Many people have noticed before that I often recommend vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid or simply “PA”) to acne patients. There happens to be a reason for this: it cured my acne. Completely. Eliminated 100% of it. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend giving it a try, because it really is great stuff.
Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin d drops, is commonly taken in high doses to reduce oil production and rid the skin of acne. It works like Accutane in the sense that it reduces oil production. However, P.A. works by helping your body metabolize the fats in your body, which later turn into sebum. Accutane shrinks the sebaceous glands so that oil can no longer reach your face. Since P.A. addresses the real problem, it is indeed the more efficient solution.
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) for the treatment
Let’s discuss in detail how exactly P.A. works. During the natural metabolic process, your body breaks down fats. If your body doesn’t have enough coenzyme-A, not all fats can be broken down, and your body has to get rid of them somehow, so they are excreted in the form of sebum (oil) through the oil glands on your skin. By creating more coenzyme-A, these extra fats can be broken down with the rest, and oil production is greatly reduced.
Coenzyme-A is made up of three components: Cysteine, ATP and P.A.. Your body makes its own cysteine and ATP, so vitamin B5 is the only thing you need to get from food. Supplementing with pantothenic acid creates more coenzyme-A, breaks down fats better, and less oil ends up on your skin. Without too much oil on the face, P. acnes bacteria have nothing to feed on when the pore is clogged and cannot thrive to cause acne in the first place.
Considering that P.A. works for more than 90% of people who take it, myself included, it is a very effective medication. Since it is all natural and water soluble, it is much safer than Accutane, which only works in 70 to 80% of patients who take it. It is also more effective than Accutane because it eliminates the problem instead of covering it up by shrinking the glands and trapping the fats in the body.
Pantothenic acid supplementation
As I said earlier, you need to take large amounts of pantothenic acid, up to about 12 grams, to correct a deficiency. Not everyone needs to take that much, however, so the recommended dosage is as follows: Start with about 4 grams per day. Always divide the doses into 4 times per day and spread them out as much as possible. To avoid stomach irritation – the only known side effect of pantothenic acid – take it with a meal or at least a glass of water.
If you can’t manage 4 grams, increase the dose slowly until you start seeing results, stopping at about 12 grams. Once you find a dose that seems to work for you, stick with it for about two months and continue to divide the dose into 4 parts. After those two months, you should be able to reduce the dose until you start seeing negative results to figure out how much to keep taking as a “maintenance” dose.
The one thing to watch out for is that pantothenic acid can deprive your body of other B vitamins, so a B-50 complex should be taken with it. Some say you should also take zinc with it, but I only take B-50.
Since pantothenic acid must be taken in high doses to be effective, you can forget trying to get enough by eating foods high in pantothenic acid or by taking a multivitamin or a B vitamin complex. You can also forget about taking pantothenic acid pills, because that would mean taking more than 20 pills every day. There is really only one reasonable way to take the amount of B5 you need to treat acne, and that is pantothenic acid powder.
Pantothenic acid tablets are not available in most stores, let alone the powder form of it. Some health food stores might have it, but the ones in my area don’t. You might be able to talk to someone at the store and order it for you, but the price is usually pretty high. The easiest and cheapest way to get pantothenic acid powder is to just order it online. Do a Google search and you will find many websites, such as Amazon.com, offering pantothenic acid powder at a great price.