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Vitiligo Diet- Myth Or Fact

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Vitiligo Diet- Myth Or Fact

“Doctor, Does nutrition have a role in vitiligo? Should I avoid white food items?” This is the most common query of a patient with vitiligo. They are eager to know whether diet plays a role in halting the disease and if any foods can increase vitiligo. Fortunately or unfortunately, there are no known particular foods that will cure vitiligo, and there are none that will make it worse.

RELATED ARTICLE: Is That White Patch on Your Skin- Leukoderma, Vitiligo, or Something Else?

Should I avoid white food items?

Current literature search suggests that changing food habits is not going to cure your Vitiligo.

Ayurveda recommends avoiding salt and milk combinations. This has some scientific explanation. Milk can inhibit the absorption of nutrients present in your meals, therefore milk/tea/coffee should be taken 2 hours after or before your meals.

What kind of food can promote pigmentation in Vitiligo?

The emphasis should be given to a balanced and healthy diet rich in nutrients and multivitamins, especially those used during the pigmentation process. Although no nutrients can be identified as a cure, the following nutrients are involved in pigmentation and might be helpful:

  • Vitamin B12 & folic acid found in green leafy vegetables, yeast extracts, legumes
  • Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, vegetables, amla, etc.
  • Vitamin D is found in fish, cod liver oil, milk, eggs, fortified yogurts, etc. But around 90 % of body requirements are fulfilled by sun exposure.
  • Beta carotene is found in dark green, orange, and yellow vegetables & fruits.
  • Copper is found in leafy greens, including turnip greens, spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and mustard greens.
  • Zinc is found in seafood, wheat germ, nuts, etc.
  • Iron is found in the liver, sunflower seeds, nuts, lamb, beans, whole grains, dark leafy greens (spinach), dark chocolate, and tofu.

What kind of Vitiligo treatment is given in Ayurveda?

 According to Dr Joshi, an International Ayurveda Physician and expert Ayurveda Dermatologist, Vitiligo treatment in Ayurveda includes:

  • Diet: Avoiding inappropriate food combinations is a must.
  • Life Style Management: Stress Management is critical.
  • Internal Purification with the help of Ayurveda Panchakarma (Especially Virechana Treatment, Blood letting, Shirodhara for Stress Management, Abhyanga (Massage) with Herbal oil to moisturize the skin, etc. Acharya Charaka has said: “Punah Punah Shodhan”, which means often and often. This indicates the purification requirement for disease-free survival, the best line of treatment for Vitiligo. All of the mentioned above must be done under a qualified Ayurveda Physician.
  • Some Herbal Formulations- Ayurveda has some herbs that are very good for skin diseases, both for internal and external applications.
  • Yoga and Meditation for managing stress in addition to the Panchakarma Treatment.

The average duration of Vitiligo treatment in Ayurveda depends on the chronicity, location of the spot, and family history of the disease. As per Acharya Charak’s guideline for treating Vitiligo, “Minimum 1.5 to Maximum 3.5 years treatment depending upon the variety of the spot and with strict diet management is essential for Vitiligo.”


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