Sulfur intake recommendations


I know that there is no RDA for Sulfur, but it might be useful to find out what the “normal” is.
3-4 websites I found seem to state 800mg, so far that’s the only number I can find.
@rob seems to use 2g a day, but I assume that is only to “refill”?

The reason I bring all that up is that I started with 450mg (sulfur, from MSM) per day for my first 4 days, and got a good amount of very smelly gas out of it. That 450mg per day is in addition to what’s in my whey - and the way I understand it is that most of your sulfur in a normal diet comes from cysteine and methionine, both amino acids contained in whey.

For the next 4 days, I will be trying 200mg per day instead of the 450 extra, and see how much that helps.

Does anyone else have insights or Soylent experience concerning this? :slight_smile:


This article has a more recent study on MSM

MSM: the benefits of organic sulfur revisited.
Authors: Clouatre D
Source: Total Health (TOTAL HEALTH), 2009; 30 (5): 52-3

This is their write up on dosages

MSM often is associated with the name of Stanley W. Jacob, M.D. in the Department of Surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Jacob used MSM with more than 12,000 patients and therefore from clinical practice there is a foundation for suggesting an approximate intake of MSM for supplemental purposes. The minimum dosage is 750-1,000 mg and a common dosage level is two to three grams of MSM per day taken in divided doses; for instance, 1.5 grams ingested with the morning and evening meals. Increase the dosage slowly if a dosage higher than 1 gram per day is intended. Vitamin C and glucosamine are two nutrients often used in conjunction with MSM. A recent clinical trial for arthritis tested three grams MSM taken twice per day. Benefits usually become evident with three weeks or less, but as indicated above, there typically is further improvement in the period from four to six weeks. MSM is safe for chronic intake and is not associated with serious side effects even at dosages far above the two to three gram level.


Sulfur in MSM is 34% (, so that would mean about 1g of Sulfur would be considered a “common dosage level”.

To me it sounds like a lot, but we’ll have to see - maybe I’m a bit different, maybe something else is causing my gas. The next 3-4 days will tell! :smiley:


The thing with these study’s is of course these people probably get some sulfur from other sources as well. But we would only get what is in the MSM. Currently i am planning to take 5g of MSM per day.


Plus what is in your protein mix.

In plants and animals, the amino acids cysteine and methionine contain most of the sulfur. The element is thus present in all polypeptides, proteins, and enzymes that contain these amino acids. In humans, methionine is an essential amino acid that must be ingested. However, save for the vitamins biotin and thiamine, cysteine and all sulfur-containing compounds in the human body can be synthesized from methionine.

Whey (the one I’m using atm anyways) has plenty of both amino acids.


I changed fiber sources and my gas increased. Might want to look into that.


Thanks for mentioning getting sulfur from components of whey. I was going to go ahead and aim for ~2g following Rob but I may start lower if you’ve been getting by with less. Doesn’t seem like deficiency is an immediate concern.


Heh, I’ll look into it if the Sulfur thing doesn’t help (so far it looks good though) - Thanks!

JTown: I have only been on Soylent for 6 days now, so nothing is conclusive yet.
Yes though, I don’t believe 2g is necessary, and Rob apparently took 3 months to develop deficiency symptoms.


I have reduced the additional sulfur I get from MSM from 450mg to 170mg per day.

Gases are back to a managable amount (still smelly of course), and nothing else came out for a day.
Either I was sick, or it was the sulfur.


After reading Rob’s 3 month update, I went researching into sulfur consumption as well (I don’t want to be deficient, but I also don’t want to add something that isn’t needed). The best info I’ve been able to find is here:

This paper suggests that a combined total of 3-4g per day of cysteine and methionine should be sufficient. The whey powder I’m using lists those at about 500mg each per 25g of protein, so at 100g of protein, I should be getting 4g/day, which should be enough.

The conundrum is Rob’s reported deficiency. At 102g a day of whey protein, I would expect that he is getting enough as well. From what I’ve been able to find, oat protein should be about as good of a source of cysteine and methionine as whey, so even if Rob is reducing the whey protein to balance out the extra oat protein, it shouldn’t be the cause of the deficiency.

One factor that I’ve been able to think of that might explain it is that the liver uses sulfates or cysteine to bind some pharmacological agents (the paper mentions acetaminophen specifically). Perhaps some of the nootropics require sulfur for the body to excrete them?

The other factor that might be having an effect is insulin excretion. Cysteine is a component of insulin, and so I wonder if large amounts of dietary carbohydrates might increase the loss of sulfur from insulin via the kidneys. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find anything to substantiate or refute this theory (i.e. there’s a good chance it is complete nonsense), so please view it with skepticism.


I don’t quite understand how you would not have diarrhea with NO fiber! :open_mouth:


Revisiting the Sulfur question, I found these articles helpful.

The sulfur containing amino acids (SAA) should be consumed at a rate of 13mg per kg body weight. So Cystine/Cysteine and Methionine should total 1.3 g for a person weighing 100 kg.

Two scoops (62g) of my Whey protein isolate provides 1070 mg Cystine, and 946 mg Methionine, or 2.016 grams SAA. This exceeds the sulfur requirements for most persons according to the WHO. On that basis, I am reducing my Nutrient Profile for Sulfur down to the recommended dose of 1/2 teaspoon or 2.5 grams MSM.

For Oats, I calculate a mean SAA content of 5.2 grams per 100 grams (2.3% Cystine and 2.9% Methionine).

I am also updating oats and whey to show sulfur of 2 grams per 62 grams of Whey and 5.2 grams per 100 grams of oats, since the dietary references are for SAAs rather than elemental sulfur.


I just wanted to underscore Silvus’s observation here for anyone reading this thread in the future. From my research, it seems clear that the relevant quantity in a dietary context is the SAA content, not the amount of elemental sulfur contained therein.

See my response in another thread:

And I believe the following journal article is particularly informative:

In sum, we should all take care to add up the methionine and cysteine content of our ingredients (based on the USDA data), and plug this sum into the “Sulfur” field (which should really be re-labeled as “SAA” on the DIY site).