You might be causing it without even knowing it. Thinning lips are part of the complex of symptoms of a vitamin B2 deficiency. Vitamin B2 is also known as riboflavin.
The deficiency symptoms include:
- Thinning of the lips, especially the upper lip
- Oily skin and hair
- Cracks at the corners of the mouth, nose, or eyes similar to a paper cut
- Shredding of the skin on the lips
- Inability to adjust to bright lights
- And more…
Vitamin B2 is a water-soluble nutrient which functions to help body cells create energy from the metabolization of carbohydrates, protein, and fat.
Riboflavin is critical for normal growth and repair and is needed to facilitate normal reproduction, cell growth and repair, and development of tissues. The body utilizes vitamin B2 to keep tissues healthy and to help accelerate healing of injuries.
Along with iron, vitamin B2 is an essential nutrient for the production of red blood cells, which are responsible for the transport of oxygen throughout the body.
Riboflavin acts to help the immune system function properly. It bolsters the immune system by reinforcing the body’s reserve of antibodies, which guard against infection.
Vitamin B2 helps to promote and maintain healthy skin. It can improve the secretion of mucus in the skin, which may help to clear up rosacea. It is also used to prevent and treat skin problems such as dermatitis and eczema. Vitamin B2, along with some other nutrients, is vital for healthy vision and for preventing cataracts.
Riboflavin is also helpful in getting relief from migraines. New research has shown that as little as 25 mg a day can be effective, whereas previous research suggested 400 mg a day. It’s also used for migraine in children along with other alternative supplements like CoQ10 and the herb feverfew.
In Canada in the 1970s clinics were using injections of vitamin B2 to eliminate the desire for alcohol in alcoholics.
Is It My Fault?
How might you be causing the vitamin B2 deficiency? It’s a matter of balance. B2 needs to be balanced with vitamin B6, known as Pyridoxine. They need to be taken together. Many weight loss products and supplements for women have more B6 than B2. Some often have only B6 and no B2. This can create the need for more B2 or a deficiency of B2. Look at all your multiple vitamins and supplements (especially for women’s issues and weight loss) containing vitamins and see if they have a similar amount of B2 and B6, If not and you have any of these symptoms above, you might want to consider taking an equal amount of B2 with the B6. This should eliminate most of the symptoms in a short period of time.
WHAT ARE THE B COMPLEX VITAMINS?
Most of the B vitamins go by numbers, but there are coenzymes and other forms that do not. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12 are all called by numbers, and biotin, choline, folate or folic acid (also called B9), PABA, and inositol are called by names. If you take a B complex supplement, all eleven of these ingredients should be in it.
B Vitamin Robbers
B vitamins are removed from wheat flour, rice, and sugar when they are refined. But people need B vitamins to help digest starch or carbohydrates. That means every time you eat refined white flour, white rice, or white sugar products you are robbing B vitamins from somewhere else in your body to help digest these denatured foods. That’s why only whole grains should be part of a healthy diet, not refined white flour products. Whole grains have not been refined so they contain the B complex vitamins necessary for proper digestion and utilization of the nutrients. If you are going to eat bread, rice, noodles, pasta of any kind, or sugar, please make sure it’s unrefined and natural. Brown rice, whole wheat, pot barley, and unrefined sugar are the only way to eat these products if you want to remain healthy.
Eating white sugar and white flour products can actually cause fatigue, depression, anger attacks, anxiety, and reduced health. If you think drinking a sugar-laden soft drink all day is giving you energy, think again. It’s robbing you of precious B complex vitamins! Even artificial sugars are bad for you because they can cause other health problems.
Alcohol is made from refined sugar. All kinds of alcoholic drinks rob you of the essential B complex vitamins you need to stay healthy. Many of the “beauty” problems of alcoholics are directly related to B vitamin deficiencies brought on by drinking alcohol and not eating whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and other sources of B complex vitamins.
How Much, How Many?
B complex vitamins are heat-, light-, and water-soluble. That means they have to be replenished several times a day. It is important to take them three times a day in a low dose rather than once a day in a high dose. I consider 12 to 25 milligrams (mg) of each of the B vitamins enough for most people to take in each low-dose supplement. Fifty to 100 mg is considered a high dose and is not necessary except under severe stress. A sustained or timed-release B complex vitamin of 50 mg is fine because it will be released into your system over four to six hours, but you will need to take one with your morning meal and one with your evening meal for it to be most effective.
The B vitamins help eliminate stress and stress can use up all the B vitamins, so if you are under stress, whether it’s emotional or physical, you will need more B vitamins.
The Solution to Thinning Lips
So if you find that your lips are thinning and you think it might be due to age, please check to see if you are taking more B6 than B2 and add vitamin B2 into your routine three times a day. You might be surprised at how many of your beauty or health complaints just seem to fade away once you take in the B vitamins in a balanced way.
Kathleen O’Bannon, CNC, is a nutritionist, Wellness Coach, and dynamic public speaker. The information for this blog was taken from her best-selling books: The Anger Cure: A Step-by-Step Program to Reduce Anger, Rage, Negativity, Violence, and Depression in Your Life, Basic Health Publications and Nutrition & Health in the Bible, Thomas Nelson. Contact Kathleen at: Kathleen@kathleenobannon.com