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Vitamin U, Factor U

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Scientific name: (a) S-Methylmethioninesulfonium – methylsulfonium salts of methionine, (b) Undefined extract

Substance/source: Isolated from cabbage

Physiological role: Vitamin U is a novel free radical scavenger, prevents lens injury in rats administered with valproic acid. It is also proposed to cure ulcers and promote bacterial growth, and may have folic acid activity.

It has protective effect on renal damage was shown by a significant decrease in histopathological changes and an increase in Na+/K+-ATPase activity

It possesses anti-oxidant property which has been demonstrated by a decrease in malondialdehyde levels and xanthine oxidase activity and an increase in glutathione levels, catalase and superoxide dismutase activities

It has anti-inflammatory property which shows decrease in tumour necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 levels, and adenosine deaminase activity

It has an anti-fibrotic effect shown by a decrease in transforming growth factor-β, collagen-1 levels, and arginase activity.


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  2. Combs Jr. G.F., 2012, “The Vitamins - Fundamental Aspects in Nutrition and Health - 3rd edition,” Academic press; p. 517.
  3. Gezginci-Oktayoglu S., et al., 2016, “Vitamin U has a protective effect on valproic acid-induced renal damage due to its anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fibrotic properties,” Protoplasma 253(1): 127-135. [Web Reference]
  4. Stokstad E, Manning P. Evidence of a new growth factor required by chicks. J Biol Chem 1938; 125: 687–96.
  5. Tunali S., Kahraman S. and Yanardag R., 2014, “Vitamin U, a novel free radical scavenger, prevents lens injury in rats administered with valproic acid,” Human & experimental toxicology; 0960327114561665. [Web Reference]
  6. Williams P., 2015, “The missing vitamin alphabet,” Nutrition & Dietetics [Web Reference]
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