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Acne And Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) Deficiency
Acne Specialist believes there is a correlation between Vitamin B5 deficiency and acne (the most common skin disease), due to modern food processing.
Vitamin B5, aka pantothenic acid, serves the body in many ways. It is a member of the nutritionally elite group of eight vitamins lovingly called the Vitamin B complex. This powerful group of vitamins has a role in nearly every major body system and process. The Vitamin B complex keeps both body and mind functioning and in good health.
Vitamin B5, like all of the vitamins in the B complex, is essential to the body for a number of reasons (also see other sections of acne-specialist.com for more information):
-Pantothenic acid as coenzyme A is closely involved in adrenal cortex function and has come to be known as the "antistress" vitamin. It supports the adrenal glands to increase production of cortisone and other adrenal hormones to help counteract stress. Coenzyme A is vital in the synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol, steroids, sphingosines, and phospholipids. It also helps synthesize porphyrin, which is connected to hemoglobin.
-Through the above mechanism, Vitamin B5 is also thought to help prevent aging and wrinkles and is important for hair and healthy skin. As you can imagine, it is used in a variety of cosmetic products.
-It has the ability to utilize the food it takes in as fuel for its myriad of processes, great and small. As the coenzyme, Vitamin B5 is important in cellular metabolism of carbohydrates and fats to release energy.
-It works in the regular maintenance and repair of all bodily tissues, from the cellular level on up. This makes it a critical part of the body's efforts to fight the physical damage to which excessive stress contributes.
-Vitamin B5 serves many important functions in the nervous system -- for example, Vitamin B5 contributes to the production of neurotransmitters, which are important to the ability of the nerves to communicate.
-Through its adrenal support, Vitamin B5 may reduce potentially toxic effects of antibiotics and radiation.
-Vitamin B5, acting as a cofactor or partner to other members of the Vitamin B complex as well as other nutrients, has a great role in the functioning of the adrenal glands and also promotes normal growth of the body. This is due to its role in hormone production throughout the body.
Only recently the general public is becoming more aware of the importance of whole foods. Yet, diets of the majority of the population are still made up of mostly heavily processed foods (available Vitamin B5 activity is lost during refinement of foods) due to our fast pace, time poor lifestyle of the modern world.
“NO WONDER THE SERIOUS GLOBAL ACNE PROBLEM, PARTICULARLY AMONGST DEVELOPED NATIONS!!!”
Good sources of pantothenic acid include the organ meats, brewer’s yeast, egg yolks, fish, chicken, whole grain cereals, cheese, peanuts, dried beans, and a variety of vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, green peas, cauliflower, and avocados. Vitamin B5 is also made by the bacterial flora of human intestines, another source for this important metabolic assistant or coenzyme.
Fatigue is probably the earliest and most common symptom of pantothenic acid deficiency. A diet high in refined and processed foods or a reduction or destruction of intestinal flora, most commonly by antibiotic use, can lead to a vitamin B5 deficiency.
Teenagers are more likely to experience a deficiency, because their diets often include high amounts of "fast foods" sugars, and refined flours (all low in B vitamins). And the problem may be compounded because the acne often associated with this type of diet is commonly treated with tetracycline antibiotics, which reduce the intestinal bacteria and thereby the production of pantothenic acid in the colon.
Studies of pantothenic acid deficiency in rats showed increased graying of the fur, decreased growth, and, in the extreme, hemorrhage and destruction of the adrenal glands. In humans, the decreased adrenal function caused by B5 deficiency can lead to a variety of metabolic problems. Fatigue is most likely; there may also be physical and mental depression, a decrease in hydrochloric acid production and other digestive symptoms, some loss of nerve function, and problems in blood sugar metabolism, with symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) being the most common. Pantothenic acid affects the function of cells in all systems, and a deficiency may reduce immunity, both cellular and antibody responses. Other symptoms of B5 deficiency include vomiting, abdominal cramps, skin problems, tachycardia, insomnia, tingling of the hands and feet, muscle cramps, recurrent upper respiratory infections, and worsening of allergy symptoms.
Therapeutic ranges are more like 250–500 mg daily and even higher, taken, of course, along with the other B complex vitamins. Individual needs vary according to food intake, degree of stress, and whether one is pregnant or lactating. Those people who eat a diet of processed foods, have a stressful lifestyle, or have allergies require higher amounts of pantothenic acid.
As with other B vitamins, there are no specific toxic effects from high doses of pantothenic acid. Over 1,000 mg daily has been taken for over six months with no side effects; when 1,500 mg or more is taken daily for several weeks, some people experience a superficial sensitivity in their teeth. However, it is possible that if B5 is taken without other B vitamins, it may create metabolic imbalance.
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