Did you know that more than 85 percent of people from all over the world have suffered from acne problems between the age of 12 to 24? It is the most common skin condition in the United States. We Americans are more troubled by acne conditions than many other acute health problems. In a study conducted by the American Academy of Dermatology, it has been found that more than 50 million Americans spend over 6 billion US dollar annually to combat this problem, excluding the non-prescribed supplements and OTC medicines.
There are many treatments available for you to help you fight acne. Vitamin B5 which is a pantothenic acid has become a popular option lately. All Vitamin B complex supplement contain B5 due to its benefits. In fact, it has become so popular that many doctors now prefer this option over other popular options like Accutane and different topical ointments.
When I stumbled on this acne-fighting option I had my doubts about it. I took my time to do my research and cross-checked all the relevant information. I would like to credit Dr. Lit-Hung Leung especially for his popular journal (1997) titled “How Pantothenic Acid Unveils the Mysteries of Acne Vulgaris and Obesity”. After that, I reached to some of my clients to collect some primary data.
Finally, I am going to share my knowledge and experience so that you can learn a thing or two from me and make informed decisions before trying vitamin b5 for acne.
Pantothenic Acid or Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid is an easily available water-soluble vitamin, which can be found in most of the foods we eat. The origin of the word ‘pantothenic’ came from the Greek word “Pantos” which means everywhere. The fact that this compound can be found in many foods doesn’t diminish the significance of this compound. Vitamin B5 is essential for so many body functions that we can easily be vitamin B5 deficient if we don’t consume enough of this vitamin regularly. Pantothenic acid is crucial for:
- Energy production
- Protein & Fat Synthesis
- Healthy Lipid Metabolism
- Facilitates the Growth and Regeneration of some special types of cells
Perhaps the most important role of vitamin B5 is creating the component called Coenzyme-A or CoA. Coenzyme-A is an essential enzyme, which is used in various types of biochemical activities. To put it simply avoiding all the medical technicalities, CoA is essential for breaking down the fat molecules in our body. This process is called Fatty Acid Oxidation.
Coenzyme-A (CoA) consists of three components – Pantothenic acid, Cysteine, and ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). Out of these three compounds, our body can make its own ATP and Cysteine. But the pantothenic acid is to be collected from our daily diet.
When your body lacks Co-Enzyme A, it can’t synthesize fat properly. It tries to overcome the lack of CoA enzyme by releasing excess oil or sebum from the sebaceous glands on the skin. And one important thing to remember is that “Popping” pimples help facilitate this sebum pouring. You guessed it right, that doesn’t help at all other than providing instant satisfaction.
How Effective Pantothenic Acid Acne Cure Is?
It is very easy and comforting for us to believe that the lack of pantothenic acid is the only cause and cure for acne problem. It is nothing but an oversimplification of a complex problem. The idea of vitamin b5 for acne solution became popular after the publication of the paper by Dr. Lit-Hung Leung in 1997. It is important to keep in mind that Dr. Leung published this paper as a theory.
Many acne sufferers, including medical personnel from all over the world have tried vitamin b5 for acne and many of them have gotten results. However there are proven natural remedies for acne that you can try at home and Vitamin B5 can significantly accelerate the process. Although some research works have confirmed the effectiveness of vitamin b5 as an acne cure, they can be attributed as placebo effects. Right now, there is not enough conclusive evidence to neither acknowledge nor rule out the effectiveness of pantothenic acid or vitamin b5 as an acne cure.
Advantages of Vitamin B5
As mentioned earlier, Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid has many roles to play in our body metabolism. Besides some essential roles like breaking down fat cells, there are many vitamin b5 benefits for skin like making your skin cleaner. Some benefits of taking vitamin b5 from foods or supplements are described below:
- Facilitates optimal skin integrity.
- Supports Fatty Acid Oxidation including steroid hormones
- Reduces sebum in the sebaceous glands and blemishes
- Increases the insulin resistance level
- Helps maintain a healthy stress response system by supporting adrenal gland function
- Facilitates the melatonin and neurotransmitter acetylcholine production
- Accelerates the process of wound healing
Symptoms of Vitamin B5 Deficiency
It is very unlikely to have vitamin b5 deficiency unless you are severely malnourished. The symptoms of vitamin b5 might include:
- Cardiovascular instability
- Muscular cramp
- Sleep disturbances
- Impaired motor coordination
- Burning sensation of the hands and feet
- Gastrointestinal disturbances
- A loss of the normal stress response to adrenocorticotropic hormone
Vitamin B5 Acne Dosage
According to Dr. Leung’s paper, you should take 300mg of vitamin b5 thrice a day. That is 900mg a day. Consult with your doctor to get the required amount of Vitamin B5 dosage that is suitable for your body.
After doing in-depth research on the vitamin b5 effect on acne problems, like many doctors, I am also more inclined to limited use of pantothenic acid or vitamin b5 for acne problems. However, it will be foolish to take it as the ultimate cure for all sorts of acne problems. This should be taken as an alternative option. Nevertheless, it doesn’t harm you if you take vitamin b5 supplements.