Exposure to sulfites is a common cause of excessive inflammation and pain. Unfortunately, sulfites are all too common. Various sulfites are widely used in potato salad (as a preservative), salad bars (to keep the vegetables looking fresh), dried fruits (sulfites keep dried apricots orange), wine, and some medications.
Sulfoxidation is the process by which the sulfur-containing molecules in drugs and foods are metabolized. It is also the process by which the body eliminates the sulfite food additives used to preserve many foods and drugs. Normally, the enzyme sulfite oxidase metabolizes sulfites to safer sulfates, which are then excreted in the urine. Those with a poorly functioning sulfoxidation system, however, have an increased ratio of sulfite to sulfate in their urine. Such people are more sensitive to sulfur-containing drugs and foods containing sulfur or sulfite additives. Those with a faulty sulfite oxidase system could experience sulfite accumulation causing unpleasant symptoms like joint inflammation and pain, asthma, nasal and sinus congestion, rhinitis, postnasal drip, frontal headache and bronchospasm.
Molybdenum and Sulfites:
Molybdenum, an important trace mineral, is a component of sulfite oxidase, the enzyme that breaks down sulfite toxin build-ups in the body. Because of its critical role in sulfite metabolism, molybdenum supplementation should be considered for those experiencing symptoms of sulfite toxicity, especially joint inflammation and pain, or for those who consume high levels of sulfites. Supplementation with molybdenum may help maintain a healthy ratio of sulfites to sulfates. Sulfites can be measured in the urine, and used as a means of monitoring symptom correlation with molybdenum supplementation.