Recent Posts

Why Do You Need Vitamin B7? – Biotin for Skin, Nails and Hair

Vitamin B7 is another essential player in the vitamin b-complex-family. Like other vitamins of the vitamin B complex, it also plays an important role in our metabolism. Now we are having a closer look on biotin, which is the known name for vitamin B7. And…

Does Vitamin B6 Help Your Body? – The Metabolism Supporter

As the vitamin b-complex holds some more vitamins for us ready, here we go.  And with vitamin B6, like other vitamins of the vitamin B complex, we have another metabolism supporter. We will have a look on pyridoxine, which is the known name for vitamin…

How Important is Sulfur for Your Health? – The Protein Creator

garlic

With this post, we will complete the series of all the seven essential macro elements. Today the macro element sulfur will be in our focus. And we will explore the question “How Important is Sulfur for Your Health? – The Protein Creator”. You will also get to know what sulfur is, how much you need of it, from where you can get it and what else might be interesting about this macro element.


Why is Sulfur so Important for Your Health?hair

Sulfur compounds have so many different important functions for your health. The most important function of sulfur is its participation as a component of proteins. They are the main part of some amino acids, among other things the essential amino acid methionine.

A very special function of sulfur in our body is its property to form disulfide bridges. These bridges can lead to very strong and stiff protein structures.
An example we all know is keratin. It is a compound containing disulfide bridges, which makes up our hair and our nails.

So we can summarize that sulfur plays a very important role in the protein metabolism, such as the creation of essential and semi-essential amino acids and its ability to form strong structures through disulfide bridges.

 

What is Sulfur?

Sulfur is a chalcogene, which means ore creator, and is found in the 6th main group of the periodic table of elements.

Sulfur is found in nature as a free element and a compound. It is nonmetallic and in its free form, it is of yellowish color. Sulfur is heat-sensitive and water-soluble. Typical compounds, which are relevant for the body and/or can be found in food are sulfur oxides, sulfates and organic sulfur compounds.

Sulfur is one essential element, which is not so well researched yet, but we know, that it is an essential macro element for us, as we have to get our amount through nutrition.

 

What is the demand of Sulfur?

As sulfur is found in many protein-rich foods, it is one of the rare cases where there is no specific information about the daily demand of it.

 

Where can you get Sulfur from (Top foods)?garlic and onions

Here are the Top foods, which are rich in Sulfur:

1. Peanuts (up to 400 mg/100g),

2. Fish and meat (up to 350 mg/100g)

3. Eggs, cheese, parsley and soybeans (up to 200 mg/100g)eggs

4. Broccoli, millet, sunflower seeds (up to 150 mg/100ml)

5. Garlic and onions (up to 50 mg/100ml)

Fact: Sulfur is mainly found in protein-rich and nutrient rich foods, such as nuts, seeds, pulses, herbs, allium and animal products.

 

What are the functions and benefits of Sulfur?

As we just learned above, the uppermost important function of sulfur is its function in the protein metabolism.

It is a component of several amino acids, such as the essential amino acid methionine and the semi-essential amino acid cysteine. Other amino acids in which sulfur plays a role are cystine, homocysteine and taurine. With glutathione there is an antioxidant, which is found in nearly all cells and which is made up of the three amino acids glutamine, cysteine and glycine.

Another important function of sulfur in our body is its ability to form strong and stable structures with disulfide bridges, which can be found in the connective tissues as collagen, the cell walls and in keratine, which gives hair and nails its rigidity.

Moreover sulfur is a component of several coenzymes, such as coenzyme A and the cofactor iron-sulfur-cluster, which help enzymes to react and work properly. Sulfur helps to activate vitamin C, vitamin B1, B5 and B7.

Another function of sulfur is its support in the intercellular energy supply and the support of the energy production of anaerobic bacteria, which can make up trillions in our gut.

Three other important functions of sulfur are the transport of the trace element selenium, the blood clotting with heparin and the detoxification in the liver with sulfate.

At last, there is the very interesting compound MSM, which stands for Methyl-Sulfonyl-Methane. It is the name for organic sulfur, which fulfills the above functions. It is found in nutrient-rich plants, in vegetables, fruits, meat and fish. Higher amounts of it are only accessible through supplementation.

 

What deficiency symptoms of Sulfur exist?

As there is plenty of protein-rich food, which is containing sulfur, a lack of it is very seldom.

Symptoms caused by a lack of sulfur can be as followed:

  • dry/weak skin, hair and nails
  • blood flow disorders
  • liver restrictions

 

What overdose symptoms of Sulfur exist?

An overdose of sulfur is possible due to a high consume of it. This can be the case when consuming mainly protein-rich food and food, which is preserved with sulfur compounds. The symptoms can be:

  • a headache
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • allergic reactions

 

What else may you have to consider about Sulfur? 

The amount of sulfur in our body is about 0,25%, which is 175 g for a person with 70 kg.

Sulfur forms insoluble compounds with molybdenum, copper and heavy metals. What we want to have for heavy metals to help to detoxify our body is not so helpful considering molybdenum and copper, as they are essential trace elements. So as always the intake amount of sulfur should be hold at a reasonable level. This can be supported by not consuming too many products, which are processed with sulfur dioxide. It is used to preserve foods, such as wine and dry fruits, as it helps to prevent oxidation.sulfur

Although there are malodorous sulfur compounds, such as hydrogen sulfide, which remembers us of the smell of rotten eggs,
there are also beneficial uses in healing water or therapeutic baths. These do not only help with skin problems but also with inflammations, for example in the joints, as sulfur can be absorbed through the skin.

Sulfur is long known. It was used 5000 B.C. by the Greeks and the Egyptians. Lavoisier guessed in 1777 that sulfur is an element. In 1810 Gay-Lussac among others was able to prove that sulfur is an element.

The word sulfur comes from the Latin word sulfur, which means brimstone.  The prefix and suffix “thio” comes from the Greek word “theion”, which means sulfur.

 

Summary:

Now we know that sulfur holds so many, nearly countless, benefits for our body. Alone to mention its several functions in the protein metabolism. It is a component of amino acids, coenzymes and gives stability to protein structures. Furthermore, it is there for the supply of energy on the intercellular level and it has many helpful properties within the relief of inflammations and the detoxification due to the binding of heavy metals. Sulfur is found in protein-rich food. But be sure to not eat too much of it and especially sulfur dioxide, as it binds the essential trace elements molybdenum and copper.

Hope you enjoyed this series of the seven essential macro elements. The next time, we will switch over to a new series about the essential trace elements.


Now to you. What do you think? What was interesting here or do you want to know something else? Let us know in the comments.

What is Vitamin B5? – The Metabolism Booster

With vitamin B5 we are getting over to another vitamin of the vitamin B complex. Like other vitamins of the vitamin B complex, it also plays an important role in our metabolism. In this blog post, you will find information about pantothenic acid, which is the…

What is the Role of Phosphorus in the Body? – The Power Station

In this post, we will have a look at the second last of the seven essential macro elements. It is the macro element phosphorus. Here we will find an answer to the question “What is the Role of Phosphorus in the Body? – The Power Station”.…

Why is Chlorine Important for the Body? – The Acid

salt

Today we are going to have a look at the very interesting macro element chlorine. We are going to answer the question “Why is chlorine so important for the body? – The acid” and we will learn what it is, what the functions are, where we can get it from and some other interesting facts about it.


Where can you find the highest concentration of Chlorine in your body and why is it so important?stomach

The highest concentration of chlorine in the body can be found in the gastric juice and in the sweat.
The gastric juice contains 0,1 –  1% of hydrochloric acid, which is a compound of chlorine and hydrogen. Hydrochloric acid is very acidic, with a pH value of -1 (35% solution) until 1 (0,35% solution). The purpose of the hydrochloric acid, together with other substances like enzymes, is the split-up of the food ingredients. Especially the split-up of proteins and the antibacterial function are important tasks of hydrochloric acid.
Another important function of chlorine is its connection to sodium, as their function within the compound sodium chloride or salt. Sodium chloride is important in our body by transporting fluids due to the balancing of concentration. An example is the sweating. Salt is excreted through the pores and because of the generated concentration gradient, the fluids in the body are also excreted through the pores in order to chill the body.

 

So without chlorine, we would not be able to digest our food properly and we might get a heat stroke.

 

What is Chlorine?

Chlorine is a halogen, which is normally found in nature as a compound. This is because the free element chlorine, which exists as a diatomic molecule, is highly reactive and on top highly toxic to us. Typical compounds of chlorine are sodium chloride or hydrochloric acid. In its solved form, it is found as a negatively charged ion, an anion.

Chlorine is water-soluble and an essential macro element for us, as we have to get our amount through nutrition.

 

What is the demand of Chlorine?

Depending on the age, health and lifestyle the daily demand for an average and healthy adult for chlorine is about

3000 milligrams (mg) per day.

 

Where can you get Chlorine from (Top foods)?mussels

Here are the Top foods, which are rich in Chlorine:

1. Salt and salted foods (up to 60.000 mg/100g),

2. Fish and shells (up to 1.000 mg/100g)

3. Rice (up to 230 mg/100g)

4. Oat (up to 150 mg/100ml)

5. Wild herbs, banana (up to 100 mg/100ml)rice

Fact: Processed food, salted food, canned food and soy sauce are sources of high amounts of salt, which is the most important source of chlorine. Be sure to limit your intake of salt to not more than about 3 g per day on average.

 

What are the functions and benefits of Chlorine?

As mentioned above, chlorine, together with sodium as sodium chloride is responsible for the water balance in our body. It generates the osmotic pressure due to the property of fluids to strive for concentration equilibrium. That is not only necessary to sweat, but also to carry water to a certain place in the body by accumulating sodium chloride in this area.

Furthermore, chlorine is indispensable in the process of digestion through the gastric juice as its existence in the hydrochloric acid.

Sodium chloride is transported through the blood plasma to reach every cell in the body. There it is also responsible for the charge balance of the cell metabolism and therefore to maintain the bioelectrical potential. For this, there are existing special chloride channels, which are also able to pass carbon dioxide and its solved compound carbonic acid.

About 56 % of the chlorine is found in the extracellular space, 12 % in the inner cellular space and about a third in the bones.

 

 

What deficiency symptoms of Chlorine exist?

As we have much food containing chlorine a lack of it is seldom. Only acute gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea may cause a temporary deficiency because much chlorine is washed out. The same goes with dehydration, also through sweating.

Symptoms caused by a lack of chlorine can be as followed:

  • muscle twitching or cramps
  • disorders in the correct heart function

 

What overdose symptoms of Chlorine exist?

Surplus chlorine normally is excreted through the kidneys and the sweat. An overdose of chlorine is possible due to a high consume of it and is more likely if your kidneys don´t work properly. The symptoms can be:

  • high blood pressure and possible cardiovascular diseases

 

What else may you have to consider about Chlorine? 

The amount of chlorine in our body is about 100 g for a person with 75 kg.

Chlorine and sodium work as counterparts, mostly in the extracellular space.
swimming pool

Chlorine was first discovered within the reaction of hydrochloric acid and manganese oxide by the English biochemist and mulit-explorer Sir Humphry Davy in 1808.

The word chlorine derives from the greek word “chloros”, which means bright green.

Fun Fact: As chlorine is a good disinfectant, it is often used in swimming pools. But it is not the chlorine itself, which leads to the characteristic swimming bath smell, but it is the compound trichloramine, which develops out of the reaction of urea and solved chlorine compounds in the water. Urea is found in the sweat and in the urine.

 

Summary:

Today we learned that Chlorine is necessary and important for us. In addition to its function in the digestive process and its function in the water balance, it is there to maintain the bioelectrical potential and to secure the supply of the cells and the disposal of no longer used substances.

In the next blog post of this category, we will have a closer look at the second last remaining essential macro element, namely phosphorus.


Now it is your turn. What do you think? Was something new or interesting here for you or do you want to tell us something? Let us know in the comments.

What Are The Functions And Benefits Of Vitamin B3? – The Enzyme Builder

With the fourth vitamin in our row, we are getting to the third vitamin in the vitamin B complex. Vitamin B3 plays an important role in our metabolism, especially in the protein metabolism. In this blog post, you will find information about Niacin, which is the…

Is Salt Really Bad for You? – Sodium – The Electrolyte

In this post the macro element sodium will be our topic and we will find out what sodium does for our body and we will get an answer to the question “Is Salt Really Bad For You? – Sodium – The Electrolyte”. Is Sodium really…

Your Heart Loves Potassium? – The Bioelectrician

spinach

In this post, we are going to have a closer look at the macro element potassium and we are going to find out what the benefits of potassium for your body are and why your heart loves potassium, the bioelectrician.


Why does your heart love Potassium, the Bioelectrician?electrocardiogram

Potassium has two main functions in our body. Firstly, it conducts electrical impulses to muscle and nerve cells. Secondly, it is responsible for the continuity of the water balance in our system. With its function to conduct neural stimuli, it´s very important to the proper function of our heart. Without the right amount of potassium, the nerve conduction to the heart can be disturbed, what may cause heart rhythm disorders. In this case, your heart muscle cannot work diligently.

To let your muscles, especially your heart muscle, work fine, it is suggested to get enough potassium through your diet.

 

What is Potassium?

Potassium is an alkaline metal, not to be mixed up the adjacent group of alkaline earth metals, which include calcium and magnesium. In nature, potassium occurs in compounds.

Potassium is alkaline, water-soluble and an essential macro element for us, as we have to get our amount through nutrition.

 

What is the demand of Potassium?

Depending on the age, health and lifestyle the daily demand for an average and healthy adult for potassium is at least

2000 – 4500 milligrams (mg) per day.

 

Where can you get Potassium from (Top foods)?soy beans

Here are the top foods, which are rich in potassium:

1. Soybeans (up to 1800 mg/100g),

2. Apricots dried, Avocado, Pistachio, Tomato paste (up to 1000 mg/100g)

3. Sweet potato, swiss chard (up to 950 mg/100g)

4. Lentils, Spinach (up to 750 mg/100ml)apricots

5. Green leafy vegetables (up to 600 mg/100ml)

Tip: Potassium promotes the resorption of magnesium in the gut.

 

What are the functions and benefits of Potassium?

As mentioned above, the two main functions of potassium are the bioelectrical transmission of nerve and muscle impulses and the maintenance of a balanced water circle in our body. Within the first important function, it also is the purpose of potassium to ensure the bioelectrical potential of the cells. Within the second important function, it is the task of potassium to make sure that the osmotic pressure between the fluids in the environment of the cells and the fluids in the cells is balanced. Moreover, potassium is there for vascular protection, the right blood pressure, the regulation of the acid-base-balance, cell growth, the release of hormones, carbohydrate utilization and protein synthesis and it is necessary to form digestive juice. Potassium truly is a real all-rounder.

 

What deficiency symptoms of Potassium exist?

As we have much food with a high dose of potassium a lack of this macro element is seldom. But there are some incidents, which can cause a deficiency. These are the loss of potassium through dehydration and a high consume of salt or licorice. Symptoms caused by a lack of potassium can be as followed:

  • paralysis
  • constipation
  • disturbance of the conduction of stimuli, which may cause disorders in muscles like arrhythmia or twitching

Tip: A high consume of salt, which contains sodium, leads to an increased excretion of potassium. Be sure to limit your daily salt intake to about 1.5 – 2 g/d. It is Ok to exceed this limit sometimes, but not every day.

 

What overdose symptoms of Potassium exist?

Surplus potassium normally is excreted through the kidneys. An overdose of potassium with supplements is possible and is more likely if your kidneys don´t work properly. The symptoms can be:

  • fatigue
  • muscle weakness or cramps
  • disorders in the function of the heart, arrhythmia
  • gastrointestinal complaints like diarrhea

 

What else may you have to consider about Potassium? 

The bigger the intake of sodium is, the more potassium is excreted.

Potassium and sodium work as counterparts. A good relation of potassium and sodium is received with 3.5 g potassium and 2 g sodium.

Over 90% of the potassium is working intracellular, whereas over 90% of the sodium is working extracellular.

Potassium was first discovered by the English biochemist Sir Humphry Davy in 1807.

The word potassium derives from potash, from which it first was isolated.

 

Summary:

Potassium is a true all-rounder and a very important essential macro element for our body, as it is, together with sodium,  responsible for the bioelectrical potential and the osmotic pressure of the cells, intracellular and extracellular. Moreover, potassium is necessary for the right function of the cardiovascular system, the water balance, the supply of energy and the formation and release of proteins.

Now you know how important potassium is and why your heart loves it. Potassium will help you to maintain a good working heart and muscles and it ensures the right distribution of water in the cells of your body.

In the next blog posts, we will have a closer look at the remaining essential macro elements.


Now to you. What was interesting here for you or do you want to tell us something? Let us know in the comments.

The Best Vitamin for Energy and Growth – Vitamin B2, The Bundle of Energy

The third vitamin in our row is the second vitamin in the vitamin B complex. It is The Best Vitamin for Energy and Growth – Vitamin B2, The Bundle of Energy. In this blog post, you will learn what makes vitamin B2 so important for us,…