Written by Stephanie Seneff, PhD
Saturday, 02 July 2011 20:37
A Possible Contributing Factor in Obesity, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s and Chronic Fatigue
Obesity is quickly becoming the number one health issue confronting
America today, and has also risen to epidemic proportions worldwide. Its
spread is associated with the adoption of a Western-style diet.
However, I believe that the widespread consumption of food imports
produced by U.S. companies plays a crucial role in the rise in obesity
worldwide. Specifically, these “fast foods” typically include heavily
processed derivatives of corn, soybeans and grains, grown on highly
efficient mega-farms. Furthermore, I will argue in this essay that one
of the core underlying causes of obesity may be sulfur deficiency.
Sulfur is the eighth most common element by mass in the human body,
behind oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus and
potassium. The two sulfur-containing amino acids, methionine and
cysteine, play essential physiological roles throughout the body.
However, sulfur has been consistently overlooked by those addressing the
issues of nutritional deficiencies. In fact, the National Academy of
Sciences has not even assigned a minimum daily requirement (MDR) for
sulfur. One consequence of sulfur’s limbo nutritional status is that it
is omitted from the long list of supplements that are commonly
artificially added to popular foods like cereal.
Sulfur is found in a large number of foods, and, as a consequence, it
is assumed that almost any diet would meet the minimum daily
requirements. Excellent sources are eggs, onions, garlic, and leafy dark
green vegetables like kale and broccoli. Meats, nuts, and seafood also
contain sulfur. Methionine, an essential amino acid, is found mainly in
egg whites and fish. A diet high in grains like bread and cereal is
likely to be deficient in sulfur. Increasingly, whole foods such as corn
and soybeans are disassembled into component parts with chemical names,
and then reassembled into heavily processed foods. Sulfur is lost along
the way, and so is the awareness that this loss matters.
have recently become aware that sulfur depletion in the soil creates a
serious deficiency for plants,17 brought about in part by improved
efficiency in the U.S. agricultural industry, which has steadily
consolidated into highly technologized mega-farms.
It is estimated
that humans obtain about ten percent of their sulfur supply from
drinking water. Remarkably, people who drink soft water have an
increased risk of heart disease compared to people who drink hard
water.2 Many possible reasons have been suggested for why this might be
true, and just about every trace metal has been considered as a
possibility.3 However, I believe that the real reason may simply be that
hard water is more likely to contain sulfur.
SULFUR AND OBESITY RATES
The ultimate source of sulfur is volcanic rock, mainly basalt, spewed
up from the earth’s core during volcanic eruptions. It is generally
believed that humans first evolved in the African rift zone, a region
that would have enjoyed an abundance of sulfur due to the heavy volcanic
The three principal suppliers of sulfur to the
Western nations are Greece, Italy and Japan. These three countries also
enjoy low rates of heart disease and obesity and increased longevity. In
the United States, Oregon and Hawaii, two states with significant
volcanic activity, have among the lowest obesity rates in the country.
By contrast, the highest obesity rates are found in the midwest and in
southern farm country: the epicenter of the modern agricultural
practices (mega-farms) that lead to sulfur depletion in the soil. Among
all fifty states, Oregon has the lowest childhood obesity rates.
Hawaii’s youth are faring less well than their parents, however: while
Hawaii ranks as the fifth from the bottom in obesity rates, its children
aged ten through seventeen weigh in at number thirteen. As Hawaiians
have recently become increasingly dependent on food imports from the
mainland, they have suffered accordingly with increased obesity
In her recently published book, The Jungle Effect,25 Dr.
Daphne Miller devotes a full chapter to Iceland in which she struggles
to answer the question of why Icelanders enjoy such remarkably low rates
of depression, despite living at a northern latitude, where one would
expect a high incidence of Seasonal Affective Disorder. She points out,
furthermore, their excellent health record in other key areas: “When
compared to North Americans, they have almost half the death rate from
heart disease and diabetes, significantly less obesity, and a greater
life expectancy. In fact, the average life span for Icelanders is
amongst the longest in the world.” While she proposes that their high
fish consumption, with associated high intake of omega-3 fats, may
plausibly be the main beneficial factor, she puzzles over the fact that
former Icelanders who move to Canada and also eat lots of fish do not
also enjoy the same decreased rate of depression and heart disease.
In my view, the key to Icelanders’ good health lies in the string of
volcanoes that make up the backbone of the island, which sits atop the
mid-Atlantic ridge crest. Dr. Miller pointed out that the mass exodus to
Canada was due to extensive volcanic eruptions in the late 1800s, which
blanketed the highly cultivated southeast region of the country. This
means, of course, that the soils today are highly enriched in sulfur.
The cabbage, beets and potatoes that are staples of the Icelandic diet
are likely providing far more sulfur to Icelanders than their
counterparts in the American diet provide.
Where to purchase pure Organic Sulfur: www.cellular-oxygenation.com