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Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)

A well-known toxic gas with the smell of rotten eggs.

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Origin in the body, mechanisms, effects

  • "When gut bacteria or fungi are attacked by something like a heavy metal molecule (e.g. mercury), they have a special defense mechanism (called a "resistance gene") that produces Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) gas, which binds to the attacker and neutralizes it. Subsequently this highly toxic and poisonous H2S gas is created in the gut. H2S can impair the immunity system, especially in the area of neutrophil function, which is used to fight the original yeast in the gut, and hence one can hit a vicious cycle. H2S is very similar to mercury, in that it can bind to many of the things that mercury binds to and inactivate them. In other words, all the bad things that mercury can do, as described here, H2S can do. H2S can also convert the safer Inorganic mercury to the more dangerous Organic mercury, as described here." (Healing Your Gut at Advanced Techniques For Overcoming CFS, FMS and GWS [no references on this site])
  • " The Organic Mercury is a mercury atom attached to a CH3 molecule (carbon + 2 hydrogen atoms). CH3 is called a "methyl group". The mercury from fish is Organic mercury and it's chemical symbol is CH3HgCH3. Another kind of Organic mercury is one that is produced in the body by mixing Thiolmethyl Transferase (an enzyme, abbreviated THT), H2S (gas fermented in gut), a methyl donor (someone who donates CH3) to get CH3SH; and then the CH3SH mixes with Inorganic Mercury (Hg) to get CH3SHgSH3C, which is a form of Inorganic mercury. The THT enzyme steps is actually needed to detoxify the poisonous H2S gas to get it out of the body. When the Hg picks up the CH3 to become Organic, it is said to have been "methylated". In this example, the H2S gut gas "methylated" the mercury. Mercury in the body is usually "methylated" in the colon, since that is where it picks up the chemistry to do it. And, since the H2S originates from bad gut bacteria or fungi, one could say that these indirectly methylate mercury." (How to test for Mercury and other Heavy Metals at Advanced Techniques For Overcoming CFS, FMS and GWS [no references on this site])
  • Neurological effects: "Recently, H2S has been proposed as a physiologically active messenger. Three groups discovered that the brain contains relatively high concentrations of endogenous H2S. This discovery accelerated the identification of an H2S-producing enzyme, cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS) in the brain. In addition to the well-known regulators for CBS, S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) and pyridoxal-5'-phosphate, it was recently found that Ca2+/calmodulin-mediated pathways are involved in the regulation of CBS activity. H2S is produced in response to neuronal excitation, and alters hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), a synaptic model for memory. can also regulate the release of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) from hypothalamus. Another H2S producing enzyme, cystathionine gamma-lyase (CSE), has been identified in smooth muscle, and H2S relaxes smooth muscle in synergy with nitric oxide (NO)." - (Hydrogen sulfide as a neuromodulator, by H. Kimura, National Institute of Neuroscience, Kodaira, Tokyo, Japan. from Mol Neurobiol. 2002 Aug;26(1):13-9.)

My Experience

High-sulfur foods give me a lot of this gas, which gets painful if I stay still for an hour or more. Driving or watching TV will do it, but worst is at night. If I eat sulfur foods after 3 pm the pain keeps me awake after 3 am. It doesn't feel like gas pains I ever had before: much sharper. Tanalbit and oregano have reduced it, when I could get away with them. I guess this gas could be from either Citrobacter freundii or Candida (or both).

copyright © 2002 by Catherine Holmes Clark. Last updated datex 2002