Dry mucous membranes after lowering B-vitamins?

Hey, I have been taking a very high dosed B-vitamin complex for three years ( no bloodwork ever done on them, just taken because recommended by my GP). Because it never actually did anything for me and is quite expensive, I decided to slowly lower and eventually stop taking it. Which I did over the last four months, without noticing any differences in symptoms...

But: about two months ago I have been taking a TCM herb mixture that actually finally made my mucous membranes in the sinuses and throat produce more mucous (I have been a little dry there for all my life). Then my TCM practicioner tried some other mixtures on me which were too drying, so since last week I am back on that first one. Only now it seems to dry my mucous membranes, too!
(Before coming back to that first mixture there was a one-week-break where I took nothing and my sinuses and throat were normal.)

So is it possible that the lower B-vitamin intake makes the herb mixture work in the opposite way?
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Senior Member
I am inclined to think that it could be something to do with your methylation..

Typically dry mucous membranes are from over methylation (aka insufficient utilisation), but I would think that supplementing B vitamins would be more likely to lead to this than the opposite..

Discontinuing B vitamins would lead to under methylation (more runny nose / eyes) as you stop taking in so much folate and b12 - assuming that your B complex had folate and b12 in it, as not all have these.

So maybe I'm completely off in this (as the trend appears opposite), but just something to potentially consider, as well as additional interplay between all of the things you're taking.

Also maybe it's just unrelated..? Sorry can't help more.


Senior Member
Pacific Northwest
The scientist who found most of the B vitamins, Roger Williams, also found people have a very wide variation in needs for nutrients, and wrote a book called Human Biochemical Individuality, on the 1950s.

While your doctor may have seen something in your labs that caused him to make this recommendations for expensive high dose B vitamins, the prudent thing to do would be to test you for your need for them, along with the cofactors they work with, like magnesium, potassium, zinc, etc. I'd guess that you might have run out of some of the cofactors...

One analogy is like making an angel food cake, the one that needs 12 eggs? Suppose you have only 4 eggs and you want to make this cake, but have an unlimited supply of flour and sugar.... You're either going to make a very small cake, in a smaller pan of course, or you're going to make a really bad cake with only 4 eggs and the right amount of everything else...

I find it a little irresponsible that your doctor didn't test you in the first place and now isn't testing you to check on your progress. (This approach is called "winging it"...)

At this point, who knows what's going on? I'd look into a Genova Diagnostics Metabolomix+ test or a combination of a Great Plains OAT test and Doctors Data essential minerals urine test to try to figure out what's going on and correct it.
Thanks for the replies!
assuming that your B complex had folate and b12 in it, as not all have these.
Yes, it had everything remotely B-like. Folate was 450micrograms, B12 300.
Is your diet low in folate?
Not according to Cronometer. I mean, I cook nearly everything, but I'm eating legumes, lots of vegetables, dairy, nuts and seeds, ...

Which herbals are you taking ?
the full formula would be:
1. Astragali seu Hedysari radix
2. Panacis ginseng radix
3. Atractylodis macrocephalae rhizoma (Bai Zhu)
4. Poria (Fu Ling)
5. Ledebouriellae Saposhnikoviae, Rx. (Fang Feng)
6. Pinelliae praeparatae rhizoma (Fa Ban Xia)
7. Citri reticulatae pericarpium (Chen Pi)
8. Angelicae dahuricae radix (Bai Zhi)
9. Acori Tatarinowii Rhizom (Shi Chang Pu)
10. Polygalae radix (Yuan Zhi)
11. Cinnamomi ramulus (Gui Zhi)
12. Paeoniae alba radix (Bai Shao)
13. Jujubae fructus (Da Zao)
14. Glycyrrhizae radix preaparata (zhi Gan Cao)
15. Zingiberis rhizoma recens (Sheng Jiang)

But as I said, when I take no herbs it still feels fine. It only gets dry when I start taking the formula. The same formula which actually moistened me two months ago (when I was still on the B-vits). So not just less effect, but the complete opposite. If it is methylation: wouldn't it be more intuitive if the formula just didn't moisten as well as before - and not actively dries? Or possibly the herbs use up a lot of folate, and due to the missing supplementation I am now actually getting short on them. But I'm just letting my mind wander here :xeyes:

While your doctor may have seen something in your labs that caused him to make this recommendations for expensive high dose B vitamins
Not even that. It was purely based on the chronic fatigue, which he thought to be mitochondria-related and so B-vits would be a good idea in any case. Labs with this GP came later (no B-vits) and the other doctors here and there just nodded at the supplementation.


Senior Member
That's a massive herbal combination. Other folks know much more than I, though some herbs look to be drying types.
You're getting plenty of folate.

Zinc is necessary for mucin formation. Lactoferrin helps with dry eyes and mouth.
That's all I got.