Skip to main content



Sulfur is a mineral needed for the manufacture of many proteins, including those forming hair, muscles, and skin. Sulfur contributes to fat digestion and absorption, because it is needed to make bile acids. Sulfur is also a constituent of bones, teeth, and collagen (the protein in connective tissue). As a component of insulin, sulfur is needed to regulate blood sugar. Sulfur is present in methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), a naturally-occurring substance available as a supplement.

How It Works

How to Use It

No recommended intake levels have been established for sulfur. Since most Western diets are high in protein, the majority of diets probably supply enough sulfur.

Where to Find It

Most dietary sulfur is consumed as part of certain amino acids in protein-rich foods. Meat and poultry, organ meats, fish, eggs, beans, and dairy products are all good sources of sulfur-containing amino acids. Sulfur also occurs in garlic and onions and may be partially responsible for the health benefits associated with these items.1

Most of the body’s sulfur is found in the sulfur-containing amino acids methionine, cysteine, and cysteine. Vitamin B1, biotin, and pantothenic acid contain small amounts of sulfur.

Possible Deficiencies

Deficiencies of sulfur have not been documented, although a protein-deficient diet could theoretically lead to a deficiency of sulfur. Low levels of cystine, and therefore possibly sulfur, were reported many years ago in people with arthritis, but this association is far from proven.2


Interactions with Supplements, Foods, & Other Compounds

At the time of writing, there were no well-known supplement or food interactions with this supplement.

Interactions with Medicines

As of the last update, we found no reported interactions between this supplement and medicines. It is possible that unknown interactions exist. If you take medication, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a new supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.
The Drug-Nutrient Interactions table may not include every possible interaction. Taking medicines with meals, on an empty stomach, or with alcohol may influence their effects. For details, refer to the manufacturers’ package information as these are not covered in this table. If you take medications, always discuss the potential risks and benefits of adding a supplement with your doctor or pharmacist.

Side Effects

Side Effects

At the time of writing, there were no well-known side effects caused by this supplement.


1. Augusti KT. Therapeutic values of onion (Allium cepa L.) and garlic (Allium sativum L.). Indian J Exp Biol 1996;34:634-40.

2. Sullivan MX, Hess WC. The cystine content of the finger nails in arthritis. J Bone Joint Surg 1935;16:185-8.

Next Section:

How It Works

PeaceHealth endeavors to provide comprehensive health care information, however some topics in this database describe services and procedures not offered by our providers or within our facilities because they do not comply with, nor are they condoned by, the ethics policies of our organization.