Vitamins are crucial for a healthy body, we all know that. And we’ve been told so by everyone growing up. They have a role in pretty much every function and chemical reaction in the human body: boosting the immune system, normal development, and growth, helping cells and organs function properly, forming red blood cells, brain activity, healthy metabolism, and many others. You get the picture – vitamins are much needed for normal functioning of the entire body.
But too much of a good thing can be bad. Many people are under the impression that the body gets rid of excess vitamins through urinating, but that’s not true for all the vitamins. An overdose from certain vitamins can cause havoc in the human body, and not only reverse the initial benefits that came from taking it, but also introduce new chaos and side effects that could’ve been easily prevented.
For this reason, it’s important to educate ourselves on the subject of vitamins and not just religiously ingest multivitamin supplements because we’ve heard somewhere that it’s good for the body.
B12 is one of those vitamins that’s not easy to overdose from, but it’s certainly plausible. First, let’s clarify what its functions actually are and what the normal dosage for healthy individuals is.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, one that’s essential for many functions such as maintaining cell health and producing DNA. It actually has one of the most complex structures of all the vitamins.
Needless to say, healthy levels of B12 are extremely important for bodily functions. But what exactly does B12 do once it gets in our system?
In addition to helping the body make DNA, B12 also maintains healthy nerve and blood cells and prevent anemia.
But it doesn’t perform these tasks under any circumstances or on its own. The hydrochloric acid that’s located in the stomach separates the ingested B12 from the protein. Then, it combines it with another protein, one that’s made by the stomach, called intrinsic factor. After that, it’s absorbed in the body.
Some factors influence the formation of the intrinsic factor, such as pernicious anemia. People who suffer from this condition can’t produce enough of it, which leads to poor absorption of B12.
The recommended dose of B12 will largely depend on each individual. For instance, children need less mcg per day than adults. The average adult needs around 2.4 mcg per day, whereas children need around 1.2 mcg, then those who are older than 9 need 1.8 mcg and teenagers need 2.4 mcg. Breastfeeding women need a higher dose, ranging from 2.6 mcg to 2.8 mcg.
Vitamin B12 can be found in meat and dairy since farmers inject the animals with B12 shots regularly.
Some food is fortified with B12, such as breakfast cereals, nutritional yeast, and plant milks.
However, most people supplement with B12 injections, sprays or oral supplements. They’re inexpensive, very effective in keeping steady B12 levels and most importantly – they don’t cause any harm to our overall health as other sources do. There are many easily-accessible brands on the market you can choose from.
There are two types of vitamin B12: methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin. The one which is more absorbed in our bodies is methylcobalamin.
What’s the correlation between B12 and acne? This relationship is complex to explain, and the studies which are devoted to answering this question are fairly recent, so we don’t have a lot of information on the subject. According to certain studies, injections can change the genetic expression of P.acnes, which is the main bacteria found in the pores, which contributes to the appearance of acne. Some people who take injections for anemia end up with acne breakouts afterward.
When it comes to oral supplements, dermatologists claim that they rarely result in acne breakouts. Injections typically contain a larger dosage of B12 than oral supplements, which are often taken sporadically.
Another factor which might influence whether the patient suffers from acne after injecting B12 is the types of vitamin B12. Those who have acne-prone skin might suffer the side effect of acne if they take methylcobalamin. If you notice that this kind is making your skin worse, then you should consider switching to cyanocobalamin and talking to your doctor about it. Cyanocobalamin is synthetic and it doesn’t absorb as much as the other one does, so it will likely agree well with your skin.
If you do break out from excess B12, don’t despair! The good news is that your acne will probably go away a couple of weeks after the last time you took B12.
Now that we’ve explained the relationship between vitamin B12 and acne, let’s take a closer look at what recent studies have to say on this matter.
Studies show that not only can vitamin B12 affect the acne-causing bacteria, but it can also increase the overall inflammation in the body.
As mentioned previously, vitamin B12 changes the gene expression of the acne-causing bacteria, which, in turn, increases the levels of inflammation. When scientists examined the skin reaction of people who don’t have acne upon supplementing with B12, they found that the supplementation repressed the expression of genes of P.acnes, almost as low as the levels of people who have acne-prone skin.
Only one short week after receiving B12 supplements, one in ten subjects developed acne. Their gene-expression was also changed.
So, who is more prone to having a similar reaction? Luckily, not all B12 levels create equal chaos. This occurs mostly when people supplement with too much B12, beyond their daily needs.
That being said, this is not to say that all excess B12 will end up on your face in an inflamed pimple. This doesn’t mean that every single person who might overdose with B12 is prone to developing acne. That’s exceptionally hard to accomplish in the first place, and your reaction to the excess vitamin will depend largely on your skin type, your history with acne and your genetic makeup.
It can be concluded that more research needs to be done on this subject. We need a deeper understanding of how the things we ingest combined with the bacteria in our bodies can lead to certain diseases and what we can do about it in order to prevent those illnesses.
Supplements come in all shapes, sizes, and quality. Vitamin B12 supplements may in isolation, or B12 might be combined with other vitamins in a multivitamin pill.
Always read the label and see the dosage of a given supplement. If it’s over the recommended daily dose (2.4 mcg), either use it less frequently than you would normally or switch to another supplement that’s not as potent. So, how to correctly mouth down B12 for acne prevention? Finding the right dosage is key.
Supplements are necessary for vegans and vegetarians, especially for those who don’t eat many foods fortified with B12. However, deficiencies can happen to anyone, regardless of their diet.
If you suspect that you have low B12 levels, you can get a blood test which will determine the amount of B12 that’s in your body. You’d be surprised by how common B12 deficiencies are, despite the serious side effects that come with them. Pay close attention to the deficiency symptoms section, so that you can prevent this from happening.
The most important thing you should keep in mind when it comes to B12 and acne is that the right dosage can save you from a lot of trouble and prevent breakouts. If you have acne-prone skin, notice which supplements break you out. Then, if it’s possible, you can switch to other methods of getting an adequate amount of B12 such as injections or sprays.
The type of B12 might also cause you to break out. So, if you notice that your skin isn’t getting along with one kind of vitamin B12, then you can switch to the other one and use it for a while before determining whether it has the same effect.
When discussing acne prevention, it’s important to look at the big picture. Yes, there is enough evidence to conclude that there’s a link between vitamin B12 consumption and acne, but that doesn’t mean that we should ignore all the other contributors to pesky pimples such as a junk food diet, not getting enough sleep and exercise and excessive stress. Before pointing the finger at B12 make sure that you have all these other aspects in check. That’s the best way to ensure optimal skin health in the long run.
If you’re diagnosed with a B12 deficiency and you already have acne, it’s pretty normal to be concerned about getting more pimples once you start supplementing with vitamin B12. Luckily, that probably won’t be the case. Don’t let other people’s experience stop you from supplementing with this crucial vitamin, because it can have consequences in the future.
Your doctor will prescribe a suitable dose of vitamin B12 and they will monitor your levels in the following months. Always tell your doctor if you notice any new breakouts or other unusual symptoms. If this occurs, they will probably lower your dose. And if that doesn’t work, they might switch the form of the supplement or the kind of B12 which they’ve prescribed to you.
Vitamin B12 deficiency might result in more than one skin problem. There are a few skin-related signs you’re B12 deficient that you might want to watch out for. these include:
When it comes to acne, it can definitely indicate low B12 levels. There are many testimonials out there from people whose stubborn acne cleared a few months after following regular supplementation. Some doctors claim that higher vitamin B12 levels lower cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone. And we’ve all heard by now that stress can lead to acne, so it’s not very surprising that supplementation might work in this case.
Most people get enough vitamin B12 through their diet. However, some people aren’t getting enough of it on a daily basis, or their body doesn’t allow for proper absorption of this vitamin. This can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency.
As we age, the absorption of vitamin B12 becomes progressively harder. Some lifestyle habits such as drinking, certain types of medication and surgeries might also cause poor absorption. In addition, there are several health conditions that might result in a vitamin B12 deficiencies such as pernicious anemia, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, parasites, atrophic gastritis, or some autoimmune diseases like Graves’ and lupus.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian and you don’t supplement with B12 regularly, you’re also at the risk of being deficient.
Here are a few symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency that you should be aware of:
For most people, supplementing is enough to solve the problem. Make sure to consult with your doctor if you suspect that you have any of the abovementioned symptoms.
Acne can be an extremely draining and demotivating skin condition to deal with, especially when we’re bombarded on a daily basis with information about all the things that can lead to acne. That list seems to be endless, and it’s getting longer by the minute.
But don’t despair! There are certain oral medications such as Accutane or birth control pills which are very successful when combined with topical treatment. And if you want to take the natural route, don’t miss this DIY natural spot treatment guide.
Speaking from personal experience, inadequate B12 levels can significantly worsen acne and cause new breakouts. Even though it doesn’t happen that often, it’s extremely important to keep that in mind if you’re currently looking for an acne cure and check your levels of vitamin B12.
Stay strong and keep looking out for a cure, because that’s the only way to ensure that you will find one. Take a look at your other habits that might also affect acne and make changes if needed.
Acne doesn’t define you; it’s merely another health problem that needs addressing. And you’re much more than your current health problems.
This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances, and its goal is to offer a general view of the subject. In case you are suffering from a severe case of acne, you should consult with a dermatologist or a certified medical professional.