Acne Archives

Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side

[ Acne Archive ]
[ Main Archives Page ] [ Glossary/Index ]
[ FAQ ] [ Recommended Books ] [ Bulletin Board ]
   Search this site!
 
        

Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side

Posted by cd on May 29, 2001 at 02:05:13:

Hi. I haven't visited this site in a few months, so please don't get me mixed up with some other cd's that I see have posted some inflammatory messages. There is something I feel I should let this community know about.

I finally got myself off pantothenic acid and I feel SO much better. Perhaps I should give some background information.

It all started about 5 months ago when I was searching for some relief from my acne. I was so tired of it, and I was extremely desperate at this point. I came across the suggestion of using pantothenic acid(vitamin b5) in an old archived message on this site to cure acne. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I gave it a shot. As the message suggested, I started off with 8 grams of pantothenic acid daily. The results came quickly and very impressively. I was extremely happy with what I had discovered, and I was very willing to sacrifice the money to pay for this "wonder vitamin" every month.

I continued this dosage for about 2 and a half months with consistent positive results, then--also according to the original message's suggestions--I attempted to cut myself down to 2 grams per day. Within a week my acne had come back, so I went back up to 8 grams, thinking that it would be okay to stay on this dosage. I maintained this dosage up until 3 days ago, which gives a total of about 5 months of pantothenic acid usage.

A few days ago I was in the doctor's office due to some severe cuts on both sides of my mouth(the left and right part where both lips meet). I had had these irritating cuts for almost a month, and they refused to heal. It seemed as though they would slowly get better over the course of a few days, and then I would wake up the next morning to find the wounds reopened and bleeding again. I finally gave in and made a doctor's appointment because of these things(They were more than just a nuisance. It was very painful to talk, laugh, eat, etc., and they were VERY noticeable and unattractive. They were actually quite large gashes).

The doctor told me they were due to one of two things: a food allergy, or a vitamin deficiency. As soon as he mentioned the second possible cause I finally realized what was going on. By megadosing on pantothenic acid, I had given myself a deficiency in several other vitamins. I stopped taking the b5 3 days ago. Right now my cuts are almost completely healed.

This may not seem like a big deal, but the cuts were really only the surface of what the pantothenic acid was doing to me. I had slowly become increasingly frail, fragile, and diseased over the past five months. I was always very tired and very nauseous. I had developed severe gastrointestinal problems whenever I ate anything at all. My skin had become extremely dry and rough. I would get dizzy after walking even the shortest distances. I had developed a case of insomnia. I was always angry and irritable. Most importantly, I had developed a prostate problem. I was constantly urinating(this is probably why my skin was dry. I think the pantothenic acid was dehydrating me). I had extreme muscle tension in my groin area making it very hard to sleep or exercise(as if I had the strength in the first place). I was just incredibly sick in too many ways to describe. I felt plain awful.

Every single one of these symptoms has either completely vanished or vastly improved over the past three days. I am confident that in a week or two I will finally be back to my normal, healthy self.

You may wonder why I didn't notice any of this was happening over the past five months. I also wonder. I suppose I was so hypnotized by the results of my complexion that I completely ignored what I was doing to the rest of my body. The idea that thse things were happening to me because of the vitamin b5 never occured to me, or--if it did--I had completely ignored that terrifying notion.

It's not easy to get off of this vitamin. Sometimes I feel that my looks are all I have going for me, and now I won't even have that.

The reason I'm writing this message is not to scare anyone off of pantothenic acid. However, in case you're going through what I was going through, you need to open your eyes. Anyone who is meticulous enough to eat a whole foods diet, and then megadose on a B vitamin is severely missing the point. Even if you supplement with other B vitamins to make up for the potential deficiency I believe you are harming yourself. I still, more now than ever before, stick by my original theory that b5 cures acne not by metabolizing fats as the scientific report states, but because of its drying side-effects1.

If you are thinking about starting to supplement with pantothenic acid, please be aware of my warning. Take special care to keep track of what is going on with your body so that you can stop usage if things get too serious.

Now I see people who, while never having supplemented with pantothenic acid, are recommending it to newcomers asking about accutane. Similarly, these same people warn against accutane without ever having used it themselves(I know this argument has been done to death, and I guess I'm jumping on the bandwagon). I have taken both of these, and pantothenic acid made me far sicker than accutane did. I'm not suggesting that this is the case for everyone, or even for ANYONE else, but I think we should think twice before blindly recommending a treatment. Then there is always the added comfort that accutane is meant to be taken under the supervision of a doctor.

Man, this message came out to be a lot longer than I meant it to be. Again, just to repeat myself, I'm not telling anyone what to do. It's your body, and you may not even see any of these side-effects. However, I think this information needs to be put out there so that people know about the potential side effects when they make their decision about how to attack their acne.

Thank you for reading,
cd.

1 I believe I've already stated why I didn't think pantothenic acid worked the way Lit-Hung Leung claims it does. Just in case I didn't, I'll state it again here. The doctor's entire argument is based on the belief that the "patient" is giving himself extra pantothenic acid, thus allowing himself to produce more coenzyme-A than he normally could. This extra coenzyme-A then aids in the metabolization of the fats which clog pores, thus reducing acne. The main flaw in this argument is that coenzyme-A is just that, an enzyme. Enzymes are NEVER used up in their designated processes. This is the definition of an enzyme. In other words, a few doses of extra pantothenic acid should create enough coenzyme-A to last us indefinitely. The notion that one should continue to supplement with a building block of an enzyme for months is, to me at least, ludicrous. This is the reason that the RDA of vitamin B-5 is only 10 mg(1/1000th of what Lit-Hung Leung's experimental patients were taking). Lit-Hung Leung confronts this inconsistency here udner the heading "Conclusion." In my opinion, he basically dodges the issue and gives a shady explanation.



good story

Posted by Sean on May 29, 2001 at 02:38:43:

In Reply to: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side posted by cd on May 29, 2001 at 02:05:13:

Some people believe that you cant mega dose on water soluable vitamins. But as you wrote; things can happen. So its good to be aware of whats going on etc ...

Sean

Follow Ups:


Re: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side

Posted by Barbara on May 29, 2001 at 04:49:24:

In Reply to: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side posted by cd on May 29, 2001 at 02:05:13:

Thanks for posting your experiences. Its important to hear the negative as well as the positive effects of a protocol. Hope you find something that does work for you!

Follow Ups:


Re: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side

Posted by King on May 29, 2001 at 05:17:11:

In Reply to: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side posted by cd on May 29, 2001 at 02:05:13:

Oh, duh! Jeez, I feel like such a moron now concerning your footnote. I don't know how I didn't realize something so obvious when I wrote a post about pantothenic acid earlier. Come to think of it, your experiences would explain an article that R. posted. This article linked pantothenic acid intake to a taurine deficiency. If excess pantothenic acid leads to a b6 deficiency, then that WOULD explain a taurine deficiency(I stupidly assumed that the article was claiming that the taurine deficiency arose from a CYSTEINE deficiency). Sorry for blabbering, I just feel stupid for not realizing something so obvious. Thanks for sharing your experience and your knowledge.

PS: I really like your writing style. It's how I WISH I sounded when I write.



Re: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side

Posted by Peter B on May 29, 2001 at 10:16:04:

In Reply to: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side posted by cd on May 29, 2001 at 02:05:13:

cd,
I applaud your analytical approach to the possible side-effects of using an isolate of pantothenic acid. However, I suggest you may have reached a conclusion that takes you further from effective treatment, rather than closer to it.

The effects of synthetic nutrients in the human body have been studied far more than those of naturally-occuring nutrients. Manufactured vitamins are far removed from the vitality of complexed food-state substances, and such synthetics are of different molecular weights than their natural counterparts. It's not suprising that human physiology responds to these sythetics and other pharmaceutical products in very similar ways. Unfortunately, that means potential toxicities or deficiencies (as you noted) when synthetic vitamins in large quantities compete more successfully for cell receptor sites that prevent natural vitamins from attaching in their proper balance.

While utilization of synthetics is far lower than that of natural vitamins according to various studies, due to their greater molecular weights, mega-dosing can introduce the problems noted above. For instance, a food-based B-complex vitamin compound, supplying 23mg of pantothenic acid and synergizing co-factors, provides approximately 18mg of utilized nutrient and about 180% of the RDA. An isoloate of 8g of pantothenic acid equals 80,000% of the RDA and does not function normally in the human body! This is why I take whole food supplements and only limited isolates, such as folic acid.

Generally, disease conditions can be addressed on the basis of correcting nutrient deficiencies. Some people require larger amounts of certain vitamins and minerals to function normally. But isolates do not address deficiencies normally. And their positive effects can be temporary, as you yourself experienced. Though synthetic nutrients can certainly impart some benefit, the failure of an isolate to work long-term is not a reason to abandon food-based nutrition as a potential solution. You have tried an isolate, now consider complex food-state nutrients that deliver their benefits naturally. Good luck.

Follow Ups:


=P

Posted by cd on May 29, 2001 at 11:57:20:

In Reply to: Re: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side posted by King on May 29, 2001 at 05:17:11:

Hey, King! Long time.

Don't beat yourself up over the enzyme thing heh. It took me forever to realize this glaringly obvious fact too :).

You bring up a good point. It hadn't occurred to me that some of my symptoms could be caused by a taurine deficiency. Now that I think about it, a taurine deficiency is definitely a likely candidate for what I was going through. To clarify for anyone who is interested, a chemical used by the body called taurine is created with the aid of vitamin B6. It gets pretty copmlicated, but just know that a B6 deficiency is a bad thing, heh.

And the only reason my writing is legible is because I'm a perfectionist and I reread everything I write like twenty times. Even then, there are still tens of thousands of mistakes I'd like to correct in that post =P



Follow Ups:


Re: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side

Posted by kmd on May 29, 2001 at 12:05:05:

In Reply to: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side posted by cd on May 29, 2001 at 02:05:13:

Hi cd, thanks for posting that.

This is such a new therapy that so little is really known about the side-effects that individuals may experience. It takes people like you speaking up so that in time we can all get the big picture about B5's potential effects - positive AND negative.

On that note, I've continued to have satisfying results from B5 for my acne (as you did). I've not had any of the problems you listed. However one thing did occur and I have wondered to myself if it is related to B5. I developed an irregular brown patch on the skin of my left temple - it is so strange. I posted about it when it happened, nobody knew what it could be. I thought it would go away, but it did not. I also have some brown fleckling here and there on my face that I am almost certain had begun to appear before B5, so I can't decide if B5 contributed to this or not. Anyway, this particular patch disturbs me, and I will mention it to my doctor next time I go in there.

I understand what you were saying about asking yourself why you didn't realize that B5 could be the cause of your problems. There is a denial factor because now that we've found something that finally, FINALLY brings relief from acne, we don't want to believe anything bad about it. We don't want to go back to having severe acne again. That is why when the symptoms come, we might have a fleeting and terrifying thought about could it possibly be the B5 and then tell ourselves, "naaaahh"!

As for me, since I feel fine and have had no effects (other than POSSIBLY the brown patch and I have NO idea if this is related at all), I will continue my B5 at the same dose of 5 grams per day. I am prepared to listen to my body if at any time it sends me messages that the B5 is harming me. If/when I notice something, I will post about it.


Follow Ups:


Re: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side (Archive in acne.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on May 30, 2001 at 07:19:15:

In Reply to: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side posted by cd on May 29, 2001 at 02:05:13:

Thanks, cd.

Namaste`

Walt

Follow Ups:


Re: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side

Posted by amy on June 05, 2001 at 09:28:36:

In Reply to: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side posted by cd on May 29, 2001 at 02:05:13:

I've taken B5 (5 grams) for approx. 2 months now with
amazing results. My skin cleared up within 1 week. After
about 1 month, I increased my dosage to 7.5 grams after a
couple of breakouts. The only problem I experienced But,
my skin actually felt more hydrated. I have had excema for
several years now which still bothers me whenever I consume
any yeast producing foods, coffee or alcohol. I believe my
excema was caused by the accutane I took (twice) several
years ago. It produced your same symptoms with the B5
(severe cuts on both sides of my mouth), among numerous
other drying negative side effects.

What I've learned about taking vitamins (synthetic
nutrients), is that in high doses after a period of time,
they can become toxic (I used to take Vit. A (25,000 mg) a
day for the same (acne) problem). About 2 weeks ago, I
decided to cut back on the B5 to see if the acne would come
back... but it didn't. So now I take it every 5 days or so
(5 g) to keep my acne in check. It just made sense to me
(I'm no scientist), that once a deficiency is corrected and
balance is restored, one no longer needs to keep "correcting
it." Come se dice..."too much of a good thing?"

"This (B vitamin complex) family of water-soluble vitamins
works together to unlock the nutrients in fats,
carbohydrates, and protein, making them available as energy.
When each component of the B vit. group is present in proper
ratio, the entire complex will work harmoniously in every
cell of the body."

It may take months for the condition to clear because "the
body has been run-down for a number of months or years, and
you have to gradually repair all the cells in the body."

Skin disorders are also aften due to dietary deficiencies
and/or poor absorption of calcium, zinc, vitamins A and E,
and EFA's. Dry weather, alcohol caffeine and refined foods
also cause dryness and a tendency towards irritation.

If anyone has anymore thoughts on this



Re: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side (Archive in acne.)

Posted by Walt Stoll on June 07, 2001 at 08:43:50:

In Reply to: Re: Pantothenic Acid's (possible) Bad Side posted by amy on June 05, 2001 at 09:28:36:

Thanks, Amy.

Remember that water soluble vitamins are not stored in the body like fat soluble ones (A,D,K, E.) and so any metabolic change will disappear in a few months IF the B5 actually made the difference.

Let us know what happens and what your maintenance dose turns out to be.

Walt

Follow Ups:


[ Acne Archive ]
[ Main Archives Page ] [ Glossary/Index ]
[ FAQ ] [ Recommended Books ] [ Bulletin Board ]
   Search this site!