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Whenever I'm doing a low-carb diet or even if I just reduce the carb portion of my daily calorie intake, my lips start to dry out.

After one or two days they really get chapped and crusty. Lip balm doesn't really help. When I increase my carb intake they return to normal after a day.

  • Is this normal?
  • Why is this happening?
  • What can I do?

Thank you in advance.

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Off topic according to the FAQ since the scope change of the site excluded questions not related to exercise. –  Baarn Sep 13 '12 at 15:55
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Very likely it is a vitamin deficiency. Likely culprits are water soluble vitamins like Vitamin C or Folic Acid. If you are not taking a multivitamin with your low-carb diet to compensate for the vitamins you are missing from not having carbs, then you will be experiencing any number of unhealthy symptoms.

I've even read somewhere that taking Omega 3 fish oil vitamins can help with that.

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Hm, the symptoms seem to fit, but that would also suggest, that I'm more or less permanently suffering from that deficiency, because it happens so fast. (Two days vs. the three months storage capacity of folic acid) –  Daniel Rikowski Aug 3 '11 at 13:43
    
A deficiency in Omega 3s can also cause dry skin/chapped lips. This is from the "Practical Programming" by Rippetoe/Dr. Kilgore book. You might want to try that. –  Berin Loritsch Aug 4 '11 at 11:42
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