Sulfites Sample

What are sulfites?

Sulfites are a class of chemical added to foods to inhibit bacterial growth and discoloration.

It is most commonly used in wine and beer making, and also added to many dried fruits.

Other names:

  • Sodium sulfite
  • Sodium bisulfite
  • Sodium metabisulfite
  • Potassium bisulfite
  • Potassium metabisulfite
  • Sulfur dioxide

Foods that may contain sulfites (read labels):

  • Baked goods using dough conditioners
  • Beer
  • Bottled lemon or lime juice
  • Canned vegetables
  • Condiments
  • Crab
  • Dried fish
  • Dried fruits
  • Dough
  • Grape juice
  • Gravy
  • Imported candies
  • Jams
  • Lobster
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Molasses
  • Potato chips
  • Fresh non-organic grapes (can be sprayed in the field or packaged with sulfites during shipping)
  • Pickled cocktail onions
  • Pickles
  • Prepared guacamole
  • Prepared mustards
  • Prepared potato products (frozen hashbrowns, prepared potato salad, etc.)
  • Sauerkraut
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Soup mixes
  • Tea
  • Trail mix
  • Wine
  • Wine vinegars (red wine, white wine, champagne, or balsamic vinegars)

*Technically, any product that contains over 10 ppm must be labeled, but allergic reactions have been reported at lower concentrations.

*Sulfites are not allowed to be used on fresh produce, like salad bars, because it destroys vitamin B1.

*Sulfites are also not allowed to be used on fresh meat products, because it keeps them red looking for a longer period of time, and can give a false indication of “freshness”

*Technically some sulfites form naturally in wine, so just because the label says no sulfites ADDED does not necessarily mean it is totally sulfite-free. But often the natural levels are low enough to be tolerated by most sulfite-sensitive people. (But note that there are still other components of wine, like phenylethylamine, tannins, or grapes themselves, that could be issues)

Other sources:

  • EpiPens
  • Local anesthetic (lidocaine)
  • Some medications
  • Some asthma medications

What is the difference between sodium sulfite & sodium metabisulfite?

They are both types of sulfites, but people are more likely to react to sodium metabisulfite than just sodium sulfite.

If someone reacts to JUST sodium metabisulfite & not sodium sulfite, then they may be able the tolerate some amount of sulfites okay, and don’t need to be as restrictive. They can avoid sodium metabisulfite & still consume sodium sulfite, within moderation.

If someone reacts to BOTH sodium metabisulfite AND sodium sulfite, this suggest that they are very sensitive to sulfites across the board, and you probably want to avoid all sources.

Also, if someone is sensitive to sodium metabisulfite, they would likely have issues with potassium metabisulfite as well (2).

Sulfite sensitivity:

According to FDA estimates, 1% of people are sensitive to sulfites. The sensitivity can develop at any time in life.

It is most commonly an issue in people who suffer from asthma. They can develop difficulty breathing when exposed to sulfites.

NOTE: a sulfite sensitivity or allergy is NOT the same thing as a sulfa allergy to certain drugs, and it also does NOT mean that the person will have issues with sulphur (you can’t be allergic to sulfur, since it is the 8th most abundant element in the human body, and exists in all the sulfur containing amino acids).

Eating out tips for people who are sulfite sensitive:

  • Avoid anything made with prepared potato products, since they often contain sulfites
  • Avoid non-organic grapes
  • Avoid dried fruits
  • Avoid wine and wine vinegars
  • Avoid bottled lemon or lime juices

Nutrients linked to sulfite sensitivities:

  • Molybdenum
    • Molybdenum deficiency may be linked to sulfite sensitivity, because molybdenum is a cofactor required in the breakdown of sulfites.
  • Copper
    • Copper levels should be checked. Excessive copper may cause a molybdenum deficiency.
  • Vitamin B12
    • Supplementing with B12 may help reduce adverse reactions to sulfites in those who have asthma. (1000 mcg weekly intramuscular injections were used (for 1 month) in the study (1))
    • Sublingual B12 is also an option. It absorbs within 15 minutes, and remains elevated in the blood for at least 24 hours. Daily doses of 2000-4000 mcg may be effective for those with asthma.

Some wines that may be better tolerated by people who are sulfite sensitive:

Coconut- Sample

Coconut-derived ingredients in personal care products:

  • Probably don’t need to eliminate coconut in personal care products unless the person has a skin condition like acne, psoriasis, eczema, rashes, etc.

Can someone get diarrhea from topical coconut products if they are sensitive to it?

  • Unlikely if it is just going on the skin. Theoretically possible if the product is going in or on the mouth.

List of potentially coconut-derived ingredients:

  • 1,2 Octanediol
  • 2 Phenoxyethanol
  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate
  • Capryl Glycol
  • Caprylic Acid
  • Caprylic Glycol
  • Caprylic/Capric
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides
  • Caprylyl Glycol
  • Ceteareth-20
  • Cetearyl Alcohol
  • Cetearyl Glucoside
  • Ceteth-20 Phosphate
  • Cetyl Alcohol
  • Cetyl Esters
  • Cocamide MEA
  • Cocamidopropyl Betaine
  • Cococaprylate/Caprate
  • Coco Glucoside
  • Cocomide DEA
  • Coconut diethanolamide (CDFA)
  • Cocos nucifera (another name for coconut oil)
  • Coconut Oil
  • Decyl Glucoside
  • Disodium Cocamphodiprop
  • Disodium cocoamphodiacetate
  • Emusifying Wax
  • Glyceryl Caprylate
  • Glyceryl cocoate
  • Hexyl Laurate
  • Isopropyl Myristate
  • Laureth-3
  • Lauric Acid
  • Lauryl Glucoside
  • Lauryl Alcohol
  • Lauramide DEA
  • Myristic Acid
  • Olefin Sulfonate
  • Organic Sodium Cocoate
  • PEG – 7 Glyceryl Cocoate
  • PEG -100
  • PEG – 100 Stearate
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Polysorbate 20
  • Sodium Cocoate
  • Sodium Coco-Sulfate
  • Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate
  • Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate
  • Sucrose Stearate
  • Sodium Lauroamphoacetate
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Sodium Stearate
  • Sorbitan Stearate
  • Stearyl Alcohol
  • Stearalkonium chloride
  • Sucrose Cocoate
  • TEA-Laureth Sulfate
  • Vegetable Cetearyl Glucose
  • Vegetable Glycerine

LEAP-Friendly Coconut Products:

Fresh coconut

Dried coconut

Coconut milk (check ingredients)

Coconut oil

  • Refined = no coconut flavor
  • Virgin/Unrefined = coconut flavor

Coconut Flour

  • Bob’s Red Mill Organic Coconut Flour
    • Organic coconut
    • Kosher, verified gluten-free with ELISA gluten assay, vegan, USDA organic
    • Allergen statement: Manufactured in a facility that also uses tree nuts and soy

Coconut water (check ingredients)

Coconut Wraps

  • Nuco Organic Coconut Wraps
    • Organic coconut meat, organic coconut water, organic extra virgin coconut oil.
    • Non-GMO, raw, no salt added, vegan, gluten free, kosher
    • No allergen statements.
  • Nuco Organic Turmeric Coconut Wraps
    • Organic coconut meat, organic coconut water, organic extra virgin coconut oil, turmeric
    • Non-GMO, raw, no salt added, vegan, gluten free, kosher
    • No allergen statements.

Shredded Coconut

Dried Coconut

*Note: coconut sugar or aminos are not LEAP-friendly, since they made from coconut sap (untested)

Coconut Free Lush Products:
  • Almond Oil, Rose Water (Rosa centifolia), Beeswax, Honey, Fresh Iris Extract, Glycerine, Rose Absolute,Tincture of Benzoin, Methylparaben, Propylparaben. *Occurs naturally in essential oils
  • Ground Almonds, Glycerine, Kaolin, Water (Aqua),Lavender Oil, Rose Absolute, Chamomile Blue Oil, Tagetes Oil, Benzoin Resinoid (Styrax tonkinensis pierre),Lavender Flowers, *Limonene, *Linalool. *Occurs naturally in essential oils
  • Fair Trade Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Shea Butter,Ground Rice, Ground Almonds, Ground Aduki Beans (Phaseolus Angularis), Fragrance, Lavender Oil, Lemon Oil,*Citral, *Limonene, *Linalool. *Occurs naturally in essential oils
Coconut Free Soap: 
  •  Saponified Olive Oil, Water, Sodium Chloride
Toothpaste & Mouthwash:
Shampoo/conditioner/hand soap:
  • Aqua (Infusion of Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice), Laminaria Japonica Extract, Glycerin, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Betula Alba Bark/Leaf Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Flower Extract, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Peel, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citric Acid, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Lecithin, Calcium Pantothenate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Sweet Orange) Flower Oil, Potassium Sorbate
  • Aqua (Infusion of Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice), Laminaria Japonica Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius(Safflower) Seed Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Citric Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract, Potassium Sorbate
  • Aqua (Infusion of Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Saponaria Officinalis Leaf Extract, Crithmum Maritimum (Sea Fennel) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Glycerine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Euphrasia Officinalis (Eyebright) Extract, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate
  • saponified olive oil and castor oil, distilled water, extracts of rosemary and green tea, hydrolyzed quinoa protein, vitamins E
Or, you can experiment with making your own shampoos:
The biggest hurdle is that the coconut ingredients are what make soaps foam, so most coconut free products don’t lather much. That’s okay, but it’s something to get used to.


What is SIBO?

SIBO occurs when the bacteria that normally live in the colon move backwards, up into the small intestine (where they are not supposed to be in high numbers) and an overgrowth develops.

When the bacteria are in the small intestine, THEY start digesting and fermenting your food, instead of YOU, creating gas, bloating, and malabsorption for the host.

What are the symptoms?

  • Extreme bloating (many people say they look 6 months pregnant)
  • Constipation, diarrhea, or both
  • Abdominal pain, tenderness, or discomfort
  • Burping and/or farting
  • Nausea
  • Acid reflux
  • Gastroparesis (like food is just sitting in stomach, won’t go down- feels like a brick in the stomach)
  • Food sensitivities or intolerances
  • Leaky gut
  • Anxiety & depression (very common for SIBO – the LPS in the bacterial cell wall (endotoxins) increase inflammatory cytokines, which affect mood)
  • Brain fog

Common comorbidities:

  • IBS
  • Hypothyroidism

How is it diagnosed?

With a breath test, done either at the hospital/clinic, or at home with a mail-order kit.

The patient consumes a lactulose beverage (a carbohydrate that is indigestible to humans, but readily consumed by gut bacteria), and breathes into a bag every 20 minutes or so.

The breath samples are analyzed for the presence of hydrogen (H2) and methane (CH4) gases. These gases are created when the gut bacteria ferment the lactulose. Then they travel through the blood stream & are exhaled on the breath.

It important to check for BOTH hydrogen & methane, since the bacteria that produce the various gases are different, and may require different types of antibiotics/treatments to eradicate.

High levels of either one of these gases too soon after drinking the lactulose beverage can indicate SIBO. (If SIBO is present, there should be 2 peaks on the graph, one when the bacteria in the small intestine are fermenting the carbohydrate, and a second, probably larger peak, when the carbs hit the colon).

Pimentel suggests that an increase in breath hydrogen of 20 ppm above basal levels within 90 minutes of drinking the lactulose, or a rise in breath methane of more than 12ppm above basal levels within 120 minutes should be considered as diagnostic of SIBO.

But, there are issues with false positives (if the person has increased transit time, sometimes the lactulose reaches the colon very quickly & can be mistaken as a reaction in the small intestine) AND false negatives (if the person has slow transit time). Average transit time is 2 hours for the lactulose to get through the small intestine.

There is also a more invasive way of testing- via a bacterial counts of duodenal or jejunal aspirates w. endoscopy, with the diagnosis of SIBO occurring when there are >100,000 cfu/mL.

Other conditions that can cause bloating, like ovarian cancer, bowel cancer, etc. should be ruled out.

Can do a guaiac stool test to check for invisible blood in stool. Helps rule out colon cancer.

How is it treated?

3 ways:

  • Prescription antibiotics (Xifaxin / Rifaximin) for 2 weeks
  • Herbal antibiotics (Candibactin AR & BR) for 4 weeks
  • Elemental diet (Physicians Elemental Diet by Integrative Therapeutics) for 2 to 4 weeks

It is a tough condition though that often comes back and requires multiple rounds of treatment.

Supplement options:

  • Atrantil
    • An herbal product that can knock out Archaea bacteria (methane producing) that are not killed easily by the antibiotics.
    • Helpful for constipation-dominant SIBO
    • Practitioners can get 4 free samples to let people try
  • Prokinetics to help stimulate the MMC
    • Ginger (100-300 mg, three times per day)
    • 5-HTP (50-150 mg, three times per day)
    • Artichoke extract (320 mg, three times per day)

Diet-related advice:

  • It is generally advised to space meals out, 4 to 5 hours between each meal, to allow the MMC to properly clear out the bowels (so that you are not constantly supplying the bacteria with a food source). This could be an issue if someone has hypoglycemia though, so you may have to increase meal frequency in that case.
  • The most custom diet that can help reduce inflammation (& perhaps better allow the immune system to focus on clearing the bacteria out of the small intestine) is MRT + LEAP
  • Other practitioners employ the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or the low-FODMAP diet while the patient is also undergoing antibiotic or herbal therapies.
  • You can also attempt to treat SIBO entirely with diet by using a 2-week elemental diet designed to starve off the bacteria.

Nutrient Deficiencies Associated w. SIBO:

  • Vitamin B-12
  • All other B-vitamins
  • Fat soluble vitamins A,D,E,K (due to deconjugation of bile salts by excess bacteria)
  • Folate
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
  • Hypoalbuminemia

Related Concerns:

  • Microcytic anemia due to iron deficiency
  • Macrocytic anemia due to vitamin B-12/folate deficiency
  • Polyneuropathy due to B-12 deficiency
  • Steatorrhea (fatty stools) due to lipid malabsorption caused by the excess bacteria
  • Tetany due to hypocalcemia
  • Night blindness due to vitamin A deficiency
  • Dermatitis due to selenium deficiency
  • Linked to rosacea (exact mechanism unclear)
  • Cachexia due to protein-energy malnutrition
  • Increased gut permeability (normalizes in at least 75% of SIBO patients after antibiotic treatment. For those who it does not, can use various supplements to help heal. See Leaky Gut note for more info.)

Factors that increase risk of developing SIBO:

  1. Low stomach acid

Can be related to stress, PPI overuse…

Low stomach acid is a risk factor because one of its functions is to kill any pathogenic bacteria that you ingest through your mouth. If acid is low, bad bacteria or excess bacteria may sneak into your small intestine & thrive there.

Can get tested for low stomach acid with the Heidelberg test- a capsule is swallowed & attached to string that remains in your mouth. The capsule in your stomach emits radio waves that are picked up by a necklace that records the pH of the stomach. Then you swallow baking soda, which will raise the pH of your stomach. The capsule in your stomach will monitor how much time it takes to re-acidify the stomach to the proper pH. This is helpful because it’s testing the functionality of the stomach. You may be okay at resting pH, but functionally deficient if you can’t produce enough when it’s needed.

~60% of people, in general, have low stomach acid

~40$ have high acid

But both have heartburn!

Can do a test w. Betaine Hcl:

If you get burning/pain/pressure with just 1 Betaine Hcl pill w. meals, then you probably have high stomach acid.

But this test is not conclusive… with low acid, you could have a lax sphincter between the stomach & throat. Taking betaine Hcl would increase the acid, and if the sphincter doesn’t tighten instantly, your could get reflux… so it’s not perfect… Heidelberg test is best.

If stomach acid IS low, taking supplemental Betaine Hcl is a good idea. Start w. 1 pill at the beginning of each meal. If no burning or reflux, increase dosage to 2 pills, etc. until you finally DO experience a burning or warming sensation. Then you know you’ve gone too high, and the proper dosage is actually 1 pill less than that. Some people can get all the way up to 8+ pills per meal before they feel the burn.

Herbal bitters may also help increase stomach acid production naturally.

If you have high stomach acid, you’ll probably feel nauseous too.

Why might you have high Hcl?

  • signals sent to increase
  • parietal cells increasing output
  • less related to diet & stress (hypo is more related, since stress turns off digestive secretions)

2. Low bile

If the gallbladder was removed, or if just have a poor functioning gall bladder.

3. Deficient in digestive enzymes

4. Malfunctioning ileocecal valve (or.. missing due to bowel resection)

5. Immune system dysfunction

6. Tumors or organs pressing on the small intestine

7. Strictures or adhesions narrowing the small intestine

(endometriosis, appendicitis, surgeries, inflammation, injuries from fights or accidents, etc. can cause adhesions)

8. Deficiency of the migrating motor complex

MMC occurs in between meals and overnight. Cleans the small intestine.
  • Why could you have a deficiency?
    • Diabetes
    • Hypothyroid
    • Opioid use
    • Food poisoning…. (acute gastroenteritis, caused by bacteria)
      • Pimmentel studied this
      • The bacteria of the food poisoning are pathogenic. They secrete CBTD toxin.
      • The B portion of the toxin looks like the nerve cells that trigger the MMC…
      • So your body starts attacking it, and messes up your MMC.
      • This is the same thing as post-infectious IBS (10-20% of people who get food poisoning get this!)
        • SIBO develops…
        • = constipation or diarrhea, bloating, pain.
Can do an IBS-check test to evaluate the MMC
  • Quest does it
  • Commonwealth lab does it
  • Checks for antibodies to the neural cells and also the CBTD toxin
  • Indirectly checks for deficiency in the MMC caused specifically by food poisoning

9. Food poisoning

10. Overuse of antibiotics, leading to dysbiosis… etc.