Sulphurous water – antioxidant effect

Study carried out on the antioxidant effects of sulphurous waters

Sulphurous Water

This is water that contains Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) in solution in concentrations higher than 1 mg / l. It smells of rotten eggs. There are two types of sulphide waters: calcium and sodium. Calciums are of superficial origin, cold, with high mineralization, high content in sulphates, calcium and magnesium, and low in silica. Low radioactivity. Sodiums are of deep origin, hot, of low mineralization, bicarbonate, low in calcium and magnesium, high both in silica and in radioactivity.


Microbial Flora

Another unique peculiarity of sulphurous waters is the presence of sulphur cycle bacteria (gleins or barengins) in suspension, which greatly enhance the therapeutic effects of this type of mineral-medicinal water, as we shall see later.

Gleins are pectic gels, mucilaginous, of filamentous appearance and very unctuous to the touch, that float on the surface of sulphurous water. The coloration is variable depending on whether one type or another of bacteria predominates. Each sulphurous water spring has its own microbial flora, a mixture of sulpha-oxidant and sulpha-reductive bacteria, both of which are prokaryotic and anaerobic.

Therapeutic indications of sulphurous water

Sulphurous waters have the following pharmacological properties that are recognised by the Royal Society of Medical Hydrology:

  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-anaphylaxis
  • Anti-allergic
  • Immune-stimulant
  • Reparative and regenerative of the rhinosinusal, pharyngeal and bronchial mucosa
  • Regenerative of articular cartilage
  • Antipruritic
  • Keratolytic and keratoplastic depending on the dose
  • Emollient and desquamative in eczematic dermatoses
  • Decongestant and liver detoxifying (glucuronide conjugation)
  • Haematopoietic, hypoglycaemic and hypocholesterolemic

Clinical Study


The purpose of this study was to analyse the protective and antioxidant effects of sulphurous water on triathlon athletes at the Sant Cugat High Performance Sports Centre (Barcelona).

Material and Methods:

The sample consisted of 16 national triathlon athletes, with a homogeneous performance and an age between 23 and 31 years.

The inclusion criteria for the study were as follows: participants had to be male athletes between 18 and 31 years of age, active, and not suffering from any type of injury,. They would all submit to the same training during the study, and exhibit a homogeneous performance.

One week before starting the experimental procedure, the subjects completed a running test, increasing in speed until fatigue set in (Legar and Boucher, 1980), in order to determine the individual speed at which they should perform subsequent tests. (VAM-Maximum Aerobic Speed).

Before starting the procedure, the athletes were informed of the potential risks involved and the possible occurrence of a thermal crisis. They were also offered a waiver: meaning that the subjects could leave the study at any time without prior justification. Finally, a signed individual consent form was required.


Experimental procedure:

The study was conducted single-blind. The steps were as follows:

Extracción de sangre venosa en antebrazo para establecer nivel basal.

  • Extraction of venous blood from the forearm in order to establish baseline level
  • Ingestion of the placebo over the course of 3 weeks
  • Extraction of venous blood just before the test begins
  • Sub-maximal endurance test: running for 2 hours at 70% VAM
  • Venous blood extraction just at the end of the run, after 24 and then 48 hours.

During the entire experimental period, the subjects had to meet the following requirements: to maintain their normal lifestyle (diet, weight, physical exercise), suspend the use of medicines and dietary supplements, undergo training as programmed by the researchers and remain seated during extractions so as to avoid prolonged venous stasis.

PLACEBO: This was designed and prepared by the Technical Director of Averroes, consisting of tap water mixed with a decoct of Gentian Lútea radix. It was packed in topaz-coloured 500 ml PET bottles with a sealing cap, and labelled Sample A.

AVERROES SULPHUROUS WATER: Sodium sulphur, paucimineralized, hypotonic, acratopeg, bicarbonate, alkaline (pH 9.4), strongly silicate (SiO2: 95 mg / l), Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S: 8 mg / l). It was packed in topaz-coloured 500 ml PET bottles with a sealing cap, and labelled Sample B.


Hydropinic Cure:

The Triathlon Athletes were subjected to the Hydropinic Cure according to the following prescription:

  • FIRST WEEK: 250 ml. Sulphurous water every 24 hours. Divided into 125 ml on an empty stomach and 125 ml in mid-afternoon.
  • SECOND AND THIRD WEEKS: 500 ml Sulphurous water over a period of 24 hours.
    125 ml on an empty stomach
    125 ml mid-morning
    125 ml before lunch
    125 ml in mid-afternoon

The handy presentation of the product meant the subjects could carry it with them all day, a feature that guaranteed scrupulous compliance with the prescription. Being water, it simply became part of the subject’s total daily needs. The same prescription and considerations applied to the placebo.

Study hypothesis:

Athletes practicing for high aerobic endurance competitions suffer significant harm throughout the body, which focuses mainly on three bodily systems:

  • Locomotor: skeletal muscle, bone and cartilage.
  • Liver
  • Metabolic: generation of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and generalised inflammation

Recent studies carried out on athletes with high aerobic resistance, such as those running the Marathon and the Spartathlon, show that they have suffered damage in the structures described above. This assertion was demonstrated analytically by quantifying a series of parameters in blood, before and after the competition, with all the blood constants remaining stable except for the following:

  • Skeletal damage: Increased Creatine Phosphokinase (CPK)
  • Liver damage: Increased AST (GOT) and ALT (GPT)
    • Metabolic damage:Inflammation - Increase in White Blood Cells.
    • Haemolysis - Decrease in Red Blood Cells
    • Oxidative stress: Increase in ROS.

Our working hypothesis was very simple: if we administer Averroes Sulphurous Water internally to aerobic endurance athletes in the period prior to competition, we will produce a protective effect against damage to the muscles, the liver and the metabolic system. To test this hypothesis, we will only need to measure (both before and after the competition) those parameters that are subject to alteration during the activity.


14 ml of venous blood was extracted from the forearm, and those parameters described by the scientific literature (previously mentioned) among many others, were measured. We incorporated a few new ones that, in our opinion, could shed even more light upon the subject, such as:

  • Alkaline phosphatase (AP)
  • Hyaluronic acid


  • CPK- Creatine Phosphokinase (IU / l)
  • WBC- Leukocytes (10³ / mm³)
  • RBC- Red blood cells (10³ / mm³)
  • HTC-Haematocrit (%)
  • HGB-Haemoglobin (g / 100 ml)
  • CAT - Catalase (mU / ml)


The results obtained after the Averroes Hydropinic Cure are highly eloquent and congruent with the physiological response that occurs in high level competition:

  • · ↓↓↓ CPK (p <0.001): Dramatically reduces Rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of muscle fibres)
  • · ↓ WBC (p = 0.037): Reduces inflammation
  • · ↑↑ RBC (p = 0.017): Significantly increases Haematopoiesis
  • · ↑↑ HGB (p = 0.018): Notably increases the Haemoglobin Rate
  • · ↑ HTO (p = 0.039): Increases Haematocrit
  • · ↑↑ CAT (p = 0.010): Increases Antioxidant Activity

Note. The rest of the parameters comprising the hypothesis (AST, ALT, AP, Hyaluronic Acid and ROS) also increased in relation to the basal state of the individuals


Sulphurous water contains Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) in solution in concentrations higher than 1 mg / l. and smells of rotten eggs. It also contains large amounts of bacteria (Gleins or Barengins) in suspension.

In the field of thermalism, sulphurous waters are the ones to possess the greatest number of therapeutic indications. This is because the sulphur they provide is absorbed almost entirely by the body, whatever the route of administration and whether this be topical, atmospheric, vaginal, proctological, intestinal or hydropinic. Of all the routes, as is logical to suppose, the Hydropinic Cure is the one that causes the most powerful pharmacological effects and must, therefore, be handled with extreme care by highly specialised personnel.

Among the many therapeutic properties of sulphurous water, four are exclusive to mineral-medicinal waters, namely the haematopoietic, liver detoxifying, antioxidant and revitalising ones. To date, these surprising virtues (which have always fuelled our curiosity) were only confirmed by clinical experience. So, after 18 years of research, we decided to prove them scientifically by designing and putting into practice the present Peroxidation Study in High Endurance Athletes.

In essence, the study was aimed at testing the protective effects of the Averroes Hydropinic Cure with Sulphurous Water against the damaging effects that inevitably occur to the bodies of High Endurance Athletes after competition. The variables that are always altered during the practice of intense exercise were analysed in blood samples, and the results could not have been more eloquent. A statistically significant decrease in CPK and Leukocytes, and an increase in Red Blood Cells, Haematocrit and Haemoglobin were verified. None of the subjects suffered a thermal crisis.

All this means we can be completely sure that the Averroes Hydropinic Cure with Sulphurous Water administered to High Resistance Athletes, just before competing, offers protection against damage to the body (arising as a result of the competition) in the following ways:

  • Decreased Rhabdomyolysis
  • Decrease in inflammation
  • Increased Haematopoiesis
  • Increased Antioxidant Activity