Vitamin U or methyl methionine sulfonium is a white powder with a yellowish tint, has a specific odor and has anti-atherosclerotic, anti-histamine properties. The compound was first discovered in 1949 by the American biologist Chini, in the study of cabbage juice. In the process of analysis, the scientist found that an unknown factor that is part of raw vegetables helps to heal a stomach ulcer. Thus, vitamin U was isolated, which was named after the English word "ulcus", which means "ulcer".
The vitamin substance is formed from the indispensable aliphatic sulfur-containing α-amino acid (methionine), serves as a donor of methyl groups in the biosynthesis of adrenaline, choline.
The main direction of action of the U-compound is the healing of the mucous membranes of the internal organs. Due to this property, the vitamin is called antiulcer factor.
The structural formula of S-methylmethionine is C5H11NO2S.
The compound decomposes in the light, easily soluble in water, hygroscopic, thermolabile. Insoluble in solvents, alcohol, inactivated by oxidation. When cooling, drying, the beneficial properties of the vitamin do not change (losses do not exceed 2%).
Consider the instructions for the use of the nutrient, signs of hypo- and hypervitaminosis, in which products it contains, how it affects the course of pregnancy.
The action of vitamin U
The functions of methylmethionine in the human body.
- Recognizes, neutralizes and removes hazardous chemicals. One such compound is histamine. The substance is released during inflammatory reactions in the body and increases the production of gastric juice, which leads to "swelling" of the walls of the digestive tract and the appearance of painful sensations. The ability of a nutrient to neutralize histamine improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and reduces the severity of symptoms of the following allergic manifestations: food intoxication, accompanied by increased stool, pollinosis - lacrimation and runny nose when inhaling pollen of flowers, asthma attacks, bronchial asthma.
- Heals ulcers, erosion on the mucous membranes that occur on the organs of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Normalizes the level of acidity in the stomach, improves digestion. With insufficient secretion, vitamin U stimulates the production of hydrochloric fluid, with increased production - reduces aggressiveness, suppressing formation. In different parts of the gastrointestinal tract, the pH is not the same. In the esophagus, normal acidity reaches 6.0 - 7.0 units, in the lumen of the stomach on an empty stomach - 1.5 - 2.0, in the depth of the epithelial layer - 7.0, in the antrum varies from 1.3 to 7.4, in the bulb of the duodenum - 5.6 - 7.9, juice of the small intestine - 7.5, juice of the colon - 9.0. Thus, S-methylmethionine protects the gastric mucosa, maintaining a physiological pH level normal, which creates favorable conditions for the normal digestion of food without damaging the walls of the muscular organ.
- Restores skin structures. Due to this property, a vitamin-like compound is used in medicine for the treatment of chronic skin diseases (urticaria, dermatitis, psoriasis) and in cosmetology. Creams and masks containing methionine relieve redness, stimulate the regeneration of the epidermis, reduce the visibility of capillaries, and saturate cells with moisture and oxygen. Vitamin U eliminates bumps, improves skin elasticity, evens out facial tone, and eliminates facial wrinkles.
- Improves fat metabolism, blood circulation in the affected vessels of the heart, brain. In addition, the nutrient protects the liver from damage, prevents the development of atherosclerosis, the replacement of liver tissue with fat.
- Fights depression, removes from nervous conditions. Vitamin U is used when standard psychotropic drugs do not give a positive result. Methylmethionine affects the biosynthesis of adrenaline and controls the metabolism of cholesterol in the body, which "regulates" the emotional state of a person.
- Promotes collagen production, protecting tissues from the formation of ptosis, stretch marks, scars resulting from rapid weight loss. The compound also reduces the load on the bladder and purifies the urine of ammonia during the intensive dropping of extra pounds.
Vitamin U is recommended for pregnant women, since the compound relieves the symptoms of toxicosis, strengthens the hair, prevents the development of an infection of the genitourinary system. In addition, it is indicated for women using oral contraceptives and drugs with a high estrogen content.
Due to the fact that methionine is involved in lipid metabolism and is an antioxidant, the compound is often part of sports supplements. Although the vitamin does not have a pronounced anabolic effect, it relieves body tissue from fat deposits, which is important for athletes who monitor their figure.
Hypo- and hypervitaminosis of S-methylmethionine
People who do not eat fresh vegetables for a long time in 90% of cases experience symptoms of U-deficiency.
- increased acidity of gastric juice, accompanied by damage to the mucous surfaces of the stomach, duodenum with the formation of wounds, erosion;
- exacerbation of inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
With a chronic lack of S-methylmethionine for more than 2 - 5 years, a person develops gastritis, ulcer.
Hypervitaminosis of vitamin U - does not adversely affect the human body, since the nutrient is a water-soluble compound, with an excess, it is rapidly excreted in the urine.
The acidic environment in the stomach is the main condition for the absorption of the vitamin. In case of violation of the secretion of hydrochloric acid, the absorption of the substance decreases sharply (2 - 5 times) even when the nutrient is ingested in a daily amount.
Indications and contraindications
Anti-ulcer factor is recommended for the treatment of the following painful conditions:
- chronic hepatitis;
- Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's;
- cirrhosis of the liver, Gilbert's syndrome;
- stomach ulcers, colitis;
- diabetes mellitus;
- diaphragmatic hernia;
- neurosis, mental disorders;
- multiple sclerosis;
- chronic cholecystitis;
- gallstone disease;
- dystrophy caused by a lack of protein in the body after dysentery;
- nicotine addiction;
- wounds, injuries resulting from sports training;
- premature aging of the skin and tissues.
Vitamin U is indicated for women to improve the condition of hair, strengthen the nail plate, improve skin tone, facilitate the course of premenstrual syndrome and relieve chronic fatigue.
Contraindications to the additional use of S-methylmethionine:
- severe hepatic or renal failure;
- hypersensitivity to the components of the drug;
- viral hepatitis;
- children under 6 years old;
- hepatic encephalopathy.
Rarely, with the use of methionine in patients, side effects develop. These include: nausea, vomiting, allergic skin rashes, itching, an unpleasant aftertaste in the mouth and a decrease in blood pressure. Sometimes patients have tachycardia and confusion. These signs of an overdose disappear after adjusting the dose of the compound by the attending physician.
Given the fact that the human body does not produce methionine on its own, it is important to ensure the systematic supply of anti-ulcer substance from the outside.
A person’s need for vitamin U depends on age, gender, and varies from 100 to 300 milligrams per day. During pregnancy, this indicator is 200 milligrams per day, during intensive sports - 250, and in the competition season (for bodybuilders) it increases to 450.
Higher doses of the beneficial compound are needed by patients with digestive tract problems. For this category of people, it is important to ensure a daily intake of 200 to 400 milligrams of methionine per day. Preferably, the daily intake of vitamin U enters the body in its natural form with plant foods.
In medical practice, artificially synthesized methylmethionine is used. The drug is available in tablets, capsules, powder, liquid (sprays). However, it is worth considering that the effectiveness of such a substance is 70% lower in relation to the natural nutrient that is part of the vegetable juice.
Sources of Vitamin U
Where is the anti-ulcer factor?
The greatest amount of S-methylmethionine is concentrated in plant foods. A treasure trove of beneficial compound - asparagus. 100 grams of the product contains up to 260 milligrams of nutrient.
Second place, by the amount of vitamin U in the composition, rightfully belongs to white cabbage. 100 milligrams of the product contains 85 milligrams of the substance.
Parsley, beets, sprouts of sprouted peas, cauliflower, and corn are moderately rich in methionine. The vitamin content in these products does not exceed 20 milligrams per 100 grams of ingredient.
Less than 1 milligram of nutrient per 100 grams of food is concentrated in potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, sweet pepper, spinach, green tea, bananas.
Vitamin U (raw milk, liver, egg yolk) is also found in animal products, but its amount does not exceed 0.05 milligrams per 100 grams of product.
Remember, the safety of a healthy compound in vegetables, offal, dairy products depends on storage conditions and the correct preparation of dishes. When cooking ingredients for 10 minutes, only 4% of methionine decomposes, but if the heat treatment process is increased to 30 minutes, the loss of substance will be 13%, 60 minutes - 65%, 90 minutes - 100%.
Vitamin U is best stored in boiled beets, so it’s good for people with digestive problems to include sugar vegetable salads in their daily menu.
Preventive and therapeutic use
Today, the therapeutic efficacy of using S-methylmethionine is in a detailed study phase. The largest number of studies was conducted by the scientist Cheney, who reported the recovery of 200 patients suffering from gastric ulcer after daily consumption of 1 liter of fresh cabbage juice while taking antispasmodic drugs such as belladonna, analgesics, sedatives and alkali. As a result of the experiment, the doctor found that a group of patients who regularly consumed anti-ulcer vitamin with plant food recovered twice as fast as the control, which underwent "standard" therapy without additional intake of vitamin U.
It is believed that the best effect of treatment with cabbage juice is observed among patients with normo-, hypo- or anacid forms of peptic ulcer, spastic, infectious colitis, and hepatitis.
With achlorhydria, the vitamin improves the function of the gallbladder, small and large intestines and increases the acidity of the gastric juice.
For the disappearance of dyspeptic phenomena and the normalization of gastric secretion of methyl methionine sulfonium chloride, 200 milligrams per day is prescribed for 30 days. There is an opinion that the mechanism of the therapeutic effect of vitamin U is based on the fact that the energy-rich sulfonium group is a donor of free methyl compounds that are involved in the course of anabolic processes. They, in turn, serve to increase the resistance and regeneration of the gastric mucosa, preventing the harmful effects of pepsin and hydrochloric acid.
Together with choline, folic acid, methionine is able to defeat the growth of low-grade tumors.
For diabetes, atherosclerosis, liver damage with chloroform, alcohol, arsenic preparations, 100 milligrams of the compound is prescribed one hour before a meal 3-4 times a day for 4 weeks.
The interaction of vitamin U and other drugs
Vitamin U Interactions:
- Antacids (drugs that bind hydrochloric acid in the stomach) reduce the absorption of methionine.
- Water- and fat-soluble vitamins, trace elements do not affect the absorption level of anti-ulcer factor.
- S-methylmethionine stimulates the development of RNA cells due to the effect of the compound on the metabolism of nucleic acids.
- Vitamin U is a donor of methyl groups in the synthesis of creatine and choline.
- Methionine in combination with B vitamins, famotidine, sulfonium chloride enhances the action of nutrients and accelerates the healing of ulcers on the gastric mucosa.
- Niacin (B3), together with the U-compound, promotes the production of adrenaline.
- Methionine increases the effect of furazolidone, lanatoside C, enhances the antianginal effect of nitroglycerin.
- Vitamin U, while taking the nutrient and anti-Parkinsonian drug Levodopa, reduces the effect of the latter.
- Methionine in combination with lipocaine accelerates the phospholipid metabolism in the liver, preventing the formation of fatty deposits in the gland.
Today, data on the interaction of the vitamin compound with ethyl beverages are not available.
Methionine and pregnancy
Cabbage vitamin is extremely useful for pregnant women to detoxify the body. Methionine removes heavy metal compounds such as mercury, lead, cadmium from the liver, skin, bones, kidneys and lungs of expectant mothers. In addition, the substance increases the body's resistance to radiation, which is important for women living in conditions of increased "adverse background" (in Belarus, Ukraine, in the western part of Russia).
Due to the fact that the nutrient is involved in the formation of immunity, doctors do not recommend consuming the compound in the first months of pregnancy. This is due to the fact that in the early stages, the immunity of the expectant mother naturally decreases so that the fetus takes root in the body. Otherwise, fetal rejection may occur. Consequently, from the second trimester, methionine is harmless to the child and mother, since it does not adversely affect the course of pregnancy. Take the drug only after the appointment of a doctor in a strict dosage. Otherwise, a rare side effect of U-hypervitaminosis can be increased blood clotting, which leads to the formation of blood clots and premature termination of pregnancy.
As a rule, to eliminate the symptoms of early toxicosis (nausea, vomiting), doctors prescribe the expectant mother to take three components: cyanocobalamin (B12), folic acid (B9), methionine.
Vitamin U reduces the level of protein, strengthens the placenta, fights psycho-emotional mood swings, increases the woman's body resistance to colds, provides transport of nutrients to the fetus. Today, the effect of the compound on the course of pregnancy has not been thoroughly studied. According to published data, some experts believe that a lack of methionine in the diet of the expectant mother leads to a violation of the closure of the neural tube of the embryo, which causes deviations in the bookmark of the baby’s nervous system.
S-methylmethonine or "antiulcus factor" is a vitamin-like substance with antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, lipotropic effects. The compound enhances the metabolism of the duodenum, stimulates the regeneration of cells of the gastric mucosa, protects the liver from fatty degeneration, and inhibits the development of atherosclerosis.Vitamin U in Europe and the USA is used as a separate pharmacological drug for the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases, fibromyalgia, and depressive conditions under the following trademarks: Same Rx - Mood, Sam-Sulfate.
In addition, S-methylmethonine is available as a dietary supplement on the market. The synthesized vitamin has a sweet taste, a characteristic "cabbage" smell and is destroyed in the light.
Numerous observations indicate that the benefits of taking the nutrient in its natural form, which is part of plant foods, are 5 times higher than its artificially derived encapsulated progenitor.
Eat well and stay healthy!