The Use Of Vitamin U For Gastric Ulcer Recovery

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From a nutritional point of view, the gastrointestinal tract is considered one of the most important organs in the body. Maintaining a healthy digestive tract is paramount in achieving optimal health, as poor digestion can cause a multitude of seemingly unrelated problems. Nutritional health and gastrointestinal health are therefore closely correlated.

Peptic ulcer disease including both gastric and duodenal ulcer form a substantial part of patients seeking medical opinion world-wide. The concept of acid in peptic ulcer disease, which was the basis of treatment of peptic ulcer was revolutionised by the discovery of H2-receptor antagonists, that led to the principle of acid suppression therapy for duodenal ulcer which followed decades of preference for surgical interventions in the form of gastric resections, vagotomy etc., After the discovery of Helicobacter pylori organism as the causative factor a triple drug regime was identified to treat peptic disease which was further modified to sequential therapy to avoid antibiotic resistance. This recognition has not concluded the chapter on peptic ulcers. The management of ulcer disease and its complications remain a medical challenge.

The management of peptic ulcer disease and its complications remain a challenge. In addition, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), low-dose aspirin, smoking, excessive alcohol use, emotional stress and psychosocial factors are increasingly important causes of ulcers and their complications even in H. pylori-negative patients. Other rare causes of peptic ulcer disease in the absence of H. pylori, NSAIDs, and aspirin also exist.

The history probably starts with identification of duodenal perforation by To Cheng in 1984 when he found a duodenal perforation in a preserved body of 167 BC in China.[1]

The pathogenesis of peptic ulcer disease may be considered as a combination scenario involving an imbalance between defensive factors (mucus-bicarbonate layer, prostaglandins, cellular regeneration, mucosal blood flow) and aggravating factors (hydrochloric acid, pepsin, ethanol, bile salts, drugs). NSAIDs play an important role in the pathogenesis.

Use of Cabbage Juice (vitamin U)

Early studies recognized the effectiveness of raw cabbage juice in normalizing gastric and intestinal functioning. Glutamine and methionine derivatives present in the juice are believed to be the active principals. Specific attention has been focused on methionine S-methyl sulfonium (MMS) in the chlorinated form. Traditionally, this compound (MMS) has been referred to as “Vitamin U”, although

it does not meet the classic definition of a vitamin. MMS has a variety of documented effects including stimulating the formation of gastric mucous, serving as an antioxidant, and acting as a methyl donor for a variety of acceptors. One study concluded that MMS supported the normal healing process of the stomach following exposure to non steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDS). Due to the high turnover rate of the gastrointestinal mucosa, vitamin A need is significantly.

Vitamin U, administered as raw cabbage juice to 100 patients with peptic ulcer, was apparently effective in promoting the rapid healing of uncomplicated peptic ulcers. The evidence of therapeutic benefit was;

  1. the rapid relief of the symptom, pain, without the use of any set plan of symptomatic treatment, and
  2. ulcer crater healing time (determined roentgenographically) considerably shorter than in groups of cases, reported in the literature, in which “standard” types of diet and drug therapy were employed.[2]

“The average crater healing time for seven of these patients who had duodenal ulcer was only 10.4 days, while the average time as reported in the literature, in 62 patients treated by standard therapy, was 37 days… The average crater healing time for six patients with gastric ulcer treated with cabbage juice was only 7.3 days, compared with 42 days, as reported in the literature, for six patients treated by standard therapy.”

The initial study, entitled “Rapid Healing of Peptic Ulcers in Patients Receiving Fresh Cabbage Juice” was considered of inadequate interest by the medical establishment to make these experiences better known.[3] The primary author further demonstrated with 2 more studies done in 1952 and 1956, with identical outcomes that vitamin U, is an effective treatment, and this was before the idea that bacteria may be deterministic causal factor.[4]

The ulcer-healing factor of cabbage (S-methylmethionine) is often referred to as “vitamin U”. The initial study used a litre of raw, cabbage juice that was consumed throughout each day. Based upon the results of the studies, the authors appear to suggest a protocol lasting 10-13 days.

Comment

The use of raw cabbage as a treatment whilst very interesting may find difficulty in terms of compliance. Some manufactured products have been shown to provide numerous benefits by utilising the active ingredients found in cabbage and adding others that are supportive. Gastrazyme™ provides such a unique blend of scientifically proven nutrients, most from their ideal, natural sources.  Cabbage juice supplies vitamin U complex (as DL-methionine methylsulfonium chloride). Mulberry leaves supply chlorophyllins and vitamin A is supplied as natural mixed carotenoids and palmitate. Gamma Oryzanol is not only derived from the far superior rice bran oil, but is combined in a proprietary tableting base which creates a synergistic antioxidant effect.

References


[1] Lau WY, Leow CK. History of perforated duodenal and gastric ulcers. World J Surg. 1997;21:890–6.

[2] Cheney G.Calif Med.  Vitamin U therapy of peptic ulcer. 1952 Oct;77(4):248-52. View Full Paper

[3] Cheney GRapid Healing of Peptic Ulcers in Patients Receiving Fresh Cabbage Juice. Calif Med. Jan 1949; 70(1): 10–15. View Full Paper

[4] Cheney G, Waxler SH, Miller IJ. Vitamin U therapy of peptic ulcer; experience at San Quentin Prison. Calif Med. 1956 Jan;84(1):39-42. View Full Paper

 

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19 Comments. Leave new

  • thnx 4 best knowledge

    Reply
  • Does Olive Oil contain vitamin U? Cabbage juice, I think would give you unbelivable gas.

    Reply
  • I have several ulcers and have just Finnished four weeks of the elemental diet due to sibo (high methane) my Dr wants me to take a proton pump.. I know ppi are the cause of sibo in many if not all cases. If this information is correct then I would be better off buying a juicer and lots of cabbage and taking the natural approach. Thank you for your advice.

    Reply
    • Hello, have you tried the cabbage juice? Has it worked ?

      Reply
      • Stephen R Clough
        October 13, 2020 5:24 am

        It works!!! I had terrible gastritis and the PPI meds were taking a long time to help. I juiced 12 oz. of fresh cabbage, 1 carrot and 1 stalk celery. It doesn’t taste very good (I held my nose on subsequent doses) but my stomach felt IMMEDIATE relief. Within three days of 2 juicings per day (morning and night), I was completely healed.

        Reply
        • I am so happy that the cabbage juice worked for you so fast Stephen. I am having a similar problem- painful gastritis. I was put on PPI meds 4 wks ago with very minimal relief and it feels so hopeless. I want to try the cabbage juice. Did you drink the juice before or after meals and also, did you try it while taking the PPI meds? Thank you in advance!

          Reply
  • Just wondering if sauerkraut will also do the job? Might be easier to consume than the raw juice!
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Leah Jamieson
      August 10, 2020 2:28 pm

      Hi Sid,

      Saurkraut is a pickled version of cabbage – whilst its likely to contain Vitamin U, some of it may be compromised by the fermentation process.

      To make cabbage juice less problematic add a few carrots to the juicing process as this or apple improves the taste and supports tissue repair.

      Reply
  • I know some people will blend the cabbage and then strain it is it possible just to make a generic smoothie with like some green apples and cabbage to have the same effect or do you have to fully remove the fiber?

    Reply
  • Juiced cabbage is the only think that heals my ulcers. Fast. It tastes disgusting and makes your kitchen/fridge smell horrid, but boy does it work!

    Reply
  • Eileen Chilson
    April 25, 2021 6:19 pm

    Great information! I am finding that cabbage salad with carrots is very healing too. I shred it and mix it with Vegenaise.

    Reply
  • Does celery also have factor U? I remember reading a list of foods in addition to green cabbage that also contained factor U but to a little lesser degree, in the older,
    Original research papers but can’t seem to find it now.
    I am wondering if the mucosal healing of factor U is why celery juice is so popular now. Having a healthy mucosal lining is critical for gut health/a healthy microbiome – which is now being shown to be important for all over health and lower rates of disease.

    Reply
    • Claire Tozer
      July 7, 2021 4:13 pm

      It is quite likely that celery juice contains Vitamin U.

      For those unfamiliar with Vitamin U (S-methylmethionine https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/276495), it was discovered as an anti peptic ulcer factor during the 1940s-1950s by Dr Garnett Cheney.

      Patients with peptic ulcer disease claimed they were cured by drinking 1 litre of fresh cabbage juice every day for 7-10 days.

      Cheney found that other vegetables like celery also worked and increased the palatability of the treatment. Later research found that all vegetables and fruit have Vitamin U, especially in the stalky part.

      One of its functions in plants is to facilitate the movement of methionine between roots and leaves/fruit. Being mostly stalk, celery makes large amounts of Vitamin U to function.

      Reply
  • Thank you!! Very interesting. I read some of Cheney’s papers and was amazed at the X-ray evidence showing healing of ulcers in 7-10 days as you mention. This is much faster and cheaper with fewer side effects than omeprazole! I told a colleague about this and she is from Russia – she said Russians have been using cabbage juice for years as a home remedy for ulcers! I wasn’t aware there were other vegetables that had this also. Thank you again.

    Reply
  • I have been suffering from stomach ulcer for so many years now. Lots of medications have been applied to no avail. Two weeks ago, I began taking cabbage juice along side PPI as recommended by my doctor but I am having serious pains around my neck. Please what do I do?

    Reply
    • We are unable to advise on symptoms via this web site. If you have pains or are in distress, seek advice from a health care professional. Whilst the interaction between cabbage juice and PPI’s in unlikely to be of any relation to the symptoms described, discontinue the cabbage juice until qualified.

      Michael Ash DO. ND. BSc. RNT
      Managing Director

      Reply

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