Vitamin B5 Proves it’s Worth in the Acne World.
A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of a Novel Pantothenic Acid-Based Dietary Supplement in Subjects with Mild to Moderate Facial Acne – Vitamin B5 and Acne
A new study from came out in the journal Dermatology and Therapy which showed dramatic improvement in those with mild to moderate acne who took a pantothenic acid (also known as b5) supplement.(1)
This study is significant because it is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled (RDBPC) study. RDBPC studies are the gold standard in scientific studies because they don’t change any variable except for the one being tested.
In this study, two groups of people were given either 2.2 grams of pantothenic acid (b5) daily or a placebo for 12 weeks. The number of active lesions and inflammation in the skin was measured before and after the 12 week study.
Here are the results:
“Forty-eight subjects were enrolled and 41 were evaluable. There was a significant mean reduction in total lesion count in the pantothenic acid group versus placebo at week 12 (P = 0.0197). Mean reduction in inflammatory lesions was also significantly reduced… at week 12 in the pantothenic acid group versus placebo. The study agent was safe and well tolerated.” Being a water soluble vitamin, taking large dosages of B5 most-likely shouldn’t cause complications.
The lesion count in the study agent versus placebo group was reduced by 68.21%. Not too shabby.
To measure the severity of acne in patients in clinical trials, scientists use something called the The 5-point Investigator’s Global Assessment (IGA) Scale.
In the group that took the vitamin, 42.85% of them downgraded to a grade 1 in the IGA scale, which is almost clear skin with very few non-inflammatory lesions and no more than 1 inflammatory lesion. In the group that took the placebo, only 14.28% of them downgraded.
Along with examining the inflammation and acne lesions on the skin, the quality of life (QOL) of the patients were also measured by asking questions about symptoms, feelings, daily activities, type of clothing, social or physical activities, exercise, job or education, interpersonal relationships, marriage relationships, and relationship to dermatologic symptoms.
Of the people who took b5, 85.7% of them measured an increase in their QOL by 1 or more, while only 35.7% of the people in the placebo group showed an increase in their QOL.
The mechanism behind the effectiveness of pantothenic acid is postulated to come from its antibacterial and skin softening properties, along with it’s role in fatty acid metabolism. Pantothenic acid gets converted in the body into a molecule called Coenzyme A (CoA). CoA is required for lipid metabolism. Sebum is primarily made of lipids, so without proper lipid metabolism which can come from too little CoA/Pantothenic acid, excess sebum can be produced. Therefore, pantothenic acid can help diminish the amount of sebum in the skin by increasing your body’s ability to metabolize the fatty acids that comprise it.
Recap: Over 2/3 of the people in this study showed improvement in the number of acne lesions by taking b5. Four out of every 5 people who took pantothenic acid for their acne reported a better quality of life. Taking the vitamin has been proven safe and effective.
According to wiki, “rich sources of pantothenic acid include liver and kidney, yeast, egg yolk, and broccoli.” However, it is difficult to get in the high amounts of b5 that people use to treat acne. Plus, the fact that it is a water soluble vitamin makes overdosing very unlikely. That is why I recommend supplementing with B5, at least for 12 weeks.
Conclusion: If suffering from acne, the safety and effectiveness of pantothenic acid makes it something worth trying out, at least for 3 months.
Many foods, such as avocados, liver and kidney, yeast, egg yolk, and broccoli contain a wide variety of essential nutrients including pantothenic acid and essential fatty acids. Studies have demonstrated that these correlate with improved health in persons who consume them. I always urge people to get their vitamins and minerals from foods, however, it is difficult to get the high amounts of B5 that people use to treat acne. I recommend supplementing with B5, at least for 12 weeks.
L-carnitine can be used in conjunction with pantothenic acid to help transport fatty acids from the sebaceous glands into the mitochondria of cells for oxidation. Taking 1,000 mg of B5 with 250 mg L-canitine three times a day may shrink the size of your acne lesions, decrease pore size and tighten pores.
Always remember though, that clearing your acne will usually require vast changes in your diet and lifestyle. Simply taking a supplement won’t establish a truly healthy body if you aren’t eating healthy foods, getting proper sleep, limiting the amount of stress in your life, moving your body, drinking enough water, getting enough sunlight or practicing the other lifestyle habits needed to live a truly healthy life.
To learn about these things and other habits you can implement into your life for clearer skin and more optimal health, type your email below and receive your free copy of 13 Steps to Clearer Skin and Optimal Health which will give you 13 steps you can start taking immediately to help heal your skin from the inside. 🙂