Being a vegan can give you 'beef steak tongue', warns doctor

Following a vegan diet can give you a ‘beef steak tongue’, a doctor has warned.

Speaking to Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on Wednesday’s This Morning, Dr Philippa Kaye spoke about the different signs of ‘what your body is trying to tell you’.

In the segment, Dr Phillipa told the hosts why you can get white marks on your nails and how your ear wax can measure your stress levels.

But there was one part in particular that had Phillip confused.

‘So, if you think about your tongue, it’s sort of a pinkish colour and it’s got lots of little bumps on it, and they’re called papillae,’ Dr Phillipa began.

‘If you become deficient in Vitamin B12, which is common for people who follow a vegan diet, then those little bumps flatten off and that leaves your tongue looking very bright red and sort of meaty.

‘It is sometimes described as a beef steak tongue, and that can be a sign of Vitamin B12 deficiency.’


A baffled-looking Phillip went on to ask: ‘And you can put that right?’

As she laughed, Dr Philippa replied: ‘Yes, we can put that right with oral Vitamin B12 supplements generally.’

‘It’s quite a bit ironic isn’t it that you can be a vegan and end up with beef steak tongue,’ Phillip added.

Other signs that could mean you have a Vitamin B12 deficiency include – tiredness, lethargy, low exercise tolerance and light-headedness.

As well as rapid heart rate or palpitations, bruising and bleeding easily, weight loss, impotence and bleeding gums.

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.

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