The Link Between Hydrogen Sulfide and Gut Issues (IBD/IBS) - Part 3: Solutions

7 minute read

After looking at the contributing factors leading to an impaired sulfur metabolism in part 2, it’s now time to look at the practical steps we can take. I will go over what I’m personally doing and what I did when my symptoms were at their peak to get some relief. Obviously, it shouldn’t be taken as medical advice, rather just an account of what I’ve learnt along the way that may or may not help you. Many of these treatments were inspired by Dr Greg Nigh’s book ‘Devil in the Garlic’ so make sure to check that out.

I’ve broken down my approach into 4 distinct categories, each of which I believe come together to give our bodies the best chance to recover from these issues. I’ve put together quite a long list, so rather than taking an all-or-nothing approach, I feel that it’s better to take a little bit from each section and slowly integrate it into your life to see how it affects you.

1) Improve sulfur metabolism pathways

As we’ve talked about previously, sulfur comes in through the diet and it gets converted into sulfate. Improving our bodies ability to perform this conversion should be the number one priority, as it’s the root cause of this issue. This is what this section is all about - getting our sulfur pathways running more efficiently so we can easily convert dietary sulfur into sulfate.

Supplement with Molybdenum

For myself, the most important supplement for resolving these issues has been the trace mineral molybdenum. Molybdenum is a pre-cursor for the SUOX enzyme, a crucial enzyme in the conversion of sulfite to sulfate.

The specific brand that I personally take is MoZyme Forte by Biotics. I take 1 tablet chewed up twice daily chewed. I found that within a day of taking this supplement I had a massive reduction in symptoms like brain fog, fatigue and bloating.

Reduce Glyphosate exposure

Given the amount of damage glyphosate can do to sulfur metabolism, it is worth looking into what you can do to reduce exposure. Ultimately, if you happen live on planet earth it is pretty much impossible to avoid it entirely. It is so prevalent in today’s society that until it is banned in most countries the best we can do is to eat certified organic as much as possible. Eating 100% organic is quite difficult and expensive, but a good start is to prioritize avoiding GMOs and make sure to choose organic for crops sprayed with glyphosate prior to harvest like wheat, oats, flax, almonds and peas. A little goes a long way, and it’s certainly a marathon not a sprint when it comes to reducing chronic glyphosate exposure, but the benefits to not only sulfur metabolism but overall health are well worth it in the long run.

Ozone Therapy

For those of you out there like myself who are serious about health, Ozone therapy is well worth researching and looking into. I plan to write a lot more about ozone in the future. Ozone gas is very reactive, and one of the many effects of Ozone is that it has been shown1 to react with Hydrogen Sulfide to produce water, Oxygen and Sulfur Dioxide (SO2). SO2 can then be converted up to Sulfate (SO4) which our body needs.

I have a post about some of the benefits of retal ozone for IBD here and a post on getting started with ozone at home here.

2) Reduce H2S production by reducing dietary sulfur

A low sulfur diet for 2 weeks followed by food re-introductions is a great first step towards determining if you have a sulfur problem. The aim here is to reduce the amount of sulfur coming in to reduce the amount of hydrogen sulfide that gets produced and therefore the severity of symptoms. It’s a great way to find out if you have an issue with hydrogen sulfide, because symptoms would likely improve if there’s less hydrogen sulfide being produced. However, it might be the case that you feel worse for the first few days due to a “die-off” reaction as SRB are starved and release endotoxin as they die.

Given that a low sulfur diet doesn’t address the root cause of impaired sulfur metabolism, it probably should not be followed indefinitely. However, it is a great tool to take some pressure off the body and facilitate a food reintroduction process. This reintroduction process is really important, because often people will have one or more high sulfur foods they react badly too, so finding these out and keeping them out of the diet for a period of time will be very beneficial. For myself I found that I reacted badly to garlic and onions, which seem to be some of the common foods that people react to along with kale and eggs. Sulfur is really important for many reasons, so once you find out which foods you’re sensitive to it’s important to eat the ones you can tolerate at a quantity that doesn’t cause symptoms.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to follow this kind of diet longer than needed, because as we discussed in part 1, sulfate is critical for the body to function. Our next section will go into some great tools you can use whilst reducing dietary sulfur in order to keep sulfate coming in.

3) Increase the amount of sulfate coming in

An approach that can help take the pressure off our sulfur pathways is to supply our body with sulfate directly. This way we can get the sulfate we need without having rely on our gut bacteria to convert sulfur into hydrogen sulfide. One theory is that, by providing the body with sulfate directly, it might signal that they’re no longer needed, and so they will reduce in numbers without the need to “kill them off” with antimicrobials.

Epsom salt baths

A fantastic way to get a load of sulfate into the body is by taking a hot Epsom salt bath. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, and given that we absorb it through our skin, the sulfate can go directly into the blood stream and avoid the digestive tract entirely, preventing any bacteria from interfering. One study2 demonstrated that blood levels of magnesium & sulfate can increase by bathing in Epsom salt for 7 days. To get the best results, try adding 4 cups to a hot bath (which is a LOT of Epsom salt) and soaking for 20 minutes. You may want to start low and go up gradually.

Sunlight exposure

One of many reasons to get more sunlight exposure is for the cholesterol sulfate it provides. Not only will the cholesterol sulfate from sunlight help to increase our sulfate supply, it also can help with our sulfur metabolism3. However, the toxic ingredients in sunscreens such as aluminium will likely disrupt this process, so it’s worth looking into the sunscreen you use and possibly choosing a natural alternative if you need to use sunscreen.

4) Reduce toxic exposure

Another approach to take the pressure off of our sulfur pathways is to reduce the need for sulfate by reducing toxic exposure. Ever wondered why so many “detox” supplements are sulfur-based like MSM and NAC? Sulfur is required for the synthesis of glutathione4 which is critical for phase 2 detoxification. Reducing our overall level of toxicity will therefore reduce our bodies need for sulfate, freeing up our sulfur pathways.

There are many areas to look at when it comes to toxicity in our food, water and environment, and it can certainly get overwhelming. As we mentioned before, reducing glyphosate exposure in the diet is very important as a long term strategy. Eating a diet consisting of whole foods and avoiding processed foods is hopefully common sense by now for people reading this. I definitely think if you could only do one thing dietarily to reduce toxicity, it would be to remove industrial seed oils such as canola oil and soybean oil and replace them with healthy fats such as organic butter & ghee, animal fats like beef tallow, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.

Heavy metals can put a strain on your detoxification systems, so it may be worth looking into getting a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis done to see if there are heavy metals like aluminium & mercury present. Detoxification therapies like infrared sauna can also be beneficial along with the Epsom salt baths we mentioned earlier.


And that’s it! Of course I’ve included quite a lot there, and I’m sure there’s a lot more I could include. Although understanding the issue itself and how the body works can be complicated at time, the solutions should hopefully seem simple and straightforward.

If you found this useful in your own life, or have any ideas regarding it, I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to reach out at