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Your Tongue and Nutrition

Gluten Can Alter Your Tongue

A common manifestation for those suffering from the detriments of gluten occurs in the mouth. The images of the tongue show a beefy dark red appearance with many grooves. This is also sometimes referred to as magenta tongue. The presence of this symptom is often times accompanied by intermittent bouts of dizziness, ringing in the ears, and sharp nerve pains in the hands or feet (often times referred to as a neuropathy). Tongue changes like these can take years to form, and commonly signify a vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Beefy tongue - gluten sensitivityBeefy tongue - magenta - -12 deficiency and gluten

Vitamin B-12 deficiency is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies in those with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. Because gluten can damage both the acid producing cells of the stomach as well as the carrier shuttle for vitamin B-12, the deficit can be present even when the diet contains adequate quantities. Remember that vitamin B-12 is only found in meat (chicken, beef, fish, eggs, lamb, pork, etc). Those trying to follow a vegetarian diet are also at high risk for developing a vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Why is Vitamin B-12 So Important?

This critical nutrient plays a role in many important functions. Some of them include:
  • Repair and replication of DNA and RNA (necessary for growth and healing)
  • Production of the insulation that surrounds the nerves in the brain and spinal cord
  • Protection from cardiovascular disease
  • Protection from the development of dementia and neuropathy
  • Maintenance of energy production
  • Aids in sleep regulation by helping produce melatonin

How Do We Get Adequate B-12 Levels?

Meats and animal products are rich in vitamin B12. The nutrient is broken down from these animal foods in our stomach through the action of acid. Afterwards, it is picked up by intrinsic factor and shuttled into our small intestine to be absorbed into the blood stream. Those with gluten damage to the stomach and intestines have a very difficult time digesting and absorbing this vitamin. Often times it can take 6 months to a year on a gluten free diet to begin processing vitamin B12 properly. That is why supplementation can play a valuable role in health recovery.

Not All Forms of Vitamin B-12 Are Created Equally

Most supplements on the market contain an type of B-12 called cyanocobalamin. This form of B-12 is inferior when compared to Methylcobalamin. Research shows that methylcobalamin (the same type as used in my formulation) has superior bio availability than other forms commonly used in over the counter and prescription supplements. This form of the vitamin is better utilized and recognized by the body. It is the form that the body uses as a co-enzyme for the activation of many important chemical reactions. Even most injectable forms of B-12 are found in an inferior cyanocobalamin form. The three most common types of B-12 on the market are as follows (listed in order of best to worst):
  • Methylcobalamin
  • Hydroxycobalamin
  • Cyanocobalamin

Common Health Problems and Symptoms Linked to Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

If you suffer from…
  • Brain fog
  • Lack of mental clarity
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Inability to remember words or important tasks
  • Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • Numbness and tingling in your hands or feet (neuropathy)
  • Loss of balance or dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Lab tests that show low platelets, red or white blood cell counts
  • Irritability
You will most likely benefit from vitamin B-12 supplementation.

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