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Are we getting enough sulfur in our diet?

Overview of attention for article published in Nutrition & Metabolism, January 2007
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Among the highest-scoring outputs from this source (#24 of 911)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (99th percentile)


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Are we getting enough sulfur in our diet?
Published in
Nutrition & Metabolism, January 2007
DOI 10.1186/1743-7075-4-24
Pubmed ID

Marcel E Nimni, Bo Han, Fabiola Cordoba


Sulfur, after calcium and phosphorus, is the most abundant mineral element found in our body. It is available to us in our diets, derived almost exclusively from proteins, and yet only 2 of the 20 amino acids normally present in proteins contains sulfur. One of these amino acids, methionine, cannot be synthesized by our bodies and therefore has to be supplied by the diet. Cysteine, another sulfur containing amino acid, and a large number of key metabolic intermediates essential for life, are synthesized by us, but the process requires a steady supply of sulfur.Proteins contain between 3 and 6% of sulfur amino acids. A very small percentage of sulfur comes in the form of inorganic sulfates and other forms of organic sulfur present in foods such as garlic, onion, broccoli, etc.The minimal requirements (RDA) for all the essential amino acids have always been estimated in terms of their ability to maintain a nitrogen balance. This method asses amino acid requirements for protein synthesis, only one of the pathways that methionine follows after ingestion. To adequately evaluate the RDA for methionine, one should perform, together with a nitrogen balance a sulfur balance, something never done, neither in humans nor animals.With this in mind we decided to evaluate the dietary intake of sulfur (as sulfur amino acids) in a random population and perform sulfur balance studies in a limited number of human volunteers. Initially this was done to try and gain some information on the possible mode of action of a variety of sulfur containing compounds (chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine sulfate, and others, ) used as dietary supplements to treat diseases of the joints. Out of this study came information that suggested that a significant proportion of the population that included disproportionally the aged, may not be receiving sufficient sulfur and that these dietary supplements, were very likely exhibiting their pharmacological actions by supplying inorganic sulfur.

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 242 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United States 4 2%
Australia 2 <1%
Germany 1 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
Japan 1 <1%
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Unknown 232 96%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 60 25%
Student > Bachelor 30 12%
Researcher 29 12%
Student > Ph. D. Student 24 10%
Other 17 7%
Other 40 17%
Unknown 42 17%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 47 19%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 44 18%
Nursing and Health Professions 21 9%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 21 9%
Chemistry 12 5%
Other 44 18%
Unknown 53 22%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 178. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 29 May 2022.
All research outputs
of 21,436,792 outputs
Outputs from Nutrition & Metabolism
of 911 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 106,249 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Nutrition & Metabolism
of 1 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 21,436,792 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 99th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 911 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 24.0. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 97% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 106,249 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 99% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 1 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has scored higher than all of them