Showing posts with label celery juice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label celery juice. Show all posts

Celery Juice and Vitamin U

Recently, drinking celery juice has been promoted as a cure for a whole range of ailments. The original promoter Anthony William recommends drinking 16-32 oz of celery juice daily. He stipulates the juice should be fresh, not mixed with other ingredients and that juicing is better than blending. Williams has stated that the science behind the healing powers of celery juice have yet to be discovered. Hollywood types and regular people who get with the program report improved skin quality and gut function among other health improvements, though results are still pending on its effect on most conditions.

Nutritionists have responded that while celery juice can be part of a well-rounded diet, it should not be considered the cure-all being touted. Some are concerned by the removal of fiber. Some consider the positive effects result primarily from the water content rather than any nutrient in the juice. Others generally state that celery juice is nothing special and won't cure anything. 
There are also skeptics who question William's conflation of the scientifically-backed benefits of eating vegetables with the nonscientific rationale for how this improves health.

Drinking celery juice is most likely good for us. From a scientific standpoint, celery juice contains lots of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that will improve our health if we are not getting enough from our regular diet. Celery juice is also low in calories, unlike most fruit juices. Celery juice might help people psychologically in helping people make healthy lifestyle choices like avoiding bad foods and getting regular exercise.

It is quite likely that some of the health benefits resulting from drinking celery juice daily can be ascribed to boosting one's intake of Vitamin U. For those unfamiliar with Vitamin U (S-methylmethionine), it was discovered as an anti peptic ulcer factor during the 1940s-1950s by Dr Garnett Cheney. Patients with peptic ulcer disease were cured by drinking 1 liter 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. 

Most people have chronically low levels of glutathione, which results in chronically high levels of inflammation. People differ in their susceptibility to inflammation according to their genetic makeup, their diet and lifestyle. Vitamin U in celery juice probably improves the function of every body part by helping to restore glutathione levels, thereby reducing inflammation.

Issues with drinking 1 liter of cabbage juice

In the 1940s and 1950s, Stanford doctor Garnett Cheney healed his peptic ulcer patients by having them drink 1 liter of cabbage juice daily for a couple of weeks. Cabbage juice is not only rich in Vitamin U, but is also rich in folate, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium among other nutrients. It's well worth trying this treatment for peptic ulcers rather than taking supplements. However, there may be some drawbacks. 


Many people find cabbage juice to be
 distasteful. The chemicals responsible for this bitterness are called isothiocyanates. These compounds are produced in the cabbage when the leaves are physically damaged during chewing or juicing. Glucosinolates are enzymatically converted by myrosinases to form the bitter isothiocyanates. Some people are lucky in that can't taste isothiocyanates all that well so they can readily drink cabbage juice. One way to prevent the formation of isothiocyanates is by boiling unbroken cabbage leaves before juicing to kill the enzymes. That's why boiled cabbage has a mild taste compared to raw cabbage. However, the problem with this approach is that Vitamin U is also unstable to boiling, negating any beneficial effects. 

One solution is to drink the one liter of juice as 4 cups throughout the day instead of all at once. Another solution is to mix in better tasting vegetables that contain Vitamin U such as celery. Cheney used mixes containing a 3:1 cabbage-to-celery to good effect.


A second issue is gas. Cabbage has a significant amount of raffinose, a sugar that is notorious for producing gas when eaten. The human small intestine lacks the enzyme required for the digestion of raffinose. Unfortunately, some types of bacteria in our large intestine do have such an enzyme and will ferment raffinose quite readily to form gases. These gases produced in the colon have only one way out and will cause bloating and discomfort until discharged. Ingesting one liter of cabbage juice will cause problems for most people. In principle, a possible solution is to treat the cabbage juice with Beano before drinking it. Beano is basically alpha-galactosidase, an enzyme that will break down raffinose into sucrose and galactose, both of which we can easily break down and absorb. I'm not sure whether anyone has tested this idea, though taking Beano along with the juice as recommended should help. Drinking several cups spread throughout the day should also reduce bloating.


A third issue is smell. Fresh cabbage juice smells fine - old juice does not. Vitamin U is degraded to homoserine and dimethylsulfide by enzymes found in cabbage. Dimethylsulfide has a disagreeable sulfur odor a little like that found in rotten eggs, though without the toxicity. These enzymes don't work as quickly as myrosinases, but leaving cabbage juice sitting around for a few hours will allow plenty of time for dimethylsulfide to form. Putting the juice in the fridge will slow the reaction somewhat, but after 24 h the juice still tastes terrible. Even if a person could stomach the old juice, there would not be much point as by this stage most of the Vitamin U would have been degraded. Cabbages also have other compounds that contain sulfur that when broken down produce disagreeable odors. The solution is to drink cabbage juice fresh before it has had a chance to go off.