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TABLE 7-1 Estimated Total Daily Intake of Sulfate


Concentration in Source per g (mmol) of Sulfur Amino Acid

Daily Intake of Source

Daily Amount, g/d (mmol/d)

Dietary organic sulfur containing compounds (includes methionine and cysteine)

0.7 (7.3)

Average protein intake reported in NHANES IIIa is ≈ 100 g/d, which provides ≈ 4 g of sulfur amino acids

2.8 (29)

Sulfate in drinking water and beverages

0.1–0.5 g/L (1.0–5.2 mmol/L) of fluid

2.6 Lb

0.26–1.3 (2.7–13)

Average = 0.78 (7.8)

Inorganic sulfate in food


2–3 kg

0.2–1.5 (2.1–15.8)

Average = 0.85 (8.8)

Estimated total sulfate


3.25–5.55 (33.8–57.8)

Average = 4.40 (45.8)

a Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

b Estimated intake of drinking water and beverages for men and women from Chapter 4.

significant growth responses (Anderson et al., 1975; Byington et al., 1972; Gordon and Sizer, 1955; Machlin and Pearson, 1956; Sasse and Baker, 1974a, 1974b; Smith, 1973; Soares, 1974). In young animals, a minimal level of 165 to 200 mg of sulfate/kg of diet has been found to yield a maximal growth response in rats (Smith, 1973) or chicks (Sasse and Baker, 1974b) fed a diet limited in cysteine.

Using similar dietary conditions in adult men (low sulfate, sulfur amino acid-deficient diet), nitrogen retention increased when sodium sulfate was added to the diet in an amount equivalent to that provided by additional methionine (Zezulka and Calloway, 1976).

Under these conditions, sulfate is probably used directly for PAPS biosynthesis, thereby sparing cysteine such that more of the cysteine is made available for protein synthesis and growth. A recent study in which lower levels of serum sulfate were detected when acetaminophen was given with glucosamine sulfate to normal adults

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