A vitamin B5 supplement for spots?

Over the last few months I have been taking a closer look at various B vitamins. It’s fascinating how important these substances actually are for skin, hair and nails. I am staying with the letter B for now because I’d like to tell share more with you about vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid. Have you read about it before? This vitamin helps release energy from proteins and fats. Often though, you will also read that a vitamin B5 supplement can help prevent spots. This advice is popular, in particular, among people who frequently exercise, while at the same time suffer with their skin. You will see this quite often and may be for several reasons, for instance, diet, hormones or a combination thereof.

Vitamin B5 and the skin barrier

But how exactly? Is there a link between B5 and spots? That’s difficult to say. It appears that, indirectly, vitamin B5 plays a fundamental part in the functioning of the skin barrier. Researchers aren’t yet certain how, but they think that spots appear when the barrier function of the skin isn’t working properly. The question is, would it help to take (extra) vitamin B5? And should you get this from your diet or a jar?

Research into the effects of a B5 supplement                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Eventually I found two studies which looked into the effect of a supplement. It was observed that a daily intake of 2.2 grams of vitamin B5 caused a significant reduction in spots. I remain tentative about this because the supplements being researched also contained other B vitamins and these studies were sponsored by the suppliers of the supplement. So, before recommending a B5 supplement I will wait for better (independent) studies.

Which food contains vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)?

For now, focus on your nutrition. Because a varied diet will ensure that you won’t have a shortage of this vitamin. Pantothenic acid is found in mushrooms, seeds, meat, eggs, pulses, fruit and vegetables.

Food per portion Amount of vitamin B5 % of the daily recommended amount for adults (5 milligrams /day)
Shiitake mushrooms (70 grams) 2.6 milligrams 52 %
Sunflower seeds (30 grams) 2.4 milligrams 48 %
Cooked chicken fillet (100 grams) 1.5 milligrams 30%
Cooked tuna (100 grams) 1,4 milligrams 28 %
Avocado (half) 1,0 milligrams 20 %
Source: American National Institutes of Health

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