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Vitamin U in cabbage juice aids wound healing, for skin protection

Cabbage juice is loaded with an important compound called vitamin U that heals ulcers. In this article, I will explain other benefits that vitamin U in cabbage treats according to science. 

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Vitamin U is available not only as a supplement. It is also found naturally in various foods, particularly cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale. 

Plus, cosmetics companies may add it to certain creams, serums, face masks and other products.

Vitamin U, science

Studies confirmed that Vitamin U can protect lungs, liver and kidneys from damage.

In an animal study, Sokmen et al., (2012) found that vitamin U could support liver damage caused by the common anti-seizure medication valproic acid. 

Another rat study, by Gezginci-Oktayoglu et al., (2016) found that rats given vitamin U experienced less severe kidney damage after receiving valproic acid than those given no vitamin U. Vitamin U also decreases markers of inflammation. 

Oktay et al., (2017) animal study also found that vitamin U could reduce lung damage resulting from epileptic seizures. 

It has been propounded that vitamin U supplements could reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, but evidence is still limited. Lee et al., (2012) test-tube study suggests that vitamin U could avert the formation of fat cells and reduce triglyceride levels, but limited human studies are available. 

An old eight-week study by Nakamura et al.(1981) in humans, prescribed 1.5 grams of vitamin U per day found no change in triglyceride levels, higher HDL (good) cholesterol, and an almost 10 per cent reduction in total cholesterol. As such, more human research is needed.

Some studies have found that Vitamin U may offer some protection against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, as well as expedite wound healing.

For instance, test-tube and animal studies (Kim et al., 2010; Kim et al. 2015; Kim et al., 2018; Watson et al., 2016)  found that using vitamin U directly in wounds could speed wound healing.  In addition, vitamin U could protect against burns and other damage caused by UV rays. Due to this, certain cosmetics are formulated with vitamin U.

Side effects/precautions

Vitamin U is likely safe when eaten directly from whole foods. However, little is known about its safety or potential side effects in supplement form.

Therefore, it’s likely safest to rely on vitamin-U-rich foods such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale to boost your intake of this compound.

According to the European Chemicals Agency, vitamin U may cause eye, skin or lung irritation if it comes into direct contact with these organs. Thus, you may want to use caution with skin care products containing this compound. 

Vitamin-U-rich foods are widely considered safe to eat during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Yet, little is known about the safety of vitamin U in supplement form. Therefore, you should consider avoiding these supplements if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

How to take it

One old human study by Nakamura et al., (1981) used 1.5 grams of vitamin U for eight weeks. 

Alina Petre, (2020) explained that so far, there have been no reported cases of vitamin U overdose.

An overdose is very unlikely if you consume this compound exclusively from whole foods. Keep in mind that studies have not yet examined the effects of high vitamin U intake from supplements.

This makes it impossible to rule out the possibility of a vitamin U overdose.

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As such, more research is needed to understand whether an overdose is possible, the signs and symptoms associated with it, and the safest way to treat it.

Interactions

There isn’t enough scientific information available to determine whether vitamin U interacts with any other supplements or drugs.

People taking other supplements or medicines should discuss vitamin U with their healthcare provider before trying it.

NB: Prof. Nyarkotey has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations to justify his write-ups.  My articles are for educational purposes and do not serve as medical advice for treatment. I aim to educate the public on evidence-based scientific Naturopathic Therapies. 

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The writer is a Professor of Naturopathic Health Care, a Medical Journalist and a science writer. President, Nyarkotey University College of Holistic Medicine and Technology (NUCHMT)/African Naturopathic Foundation, Ashaiman, Ghana. Currently BL Candidate at the Gambia Law School, Banjul. E. mail: [email protected].

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