Caroline R. Hill
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Taylor & Francis
School of Medical and Health Sciences / School of Science / Centre for Integrative Metabolomics and Computational Biology / Centre for Precision Health / Institute for Nutrition Research
Edith Cowan University
National Heart Foundation National Health and Medical Research Council
Australian Research Council Royal
Perth Hospital Research Foundation
NHMRC Number : APP1116973, 1172987ARC Number : CE140100008, FL200100057
Sulfur is essential for the health of plants and is an indispensable dietary component for human health and disease prevention. Its incorporation into our food supply is heavily reliant upon the uptake of sulfur into plant tissue and our subsequent intake. Dietary requirements for sulfur are largely calculated based upon requirements for the sulfur-containing amino acids (SAA), cysteine and methionine, to meet the demands for synthesis of proteins, enzymes, co-enzymes, vitamins, and hormones. SAA are found in abundance in animal sources and are relatively low in plants. However, some plants, particularly cruciferous and allium vegetables, produce many protective sulfur-containing secondary metabolites, such as glucosinolates and cysteine sulfoxides. The variety and quantity of these sulfur-containing metabolites are extensive and their effects on human health are wide-reaching. Many benefits appear to be related to sulfur’s role in redox biochemistry, protecting against uncontrolled oxidative stress and inflammation; features consistent within cardiometabolic dysfunction and many chronic metabolic diseases of aging. This narrative explores the origins and importance of sulfur, its incorporation into our food supply and dietary sources. It also explores the overarching potential of sulfur for human health, particularly around the amelioration of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, and subsequent chronic disease prevention.
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