rich Food Sources, Functions, Deficiency & Daily Requirements for Children, Men & Women

Health Care Guide on Sulphur (S) functions in Human Body, Absorption, Excretion, Regulation facts & disease in word/ .doc / ppt / .pdf format


Proteins contain about 1% sulphur by weight. This forms the organic sources of sulphur in the diet. Sulphates of sodium , potassium and magnesium are also found in the diet.


  • Meal, fish legums, eggs, cereals and cauliflower.
  • Daily requirement:
  • Adequate intake of protein fulfills the sulphur requirements.


  • Sulphur –containing amino acids produce inorganic sulphur.
  • A part of it is conjugated with phenolic and heterocyclic compounds in liver to produce ethereal sulphates.
  • It is secreted in urine as:
-          Inorganic sulphur
-          Neutral sulphur
-          Ethereal sulphur
-          Intestinal putrefaction causes increased ethereal sulphates.


Sulphate excretion increases when catabolism of tissues protein is increased.


  • Detoxication. Compounds possessing phenolic groups (e.g., phenol, skatoles, indole) may be detoxicated in liver by conjugation with sulphate from amino acids. Hydrocarbons are detoxicated by conjugation with esters of acetylated cysteine.
  • Enzymes such as papain, urease, cathepsin depend on free sulphahydryl groups for their catalytic sites.
  • Nonhaem iron enzymes such as mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase, Fe-S proteins contain sulphur.
  • SAM acts as a coenzyme for methyltransferases

Methionine + ATP            Methyladenosyl          PPi +Pi + SAM
      Transferase (liver)

  • -SH group of glutathione acts as donor of reducing equivalents and enables it to function as a reducing agent.
  • -SH group of CoA and acyl carrier protein (ACP) form fatty acid thioesters. They participate in the transfer of fatty acyl groups.
  • Adenosine 3’-P-5’ sulphate (PAPS) is formed in the liver from ATP and sulphate with the help of ATP sulphurase and adenosine 5’ –sulphate-3’kinase. The sulphate group of “active” sulphate is transferred to other substrates like chondroitin.
  • “Active sulphates” viz., PAPS, SAM, CoA CAP – are high-energy sulphur compounds.
  • Sulphur-containing vitamins are biotin and thiamine (coenzymes).
  • Protein-structure. SH of cysteine forms intrachain and interchain S-S linkages contributing to secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures.
  • Sulphate mucopolysaccharides and sulphalipids. Hexosamine gets sulphated endowing the molecules with negative charges.

Applied aspects:

Role of sulphur:

  • Curing skin disorders
  • As a component of sulphur drugs

Download Information on Sulphur as Mineral

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