10 Facts About Hydrogen Sulfide

10 Facts About Hydrogen Sulfide:

  1. It can result in rotten-egg-smelling urine, breath, or flatulence.
  2. There is currently no breath test available for detecting hydrogen sulfide SIBO.
  3. A link exists between hydrogen sulfide & ulcerative colitis.
  4. Methane-producing bacteria and sulfate-reducing bacteria both consume hydrogen and may out-compete each other.
  5. Hydrogen sulfide in the brain affects memory and learning.
  6. Flat lining of methane and hydrogen on a lactulose breath test (when symptoms are present) can indicate presence of hydrogen sulfide.
  7. Normal amounts of hydrogen sulfide have beneficial effects such as regulation of inflammation.
  8. But excess levels of hydrogen sulfide is poison to mitochondria (known as the “powerhouse” of cells).
  9. Bacteria responsible for significant production of hydrogen sulfide include enterococcus, streptococcus, and prevotella.
  10. Heavy metals and sulfate-reducing bacteria are double danger (they have a synergistic effect).


12 thoughts on “10 Facts About Hydrogen Sulfide

  1. Hi, did you ever get your 23andme test results back? Do you have the CBS++ or BHMT mutation? CBS effects the conversion of Sulfite to Sulfate in the body and the supplement usually recommended for this is Molybdenum so the fact that you responded positively to Molybdenum leads me to believe that you may have this genetic mutation.


    • Hi Ray, Yes, I am CBS +/- and no issues with BHMT. I did take molybdenum for a while, but was getting some weird neurological and nausea symptoms, so I stopped it. I no longer am intolerant to high sulfur foods so luckily have been able to expand my diet greatly.


  2. hello,

    a strategy i used to deal with h2s sibo was to drastically reduce high methionine and sulfur amino acid proteins, while simultaneously and very slowly increasing my consumption of complex carbohydrates(which did NOT include eating sulfur rich vegetables) to change the composition of the gut bacteria. this worked incredibly well for me.

    please do not worry about nutritional deficiencies from temporarily reducing protein or fats, that is way overplayed, as is the fear of all carbs feeding sibo.

    doing this made a major difference in my life. i hope it helps you.


      • Thanks. Can you detail what you’ve done specifically with your own regimen in regards to the results of the Organix test? You took it in October so its been a while. . I know you’ve done diet and herbs for SIBO, but was there anything you addressed or took that was specific to the O test?


      • Evelyn,

        In regard to my Organix test, I have experimented with taking high lipase digestive enzymes to improve my fatty acid metabolism, but have not implemented the other suggested supplements. The majority of the supplements that were recommended on my Organix test were ones that are sulfur-containing. Unfortunately, for me, I cannot handle high thiols (sulfur foods/supplements), so I reacted poorly when I tried biotin & carnitine. Since my sulfur intolerance may be caused by mercury toxicity, I plan to address that issue slowly and carefully in the hope that I will then be able to tolerate sulfur foods and perform a repeat Organix test.

        For those who do not have sensitivities to many supplements, it may be worth trying the custom vitamin formula that can be ordered from Metabolic Maintenance based on your results.


      • Got it. How would I know if something has sulfur or thiol in it? Neither of the supplements you listed (biotin or carnitine) have it listed in the ingredients. Is there something I can reference?


      • Hi Riley, thanks for writing such a helpful, informative blog! Do you know yet how you plan to address mercury toxicity? I also have high heavy metals and sulfur intolerance. A couple years ago before I knew this I did chelation therapy with DMSA and was the sickest I’ve ever been in my life (DMSA is extremely high sulfur). It did not go well. I believe IV chelation with EDTA is another possibility but I won’t be going down that path until my health is more stable. For now, my only intervention is infrared sauna. I’m not sure if my sulfur intolerance is caused by SIBO, gut dysbiosis, genetic mutations or heavy metals. Have you ruled out SIBO as a potential cause in your case? Thanks again!


      • Hi Lara,

        From what I have researched, it seems that EDTA is never a good idea when mercury is present (although I cannot remember why). The chelation protocol that I plan to follow (if I decide to go down that path) is the Andy Cutler protocol (low dose frequent dose chelation). It seems to be the safest. SIBO is definitely an issue for me, but I do not believe it to be the cause of all my sulfur issues. My sulfur intolerance has not improved (as far as I can tell) with healing my SIBO.

        Best of luck!


  3. Thanks for the info on hydrogen sulfide. The strange smelling urine is something I have had ever since my GI symptoms began. For the first several years, it was always a very fishy smell for which they gave me the usual antibiotics but nothing ever changed. Now it smells somewhat like BMS, just milder. Although if I eat certain types of fish like cod, it will smell very fishy again the next day. But nothing ever shows up on the usual urine tests. I wonder if an organic acid urine test would show anything. But our regular Drs (who our insurance covers) won’t do them, of course!


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