Sulfation pathway

Sulfation or sulfurylation (not to be confused with sulfonation) in biochemistry is the enzyme-catalyzed conjugation of a sulfo group (not a sulfate or sulfuryl group) to another molecule.[1] This biotransformation involves a sulfotransferase enzyme catalyzing the transfer of a sulfo group from a donor cosubstrate, usually 3′-phosphoadenosine-5′-phosphosulfate (PAPS), to a substrate molecule’s hydroxyl or amine.

 Sulfation is involved in a variety of biological processes, including detoxification, hormone regulation, molecular recognition, cell signaling, and viral entry into cells.[1]

Chapman, Eli; Best, Michael D.; Hanson, Sarah R.; Wong, Chi-Huey (2004-07-05). “Sulfotransferases: Structure, Mechanism, Biological Activity, Inhibition, and Synthetic Utility”. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 43 (27): 3526–3548.

It is among the reactions in phase II drug metabolism, frequently effective in rendering a xenobiotic less active from a pharmacological and toxicological standpoint, but sometimes playing a role in the activation of xenobiotics (e.g. aromatic amines, methyl-substituted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). Another example of biological sulfation is in the synthesis of sulfonated glycosaminoglycans, such as heparin, heparan sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and dermatan sulfate. Sulfation is also a possible posttranslational modification of proteins.

Sulfoxidation Process:  Dietary sulfur –> sulfite (toxic) –> sulfate (necessary)
If sulfoxidation isn’t working well, then it can get overloaded, resulting in a sentitivity to sulfur foods.Sulfate ions are key components in connective tissue like cartilage and in mucous. They detoxify many substances, including adrenal and thyroid hormones, salicylates, food additives, many drugs and environmental toxins.


People low in sulfate are likely to react to salicylates, food colors and other additives. They might have arthritis or crackly joints. People sensitive to sulfur foods (especially eggs) are likely low in sulfate because they have trouble producing it from sulfites, and people who crave sulfur foods likely have an increased need for sulfate.

sulfation difficulties (such as mutation in CBS gene) may be itchy, irritated by epsom baths, have trouble with  NAC. MSM, alpha lipoic acid, glutathione supps

difficulty/aversion to sulfur foods like broccoli and cabbage – and if not??


The sulfoxidation process requires molybdenum and vitamin B6. Too much of either can inhibit the process. Too much is around 50-100mg B6/day, or toxic-high levels of molybdenum. The most common culprit seems to be low molybdenum.

Sulfites (toxic) are naturally occuring in some foods, used as a preservative, and don’t have to be labeled – common sources include dried fruit, shrimp, and processed corn.


Supplements include N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), MSM, and taurine. NAC is generally used more to increase glutathione levels (glutathione supps aren’t absorbed).  Excess glutamate at synapses, can prevent the uptake of cysteine, a necessary building-block of glutathione. Without the protection from oxidative injury afforded by glutathione, cells may be damaged or killed. MSM is a common sulfur supplement, but requires the sulfoxidation process to be working well. Taurine uses a different pathway. Epsom salt baths are also a good source of pre-made sulfate. Sulfate isn’t absorbed well in the gut.

Epsom salt baths – uses Magnesium
Dechlorinate bath water with Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) tablets/powder (One gram of ascorbic acid will neutralize 1 milligram per liter of chlorine per 100 gallons of water.)

NAC- N-acetyl-cysteine. A form of cysteine that’s shelf stable and not absorbed unless it’s needed. It helps stop the production of ammonia (from transulferation?) to free up BH4, which is used to make a whole whack of different hormones (including dopamine and seratonin). BH4 is what is used in the body to get rid of ammonia and ammonia is made by the production of cysteine (among other things).


Dechlorination study review.
Dechlorination article comparing filters, including showerheads.
Sulfation Detox basics

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