The functions of enzyme reactions and protein synthesis are performed by Sulphur. Sulphur is used in the formation of collagen that is found in the connective tissues. Keratin, which is necessary for the maintenance of the skin, hair and nails helps in giving strength, shape and hardness to the protein tissues. It is an important part of insulin that helps to regulate the carbohydrate metabolism. Important to cellular respiration, Sulphur is needed in the oxidation-reduction reactions which is helpful in utilizing oxygen and aids brain function and cell activity.
There are about 20 amino acids that are normally present in the foods which contain Sulphur. Usually the need for Sulphur is met in the diet itself. The basic and normal amount of Sulphur needed by the body is about 850 mg.
You may find lack of Sulphur in your body when foods are grown in Sulphur-depleted soil, low protein diets or lack of intestinal bacteria. Deficiency of Sulphur causes difficulty in synthesizing proteins, poor muscle mass and weakness. Lack of Sulphur is closely associated to the symptoms due to lack of proteins in the body.
Sulphur is available in the protein foods like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and legumes. One of the better sources of Sulphur is the egg yolk. Other foods rich in Sulphur include onions, garlic, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and turnips. However complete vegetarians may not get complete and sufficient amount of Sulphur in their bodies.