Vitamins and Supplements for Sulfite Problems

Sulfite Oxidase Enzyme ( sulfites, sulfur dioxide, sulfa prescription drugs, sulfite preservatives, sulphite )The body’s first line of defense against sulfites is an enzyme called sulfite oxidase. When this enzyme encounters a sulfite, it rapidly converts it to the sulfate form which is less toxic and can be more easily excreted. Sulfite oxidase is drawn schematically to the left with the important molybdenum cofactor in the middle. If your supply of the trace mineral molybdenum is low, the available molybdenum cofactor will be insufficient and sulfite oxidase will not be able to do its job. Molybdenum is almost never deficient in the American diet, but overloads of copper or tungsten are common and can deplete molybdenum. Additionally, if heavy metals, such as lead or mercury, are in excess, they can cause unwanted variations of the cofactor. Such variations are not functional and a sulfite problem can result.

Lead, mercury and other heavy metals are present in our environment as pollutants, industrial waste and within everyday products. For instance, the solder that bonds electronic parts to printed circuit boards is about 40% lead. And most of the shiny fillings in your mouth are made from silver and mercury. This mercury slowly leaches into your body with every swallow. Over time, heavy metals work their way into most parts of the body including hair. To find out if I had a problem, I had my hair analyzed. My mercury levels tested at a little over twice the accepted limit and, sure enough, I have 6 dental fillings to go along with my sulfite problem.

In an attempt to ease my heavy metal and sulfite dilemma, I tried a combination of cleansing and supplementation therapies. The idea was to bond heavy metals to chemicals that the body can more easily remove while adding back minerals that the body needs. In my case, I wanted to remove mercury and supplement molybdenum. A combination of herbs and vitamins, including cilantro, chlorella algae, folic acid and alpha lipoic acid are effective as cleansing agents. Vitamin B12 has been shown to be particularly helpful for some sulfite problems. And supplements that include molybdenum boost the levels of depressed minerals. Locating such products is not difficult but finding ones that do not also contain sulfited ingredients is more challenging. The rest of the world thinks that vitamins like biotin, amino acids like taurine and sulfur supplements like MSM are just the cat’s meow. I know differently. And most pharmaceutical firms think nothing of using corn starch, dextrose, gelatin and food color in their products. By trial and error, I found suitable pills that would not cause a sulfite problem at several times the recommended dose.

Sulfite Allergy and Molybdenum ( sulfites, sulfur dioxide, sulfa prescription drugs, sulfite preservatives, sulphite )When I began therapy, my threshold was 100 micrograms of sulfur dioxide. I took cleansing agents in the morning and supplements at night. At the onset, my threshold increased by about 20% per month. After a few months, the improvement slowed then eventually leveled off and, at the end of a year, my threshold was 240 micrograms. That’s not a big deal in the world of sulfites but it was great news for me. For some time, I remained stuck at this plateau, enjoying an expanded diet but wondering if more could be done. Then two dogs with a sulfite problem got my attention. They had a howling success with molybdenum water that contained no other ingredients. No other ingredients - that was the key. All of my previous molybdenum supplements contained copper.  And darn it, copper competes with molybdenum and limits its effectiveness. I looked back over my old hair test and guess what, my copper levels were on the high end of the normal range. Enlightened, I took molybdenum without copper and am back on track as my sulfite threshold rises each month.

In the hope that your sulfite problem could be similarly helped, I am offering for sale some of the supplements that worked for me. If you have a sulfite problem with delayed symptoms like mine, it would seem quite logical that these pills could be helpful. But if your symptoms are immediate and allergic in nature, your body enzymes have less of an opportunity to participate and the pills would probably be less effective. In any case, the Food and Drug Administration has not reviewed my statements and therefore offers no opinion as to the effectiveness of this therapy. And since no general population tests have been performed by the medical establishment, I cannot claim that this therapy is effective for the treatment of any disease or medical condition. Before beginning any prolonged therapy, you should consult your doctor.

Chlorella Algae

300 tablets ( 200 mg )
100% broken cell wall chlorella algae

Chlorella is a type of single cell green algae. It is so named because it contains the highest concentration of chlorophyll for any plant on Earth. Chlorophyll is found in the chloroplast structures of plants which convert sunlight to chemical energy. Chlorella algae is also a very balanced source of nutrition, able to sustain life even if eaten exclusively for extended periods. It is one of the most researched plants in medical literature and studies have indicated it may be effective in treating some forms of cancer, high cholesterol, hypertension, fibromyalgia, immune dysfunction and toxicity. As far as sulfites are concerned, it has two properties of interest, removing heavy metals and converting sulfite to sulfate.

Heavy metals like lead and mercury are in the environment and may accumulate in our bodies. At even low levels, they can interfere with sulfite oxidase enzyme and create sulfite trouble. Chlorella helps to remove metal toxins in a gentle, slow fashion. In addition to helping with toxins, chlorella also contain very high concentrations of chloroplasts which have been shown to convert sulfite to the more friendly sulfate form. In tests I performed on chlorella tablets ( ten tablets taken over the course of a meal ), I was able to nullify about 100 micrograms of sulfur dioxide. For those that are very sensitive, this can be an important help. However, if your tolerance is even moderate, such an improvement would not be noticeable.

Since chlorella algae is a plant, chlorella may cause indigestion if you have difficulty digesting cellulose. As with many vitamins and supplements, pregnant women and nursing mothers are cautioned to avoid chlorella. And, as chlorella is a green plant, it may interfere with the blood thinner, warfarin.

Molybdenum Chelate

100 tablets ( 500 mcg ) 667% MDR
molybdenum glycinate, plant cellulose, stearic acid

Molybdenum is a rare trace mineral. It is only three times as plentiful as gold in the earth's crust. Fortunately, it is not as expensive as gold. As a supplement, molybdenum supports several enzyme systems including sulfite oxidase. As I found out the hard way, if you need molybdenum, it is important to take it without copper. These tablets contain 500 mcg of molybdenum as an amino acid chelate for better absorption. Since this is quite a bit compared to the MDR of 75 mcg, it may be wise to begin by taking only half a pill. If there are no side effects, you can then increase to a whole pill per day.

Since molybdenum competes with copper, be aware of the symptoms of copper deficiency including unusual fatigue, skin sores, swelling, edema, hair loss, anorexia and diarrhea. Molybdenum supplementation is contraindicated for pregnant or nursing women and for those with gout or high levels of uric acid. Also, if you detoxify copper too rapidly, copper levels rise in the blood as they are removed. In turn, this may cause headaches, rashes, odor, digestive problems and mood swings. In men, testicular pain may occur and, in women, your period may be affected. Under no conditions should you take more than one tablet per day.

Zinc Chelate

100 tablets ( 50 mg zinc ) 333% MDR
zinc gluconate, cellulose, dicalcium phosphate, croscarmellose, vegetable stearic acid, silica, magnesium stearate

The trace mineral zinc is needed to properly regulate the level of copper in the body. Many foods have 6 or more times as much zinc as copper. Red meat is a prime example but the modern American diet reduces red meat, perhaps contributing to copper overload. Excess copper can be balanced by supplemental zinc. Molybdenum therapy removes copper from tissue and this temporarily raises the level of copper in the blood. Supplemental zinc helps to balance this condition. These tablets contain 333% of the MDR, so you may wish to begin with half a tablet. If you experience no side effects, the full tablet may be taken. As always, caution is advised if you are pregnant or nursing.

Bioactive Vitamin B12

90 sublingual tablets ( 1000 mcg methylcobalamin ) 16,670% MDR
lactose ( contains milk sugar ), cellulose, croscarmellose sodium, magnesium stearate

Studies of asthma triggered by sulfite have shown that vitamin B12 can raise the threshold for triggering an attack. This may extend to other forms of sulfite allergy although no studies have been done. The amount used was 1000 mcg or more which represents 167 times the MDR. That's quite a bit, but B12 is considered safe, as it is water soluble and does not accumulate in the body. This B12 comes as a sublingual tablet designed to dissolve under the tongue for better absorption directly into the blood stream. Absorption is a problem for vitamin B12, especially as you age. Also, most supplements are made out of cyanocobalamin, a less expensive chemical that must be processed by your body into methylcobalamin before it can be utilized. Starting with methylcobalamin in the first place bypasses these steps and solves many of the absorption problems.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in a wide range of symptoms, up to and including problems with mental clarity that mimic Alzheimer's. A few people have written to my website claiming that B12 eliminated their asthma and sulfite problems. And one fellow, diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, cured both fatigue, muscle aches and sulfite sensitivity by taking mega doses of B12. With testimonials such as these, vitamin B12 is surely worth a try. But I don't think it is a common cure for sulfite sensitivity. For instance, B12 does absolutely nothing to help my sulfite headaches. As with all supplements, caution is advised if you are pregnant or nursing. Since this tablet has a high dosage of B12, you may want to begin by taking half a tablet and to see how you do. If you have no problems, you can graduate to a full tablet.

Other Supplements

When considering other supplements and even prescription medication, be sure to watch out for the problem ingredients biotin, taurine, chondroitin, MSM and sulfa drugs. These chemicals are very strong sources of sulfur dioxide and may play havoc with your sulfite condition. And, multi-vitamins are a bit of a problem. Almost all contain biotin and copper. As noted above, biotin releases sulfur dioxide and copper competes with molybdenum. Personally, I try to get my vitamins from food and do not take a multi-vitamin pill. Obviously, I cannot recommend this as a universal approach, but you may wish to ask your doctor for his opinion.

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