Is there a connection between gluten intolerence and vitiligo?
The possibility of gluten intolerance being connected to vitiligo has been brought up many times, on this site and in medical journals, and the theory makes a lot of sense to me because of the similarities I see with other issues known to be connected to vitiligo.
We already know that that many people with vitiligo have a Folic Acid and/or B12 deficiency, and I’ve read some cases where patients have received B12 injections repigmented.
I dug a little deeper into what causes B12 deficiency and found that those with the disorder are unable to produce enough of a protein substance – IF (intrinsic factor) – in their stomach that allows their body to absorb vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is injected straight into the patient’s blood, therefore bypassing the stomach which is unable to absorb it properly.
Apart from creating red blood cells and keeping our nervous system healthy, we also need vitamin B12 in order to be able to absorb folic acid.
Next, I went on to find that gluten intolerance (a.k.a. Celiac disease ) is an inherited, autoimmune disease in which the lining of the small intestine is damaged from eating gluten and other proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats.
Are you still with me? lol. Here’s what I’m thinking…If I have a gluten intolerance for a long time, that could have caused a B12/folic acid deficiency due to malabsorption of these vitamins from my regular diet. This in turn May have contributed to the onset of vitiligo because B12 is a crucial catalyst for the cell division process. Melanin (substance that gives the skin its color) is created by cells called melanocytes. When there is a vitamin B12 deficiency in the body, the melanocytes cannot properly perform the function of creating melanin. Additionally, the melanocytes might just die away and not be replenished. This causes a depigmented spots on the skin…vitiligo.
All that said, this is simply a hypothesis based upon my research, but I thought that I would share it with you in case it might help in our quest to regain even coloring of our natural skin tone.