Fact one: Sulfur does not please the olfactory senses. Fact two: It can, however, work wonders for acne-riddled skin and our overall well-being. The latest craze? Sulfur supplements, a hot and heavy wellness trend currently overtaking L.A., according to a recent report from Well+Good. While you can most definitely ingest your daily sulfur requirements via a healthy diet (cruciferous fare like cauliflower, broccoli, and watercress are especially rich in the mineral), ingesting via supplements might be more strategic—and en vogue by L.A. standards, if you care.
Since sulfur is linked to such positive health benefits as disease prevention, pain relief, detoxification, and youthful-looking skin, it's not surprising that the mineral we're so used to applying on top of a mountainous zit is also making a name for itself in the world of buzz-worthy and poppable supplements. Plus, as Amy Chadwick, ND, of Encinita's Four Moons Spa points out, foods naturally considered sulfur-rich might be less potent than they once were. Therefore, the capsule form might be a smarter and less bloat-inducing way to get your daily dose.
"The use of petrochemical fertilizers has depleted sulfur from many soils and thus may be depleted in [the foods we eat]," she explains to Well+Good. Plus, for vegans and vegetarians, ample grains and veggies must be consumed in order to avoid deficiency in the mineral. Pasture-raised eggs, dairy, grass-fed meat, and wild fish are naturally full of the stuff, so meat eaters naturally run less risk.
"Sulfur is the third most common element in the body," heart surgeon and overall wellness guru Steven Gundry, MD, tells the publication. "In fact, it's so important that many theorize that on some other planet, a sulfur-based life-form (as opposed to our planet's, which is carbon-based) could exist." Back on Earth, however, Chadwick says our bodies crave sulfur in order to support blood vessels, joints, and the digestive tract lining in addition to keeping hormones and neurotransmitters happy and peacefully regulated.
Last but not least, Chadwick explains the mineral aids the essential production of glutathione, the theoretical switch for our body's garbage disposal system. "[Glutathione] helps the cells get rid of their garbage, which allows for healthier cell communication and reduces cell damage,” she explains. "The cells of the body keep each other healthy through feedback and signaling, but when communication becomes disrupted, cells become isolated." Which, she says, could contribute to autoimmune disorders, inflammatory disorders such as joint pain or skin inflammation, and cancer."
Intrigued? As always, when you're considering adopting a new supplement, we highly recommend you talk to your physician and run your own research. In the meantime, we've included multiple sulfur-containing antidotes (supplements and otherwise) the experts say can do the body good.