Vitamin U?!?

Filed under :Opinions & Experiences

4e063749be00b.preview-620Have you ever heard of Vitamin U? Probably not… being a biology/chemistry/nutrition student I have never hear of it either, but my dad insisted that it existed! He told me “how come you never heard of it? It exists and it is only found in cabbage!”  Also, my father and a few more members from his side of the family had a history of peptic ulcer and he was saying that cabbage (Vitamin U is found in it) was a cure for peptic ulcers. My dad is a very smart man and he likes to use food as medicine versus going to doctors and medications (just like me!). I decided to look into it… and I found an explanation to this and now we are both satisfied.

First I tried “googling” Vitamin U and there were no real results. It was nowhere to be found in books. The professionals that I spoke to in academic and medical fields have never heard of Vitamin U either. So, I went deeper into the literature. I looked in peer reviewed research articles and found my answers.

The molecule S-Methylmethionine sulfonium (SMMS) is sometimes referred to as “Vitamin U”, but doesn’t classify as a vitamin based on the formal definition of a vitamin. It was first noted that SMMS accelerated healing of peptic ulcers, hence the name “U” from the word “Ulcer”. SMMS is found in some vegetables such as cabbage and seaweed. Some of the anti-ulcer properties of SMMS discovered in previous studies include: “Anti-inflammatory properties, reduction of blood lipids, anti-depressant action and a cytoprotective effect.”

When looking at all the amazing properties in this compound that may contribute to ulcer healing, this brings up a theory that it may help heal other tissues as well, for example, skin wounds. Some studies found that SMMS significantly accelerated wound healing (excision and chemical wounds), which suggests that topical application of 10% SMMS, or injection at wound site may be a good treatment for wounds.

We may be seeing more of this mysterious “Vitamin U” in the near future. For now, eat your cabbage!