Friday, July 20, 2018

Sulfate as a temporarily effective laxative

Yesterday, I said at the end of my post on diarrhea and molybdenum that I have had only had one person report that taking molybdenum--which she did for migraines--gave her diarrhea. She says that she changed her diet and no longer gets diarrhea from taking molybdenum glycinate.

What happened initially to cause diarrhea for her? I have a hypothesis to explain it. Remember the molybdenum-using enzyme sulfite oxidase? It catalyzes the transformation of sulfite to sulfate. A sudden increase in molybdenum in her digestive tract would logically bring about a sudden increase of sulfate in her digestive tract. It has been repeatedly noted that a sudden increase in sulfate can bring on faster stool movement and sometimes even diarrhea initially. (See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26582579, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27924798, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9149062http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/wells/waterquality/sulfate.htmlhttps://www.nap.edu/read/10925/chapter/9https://www.lenntech.com/sulfates.htm, and https://sciencing.com/sulfate-5457669.html) Sulfate ions act as osmotic laxatives in the colon. (https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/sulfate#section=Top) Sulfate salts are used to clean out the colon in preparation for a colonoscopy: "Sulfate salts provide sulfate anions, which are poorly absorbed. The osmotic effect of the unabsorbed sulfate anions and the associated cations causes water to be retained within the gastrointestinal tract....The osmotic effect of the unabsorbed ions, when ingested with a large volume of water, produces a copious watery diarrhea." (Excerpted from information on "ColPrep Kit" at https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=bd9f13a9-0f13-4809-ad70-8f3cc2bd19bd)

Notice that sulfate ions can cause osmotic diarrhea. In the last post, I talked about molybdenum's beneficial role in the small intestine in preventing secretory diarrhea. Hence molybdenum can have contradictory effects on two different mechanisms--secretion and osmosis--involved in diarrhea.

And I haven't even gone into intestinal sulfate-reducing bacteria, which turn sulfate into H2S, which is a precursor of sulfite; the gut microbiome affects gastrointestinal motility (for example, see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27477318). I think the many factors of intestinal environment shifts, liver and biliary tract function, commensal bacteria in the intestines, immune system activity, diet, etc. make the issue of diarrhea quite complex. Molybdenum is an overlooked player in diarrhea-related processes that merits research attention.

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