Sulfites are additives found in many processed foods, including red wine, bologna, cured bacon and other processed meats, dried fruit, grape juice and yellow food dye #5. Most people can process sulfites if they have sufficient amounts of sulfite oxidase enzyme as well as molybdenum in their system. If you lack these, however, you will be sensitive to sulfites in food and drugs.
Symptoms of Sulfite Sensitivity
If you believe you may be sulfite sensitive, watch for the following symptoms when you eat, drink or take a product that contains sulfites: nausea, shortness of breath, throat tightening, itching, hives, runny nose or headache. Consult your health-care provider for a firm diagnosis.
The first and best thing you can do if you are sulfite sensitive is, of course, to avoid products that contain sulfites. Check the label of any processed food you buy. Shrimp, instant potatoes, cookies and jarred pickles are all possibilities. Also avoid sulfa drugs, which can decrease your levels of sulfite oxidase enzyme and hinder your ability to process sulfites. Some asthma inhalers use sulfites as a preservative, so check with your doctor.
How to Detoxify
You can take a molybdenum supplement along with vitamins B-12 and B-1 to help your body process sulfites into sulfates, which are harmless. But to completely cleanse your system of sulfites, you may want to do a detox regimen. Avoid all food additives, make sure your meals include at least 75 percent fresh or minimally processed fruits and vegetables, drink purified water and get a little exercise every day. A good way to cleanse your body of all food additives, not just sulfites, is to use French green clay and digestive enzymes in addition to a multivitamin and a B-complex. French green clay is a natural product that can rid the body of heavy metals such as iron and mercury, as well as other toxins. (According to Dr. Janet Starr Hull, the Soviet government handed out chocolate bars infused with French green clay to victims of the Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster.) You can find green clay at your local health-food store or online.