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Cancer, Sulfur, Garlic & Glutathione

Published on June 25, 2012

Descrição: organic_sulfur_MSM

What do garlic and glutathione have in common? Sulfur! Sulfur is commonly used in Asia as an herbal medicine to treat inflammation and cancer. Organic sulfur has been studied on oral and other cancers and has been found to have remarkable benefit in anti-cancer therapy.[1]

Sulfur is an essential element for all life, and is widely used in biochemical processes. In metabolic reactions, sulfur compounds serve as both fuels and respiratory (oxygen-replacing) materials for simple organisms. Sulfur in organic form is present in the vitamins biotin and thiamine, the latter being named for the Greek word for sulfur. Sulfur is an important part of many enzymes and in antioxidant molecules like glutathione and thioredoxin.

Organically bonded sulfur is a component of all proteins, such as the amino acids cysteine and methionine. Disulfide bonds are largely responsible for the strength and shape of proteins. Since sulfur bonds are required for proteins to maintain their shape, and these bonds determine the biological activity of the proteins, we can see why sulfur is critical for health and life itself. There is no doubt that sulfur helps us battle cancer so it’s a good time to become more familiar with this basic element.

Sulfur is required for the proper structure and biological activity of enzymes. If you don’t have sufficient amounts of sulfur in your body, the enzymes cannot function properly. This can cascade into a number of health problems since, without biologically-active enzymes, your metabolic processes cannot function properly.

Sulfur enables the transport of oxygen across cell membranes.

Because sulfur is directly below oxygen in the periodic table, these elements have similar electron configurations. Sulfur forms many compounds that are analogs of oxygen compounds and it has a unique action on body tissues. It decreases the pressure inside the cell. In removing fluids and toxins, sulfur affects the cell membrane. Sulfur is present in all cells and forms sulfate compounds with sodium, potassium, magnesium, and selenium. Organic sulfur, in addition to eliminating heavy metals, regenerates, repairs and rebuilds all the cells in the body.

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Mercury & Sulfur

Sulfur is very complicated topic because:

Thiol poisons, especially mercury and its compounds, reacting with SH groups of proteins, lead to the lowered activity of various enzymes containing sulfhydryl groups. This produces a series of disruptions in the functional activity of many organs and tissues of the organism. Professor I. M. Trakhtenberg[2] – Russia

Mercury, in its various forms, has a great attraction to the sulfhydryls or thiols—these sulfa bonds. A thiol is any organic compound containing a univalent radical called a sulfhydryl and identified by the symbol -SH (sulfur-hydrogen).

Enzymes are proteins, and like all proteins they consist of chains of amino acids. These chains have to be faulted in a specific way to give the enzyme its activity. The structure of many enzymes is ensured by cross-bonding of the amino-acid chains. These cross-bonds consist of double sulfur bonds. Sulfur bridges are covalent S-S bonds between two cysteine amino acids, which tend to be quite strong. These sulfur bonds are damaged when poisonous substances that are not naturally present are added to the cellular and blood environments. Mercury binds to the -SH (sulfhydryl) groups, resulting in inactivation of sulfur and blocking of enzyme functions while producing sulfur metabolites with high toxicity that the body has difficulty handling. Sulfur is essential in enzymes, hormones, nerve tissue and red blood cells. These sulfur bonds are crucial to human biology.

If the geometry of insulin has been changed by mercury, the message that insulin has arrived to give glucose to the cell is not received.

Descrição: structure_insulin

Amino Acid Structure of Insulin
Yellow lines indicate disulfide bonds.

Various molecules or atoms will affect the rate of an enzyme-catalyzed reaction by binding to the enzyme. Some bind at the same site as the substrate (the active site) and prevent the substrate from binding. Others bind at sites on the enzyme remote from the active site and affect activity by modifying the shape of the enzyme. Many of these molecules reduce the activity of the enzyme and are referred to as inhibitors.

Mercury is the most potent enzyme inhibitor that exists; it is in a class of its own and well deserves its title as the most toxic non-radioactive element. Since mercury and lead attach themselves at these highly vulnerable junctures of proteins, they can readily provoke biochemical shifts and then morphological changes in the body. Transsulfuration pathways in the body are fundamental for life. When mercury blocks thiol groups, cellular proteins lose their reactive properties and lose their ability to carry out their routine function.

Because glycemic regulation is one of the body’s most central homeostatic mechanisms, mercury’s attack is most problematic, even at low concentrations, and indicates that it is playing a great role in the dramatic rise of diabetes.

Insulin has three sulfur-containing cross-linkages and the insulin receptor has a tyrosine-kinase-containing sulfur bond; these are the preferred targets for binding by both mercury and lead. Should mercury attach to one of these three sulfur bonds, it will interfere with the normal biological function of the insulin molecule. The average adult inhales thousands of trillions of mercury atoms a day from a mouthful of amalgams; fish provides trillions more, the air more, and in children, vaccines provide surges of trillions of mercury molecules per day in the form of ethyl-mercury, which is vastly more toxic than metallic mercury. Insulin molecules are directly assaulted as are insulin receptor sites.

We are all receiving, just through our air, water and food, about a microgram of mercury a day. Sounds like very little until you calculate that a microgram contains 3,000 trillion atoms each of which hold the potential to deactivate insulin and the receptor sites crucial to their function. Then you have to add the amount leaking from each of your dental amalgams, the mercury injected with your flu shot, and your proximity to a coal-fired plant or other mercury-contaminating source point like crematoriums and municipal incinerators.

Sulfur is present in all proteins, which makes it universally available throughout the body for binding with mercury. Some of the important biochemical sulfur-containing compounds of the body besides insulin are glutathione, prolactin, growth hormone, and vasopressin.

The bottom line is that no other element including oxygen has more of an ability to combine with other elements than sulfur. All the metals except gold and platinum combine with sulfur to form inorganic sulfides. Sulfur combines with aluminum to form aluminum sulfate, it combines with barium to form barium sulfate, and it combines with strontium to form strontium sulfate.

If you not getting the hint, I will say it outright! Sulfur is crucial for detoxification and chelation of heavy metals and radioactive particles, which behave like heavy metals chemically.

Sulfur & Garlic

Descrição: C:UsersClaudiaPicturesfresh garlic4.jpg

As early as 1550 B.C., Egyptians realized the benefits of garlic (a high-sulfur food) as a remedy for a variety of diseases. Many epidemiological studies support the protective role of garlic and related allium foods against the development of certain human cancers. Natural garlic and garlic cultivated with selenium fertilization have been shown in laboratory animals to have protective roles in cancer prevention.[3]

Dr. Budwig fed terminal cancer patients a mixture of skim milk protein (a sulfur-containing protein) and flaxseed oil. The Budwig diet and the Gerson Therapy diet are two leading anti-cancer diets. The badly needed sulfur protein L-methionine is found in cottage cheese. L-methionine is the essential amino acid responsible for breaking down omega-3 fatty acids.

Sulfur is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates. Sulfur is required for proper assimilation of the alpha amino acids methionine and cysteine. There is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for sulfur, though it is believed that most of us ingest about 9 gm/day from our diets with more needed in cancer treatments.[4] There are no known toxic effects from organic sulfur.

The first scientific report to study sulfur-laden garlic and cancer was performed in the 1950s. Scientists injected allicin, an active ingredient from garlic, into mice suffering from cancer. Mice receiving the injection survived more than six months whereas those that did not receive the injection survived only two months.[5]

The National Cancer Institute found that individuals who ate the most allium vegetables (red onions, scallions, garlic, chives and leeks) had a nearly 50% lower cancer risk than those who ate the least.[6]

A large-scale epidemiological Iowa Women’s Health Study looked at the garlic consumption in 41,000 middle-aged women. Results showed that women who regularly consumed garlic had 35% lower risk of developing colon cancer.[7]

Descrição: C:UsersClaudiaPicturesraw egg yolk.jpg

Sulfur-rich foods help to give you healthy hair, skin and nails. Sulfur foods are important as this mineral is present in every one of your cells. Sulfur deficiency is a big threat to vegans and vegetarians who do not consume any eggs or dairy food. Sulfur foods are primarily found in unprocessed animal foods and seafood. It is also found in great abundance in raw egg yolks.

Sulfur Deficiency Symptoms

  • Fatigue and sluggishness
  • Brittle nails and hair
  • Hair loss and slow growth of hair
  • Poor growth of fingernails
  • Joint problems like arthritis
  • Skin problems like rash
  • Dermatitis and eczema
  • Skeletal and growth problems
  • Varicose veins and poor circulation
  • Increased aging of skin
  • Inability to digest fats
  • Blood sugar problems
  • Inability to digest food
  • Increased allergies
  • Parasitical infestations

Several population studies show an association between increased intake of garlic and reduced risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas and breast. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) concluded that higher intakes of onion and garlic were associated with a reduced risk of intestinal cancer.[8]

Several studies conducted in China cantered on garlic consumption and cancer risk. In one study, investigators found that frequent consumption of garlic and various types of onions and chives was associated with reduced risk of esophageal and stomach cancers, with greater risk reductions seen for higher levels of consumption. Similarly, in another study, the consumption of allium vegetables, especially garlic and onions, was linked to a reduced risk of stomach cancer. In another study, greater intake of allium vegetables (more than 10 g per day vs. less than 2.2 g per day) was associated with an approximately 50% reduction in prostate cancer risk.

Evidence also suggests that increased garlic consumption may reduce pancreatic cancer risk.[9] A study conducted in the San Francisco Bay area found that pancreatic cancer risk was 54% lower in people who ate larger amounts of garlic compared with those who ate lower amounts.

In addition, a study in France found that increased garlic consumption was associated with a statistically significant reduction in breast cancer risk.[10] After considering total calorie intake and other established risk factors, breast cancer risk was reduced in those consuming greater amounts of fiber, garlic and onions.

Sulfur, Glutathione & Selenium

Oxyradicals are involved in multiple mutational events and can contribute to the conversion of healthy cells to cancer cells. Glutathione (GSH) and the GSH-replenishing enzymes keep the antioxidant status of normal cells at a level where they can avert oxyradical-derived mutations. When we talk about sulfur pathways and sulfur sufficiency we are at the same time touching on glutathione because glutathione is a sulfur enzyme.[11]

Selenium compounds have been shown to have powerful anticarcinogenic activity. In view of certain similarities between selenium and sulfur biochemistry, scientists tested selenocystamine/cysteamine, semethylselenocysteine/S-methylcysteine and seleno­betaine-sulfobetaine. In these sulfur compounds only cysteamine and S-methylcysteine produced anticancer activity. These sulfur-selenium compounds are active in cancer protection and may have a multi-modal mechanism in preventing cellular transformation as well as in delaying or inhibiting the expression of malignancy after carcinogen exposure.[12]

Garlic also contains selenium, which is crucial for glutathione enzymes.

Glutathione, the most important antioxidant in the body, is that place where sulfur and selenium meet up to protect us from cancer. The immune system cannot function properly without it and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E rely on it to function properly within the body. The glutathione and cancer connection has been well established. Patients with cancer, serious chronic illness, AIDS and over 60 other diseases have reduced glutathione levels. Glutathione plays a specific role in the detoxification of many well-known cancer-causing and cell-damaging substances in our environment.

A Japanese study showed that even low concentrations of DMSO (sulfur) had radio-protective effects through the facilitation of DNA double-strand break repair, providing protection against radiation damage at all cellular levels in the whole body.[13] Boosting your body’s antioxidant levels is a key to surviving cancer. DMSO can be used for various medical applications.

In my Natural Allopathic protocol I suggest two principle products for sulfur supplementation. The first is organic sulfur and I have found a company with the best-priced and highest-quality product. Second I am recommending a new product from LL Magnetic Clay—magnesium oil with MSM (sulfur) added. It is a very nice transdermal way of injecting sulfur into our systems and it makes the magnesium oil even oiler and better for the skin.

Descrição: sulfur magnesium.jpg

Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil Ultra ecorporates the unique synergistic benefits of MSM and magnesium. MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) has long been revered as a superior form of sulfur supplementation, but as a topical it enhances cell membrane permeability and facilitates more efficient uptake of magnesium ions. Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil Ultra contains approximately 1.6 g elemental magnesium and 3.6 g of MSM per fl oz. I’m sure my readers will like this new magnesium oil formula. It’s gentler on the skin—the MSM counteracts the itching and it’s being offered at 40% off with the rest of the Ancient Mineral magnesium line of products until the end of June 2012.

[2] Trakhtenberg, I.M. From Russian translation. Chronic Effects of Mercury on Organisms. In Place of a Conclusion

[3] J Nutr. 2006 Mar;136(3 Suppl):864S-869S.

[4] Daily intake is usually 800-900 milligrams of sulfur per day. Certain health conditions, such as arthritis and liver disorders, may be improved by increasing the intake of sulfur to 1,500 milligrams per day in supplemental form (most commonly as methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM). Sulfur-rich foods include eggs, legumes, whole grains, garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage according to Dr. Michael T. Murray.

[5] Researchers once thought that the chemical called allicin was responsible for garlic’s benefits, as well as its distinctive smell. But we now know that it is the other chemicals in garlic, including the sulfur-containing compounds, that may help lower cholesterol, fight heart disease, and help prevent cancers.

[8] Gonzalez CA, Pera G, Agudo A, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of stomach and oesophagus adenocarcinoma in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-EURGAST). International Journal of Cancer 2006; 118(10): 2559–2566.

[9] Chan JM, Wang F, Holly EA. Vegetable and fruit intake and pancreatic cancer in a population-based case-control study in the San Francisco bay area.Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 2005; 14(9):2093–2097

[10] Challier B, Perarnau JM, Viel JF. Garlic, onion and cereal fibre as protective factors for breast cancer: A French case-control study. European Journal of Epidemiology 1998; 14(8):737–747.

[12] Carcinogenesis. 1992 Jul;13(7):1167-70.Comparison of selenium and sulfur analogs in cancer prevention. Ip C, Ganther HE. Department of Surgical Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY 14263

# # # #

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Director International Medical Veritas Association
Doctor of Oriental and Pastoral Medicine

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  • Garry brunt
  • Synthia Rose

    Does anyone know how onions compare to eggs in terms of sulfur levels? I don’t eat eggs or meat but I put whole onions in my smoothie daily. Hoping I get enough sulfur.

  • Jason Williams

    Wow beautiful article.

  • Eilish

    What is the recommendation when there is impaired sulfate metabolism that may be linked to genetic mutation. I have only started looking into this but my son has cystic fibrosis and is showing signs of intolerance to sulfate based medications and has igG intolerance to eggs and garlic. I’ve tried to find credible information on this subject and find the answer to regulating the methylation cycle rather than the exclusion of sulfur from diet. Can you point me to any answers please as I would be very grateful. Thanks

  • Tina Allain

    I have been doing organic sulfur crystals for 4 months lost 42 lbs…i had a slight sugar problem was taking care of it with diet…and sulfur is suppose t help with this.just had blood test sugar through the roof and sour taste in mouth last few months and food really makes it worse ..any ideas …also terrible leg and feet cramps up 4 x a night…

    • M. Carmen Yáñez Prieto

      Tina, I would add magnesium and potassium to the mix. Keep the sulfur, that’s a great idea. You need magnesium to let those muscles relax. Plus glucose disregulation usually goes hand in hand with magnesium deficiency. If you need more information you can google Carolyn Dean on magnesium.

    • Izzi


  • Jimi

    I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer 3:4 Gleason 7 . Been told it is contained in the prostate. Seeds radiation is suggested . Is there any advise so I do not have to go through this barberric prociture as it is at an early stage

    • Maurice Guggisberg

      Dear Jimi,
      I’m sorry to hear about your situation.
      Dr. Sircus has an entire protocol of a number of things that may help you. You can read about his protocol and about dosages in the ebook Treatment Essentials:

      Or you can choose a consultation with Dr. Sircus for an in depth recommendation for you. He is available to take patients via his online clinic.

      Please let me know if I can be of further help.
      Best Regards,
      Maurice Guggisberg
      IMVA Support Team

  • CropaidNPA

    plants productions need sulphur like fertilizer and resistense factor,we recommendet use with sulphur bacteria in Thiofer wich oxidise-reduce sulphur, nice formula for bio agriculture

    • Helene Thorson

      what are you talking about? this is about cancer and supplementing with garlic

  • Rick

    Hello Dr. Mark,

    I was wondering if you have done any concise studies on asafoetida.

    • Hi Rick,

      No we (IMVA) have not done any studies on asafoetida.

      Claudia French

  • has20birds

    When I was doing chemo for two golf ball sized breast cancers, I took resveratrol, IP6 (rice bran), Vitamin D, CoQ10, Glutathione (whey powder), spirulina, and epsom salt baths. All the things he mentions. It worked beautifully.

  • mike

    Hi guys. My 83 yo mom was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer(tumor on the head part of pancreas). We decided that she no longer will undergo any chemo or radiation therapy. No more biopsy was done. Per ultrasound, the pancreatic mass is fist-size. Do you think glutathione is a good replacement for cbemo and radiation therapy considering her age? Thank you.

    • Dear Mike,

      So sorry to hear this about your mother and pancreatic cancer. At her age its difficult to know what will help as it depends on a number of things like her general condition, how much damage has occurred from the chemotherapy etc. You really need a consultation to talk this over with Dr. Sircus. There are a number of things from Dr. Sircus’ protocol that can be put in place, including glutathione.

      Claudia French

    • Wendy Allen

      No gluten (wheat/barley/rye…oats)…no dairy/soy/sugar…vitamins/good oils, LDN, Fish oil, Vit D3, Vit C, zinc and more may help the immune system. Gluten hurts the intestines so they don’t absorb nutrients and more. Chemo/radiation may also hurt intestinal absorption of nutrients. HCl and Now brand- Super enzymes with meals. Dairy free strong probiotic at night (away from stomach acid) may help. Essiak, organic sulfur, Now brand- Detox Support, milk thistle, alpha lipoic acid and more may help. Alternative doctors may help cancer. Best wishes.

  • tan

    Is sulfur crystals ok to take at the same time as doing a chelation treatment?

    • Tan,

      yes, sulfur can be taken as part of chelation treatments.

      Claudia French

  • Eating garlic raw or as raw as possible (uncooked) is the best way to preserve the health benefits. Also check out a glutathione enhancing supplement called SynergiaGSH, it is a remarkable product that uses precursors such as NAC and R-ALA as well as the acetylated form of Glutathione in order to enhance cellular GSH levels extremely effectively.

  • alahambra

    Bernando LaPallo, 112 year old man, his fav. foods: honey, cacao, cinnamon, olive oil and GARLIC. Garlic has the most sulfur of all foods, cacao the most magnesium. Olive oil- vit E and Coenzyme Q10. Cinnamon is the strongest antioxidant, together with cloves. But how much cloves you can eat 😉 add dark green veggies for chlorophyll, some also have sulfur and you have a super healthy diet!

    • Kristian

      Thank you, interesting. Tell people about the fake cinnamon industry that have fooled us for so long, it is only good as ant poison now. All bottled oils go rancid, even before you can taste it. This is a given, when exposed to oxygen-> oxidation-> inflammatory. So use the source from where they come and squese it out. Most will still have a good life with oils, but they are working against their own health and destroying their arteries-> clogging. Seek out Dr. Glidden for radical info that is hard to overturn.

  • mar

    Thank you I have many of these symptoms, I should of known better as my grandma swore by garlic and lived to be 95 years old and did not get cancer in her lifetime. You just saved
    me, I need more sulfur, I will be peeling and eating garlic at least once a day.

    • Mark nice bit of work. Mar being we study sulfur and concur everyone needs sulfur but twice a day, sulfur leaves the body every 12 hours, twice a day.
      #4 on the suggested amount is adequate if you weigh 30 pounds. Dr. Stanley Jacob tried to kill death row inmates, failed with 200 grams a day. Sulfur leaves the body along with any new found sulfates and sulfides of nasty stuff man thinks is good for business.
      The only true enemy of cancer or a virus is intracellular oxygen which is why all of our 102 n-stage cancer folks told to go and die, refuse.

  • Marg

    I use a product called Toxiclenz . It is Diatomaceous Earth and Inosital. Can I use MSM with this?

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      Call the retailer you bought the product from and ask them about using it with MSM. It should be ok but am not familiar with Toxiclenz

      • Marg

        Thank you

  • Roger

    I’ve been taking one teaspoon of MSM granules (about 4-5 grams) mixed with spring water twice per day for about four months now, and it’s probably the best addition to my supplement regimen yet. But if you do this, make sure you start with only an eighth of a teaspoon twice per day, and slowly work up to one teaspoon twice per day. MSM wil definitely detox your cells, and if you start off taking too much you’ll feel like you have the flu… Also, MSM capsules have additional fillers that aren’t good for you, so you should always use pure MSM granules or flakes mixed with water.

    • Roger

      By the way, MSM not only detoxes your cells, but it “opens” them up and enhances the uptake of the nutrients in your food and other supplements…

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff

      Thanks for the good information Roger!

  • Charles

    I seem to remember that you had recommended sodium thiosulfate for sulfer supplementation. Is that not correct?

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff


      sodium thiosulfate can also be used for sulfur supplementation… is also a good calcium chelator.

  • robert

    Would not adding broccoli sprouts which are very high in sulforaphane glucosinolate (SGS) be a good thing? Along with the magnesium?

    • Claudia – IMVA Staff


      yes broccoli sprouts would help a lot!! there are other food sources which if up to par on sulfur and not depleted as some are coming from deficient soil sources.