Vitamin B5 beats acne
It's all over the place – on websites and in health magazines you can read that vitamin B5 helps against acne. And that may indeed be true, we concluded – the unwitting and naive compilers of this free webzine – after reading the human study published by researchers at Manhattan Medical Research [manhattanmedicalresearch.com] in Dermatology and Therapy. But we'd add immediately that you need a hefty dose of vitamin B5 to fight acne effectively.
The study was sponsored by Avilan Marketing. Avilan markets the supplement Pantothen – and indeed, that's the product that the researchers at Manhattan Medical Research tested. They gave it to a dozen subjects, all of whom had acne on their face, for a period of 12 weeks.
The recommended daily dose is 4 tablets spread over the day. The 4 tablets contain 1.5 milligram vitamin B1, 1.7 milligram vitamin B2, 20 milligram vitamin B3, 2 milligram vitamin B6, 400 microgram folic acid, 6 microgram vitamin B12, 300 microgram biotin, 733.3 milligram L-carnitine and 2.2 gram vitamin B5 [structural formula shown here]. Yep, you're not mistaken: we're talking grams.
The researchers gave their subjects 4 tablets of Pantothen each. A control group, all of whom also suffered from acne, got a placebo. The subjects took the tablets at mealtimes.
During the experiment the number of pimples, red spots and other acne symptoms decreased in both groups. But the decrease was significantly more in the experimental group than in the placebo group. The hefty vitamin B5 supplement reduced the acne by two thirds. The photos below show what this means. According to the researchers, these show two typical subjects.
The researchers also mentioned that no side effects were reported.
The researchers don't know exactly how vitamin B works. They suggest that it may be that vitamin B5 strengthens skin cells, as a result of which they are better able to withstand infiltration attempts by acne bacteria.
Strength athletes in particular are known to suffer from acne. We now know that whey can encourage acne, and that anabolic steroids cause acne is old news. Vitamin B5 supplementation may help to reduce the side effects of whey and steroids.
Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2014 Jun;4(1):93-101.
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