Excess B12 linked to common skin condition
New research suggests excess amount of vitamin B12 may increase the likelihood some people will develop acne.
“There are certain genes that could potentially influence whether people have acne breakouts or not,” said study leader Huiying Li, assistant professor of molecular and medical pharmacology at the University of California, Los Angeles. “These genes could be targets of future drug treatment.”
The study, which appears in the June 24 issue of Science Translational Medicine, looked at what factors make people more prone to acne. Li and her colleagues found signs that vitamin B12, found in dairy foods and shellfish, may boost acne by disrupting a type of skin bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes.
After making the connection, the researchers analyzed 10 people with clear skin who were told to begin taking vitamin B12 supplements. Their extra consumption of vitamins affected how genes in skin bacteria processed the vitamin.
So does this mean we should reduce our intake of vitamin B12? It’s not that simple, say the experts. A B12 deficiency can lead to serious health problems, including anemia; digestive troubles and neurological issues, such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, vision problems and memory loss.
“I don’t think we have studied enough to suggest [cutting down on vitamin B12],” Li said. The study suggests high levels of B12 in the bloodstream might make acne worse for some people, but more research is needed to understand fully the study’s findings.
Li also indicated it’s not clear what the study results could mean forpeople with acne or those who want avoid the skin condition.