Is This Vitamin Behind Your Bad Skin?

Supplement junkies beware...

Vitamins are big business. Everywhere we turn we are shown shiny little pills with the promise of longer hair, better nails and healthier looking skin, but did you know that certain vitamins could actually be causing your bad skin?

Dermatologist and Beverly Hills based dermatologist Ava Shamban spoke to Allure about the damage B12 could be doing to your complexion. “It’s a necessary vitamin to produce red blood cells, but it can make those with acne prone skin more susceptible to breakouts,” she said. “There have been reports that the oral supplement does cause inflammation and acne through altering the metabolism of bacteria that live on the skin.”

P.acnes are bacteria found in the pores of people with acne and a study from the Science Translational Medicine found that an injection of a vitamin B12 can actually change the genetic expression of P. acnes. Although these results can’t be specifically applied to oral supplements, they also added B12 to P.acnes growing in a petri dish to monitor the effects. “These P. acnes produced porphyrins, which promote inflamation in acne,” says Shamban. In other words, not good.

But, if you’ve been popping B12’s for a while and are freaking out – don’t. dermatologist S.Manjula Jegasothy, founder of the Miami Skin Institute, told Allure that it’s rare for you to get a massive breakout because of the supplement. So, that’s good news. But what does B12 even do and do we actually need it? B12 Is important for normal functioning of basically the entire brain and body.

How do you know if you’re deficient? Extreme tiredness, lack of energy and pins in needles in your legs and feet can all be indications of a B12 deficiency, if you’re worried head to your doctor who will be able to give you a quick blood test to tell you whether you are or not. You shouldn’t start taking regular supplements unless advised to do so by a doctor, but if you have been taking all the B12’s don’t be scared, it cant really do you much harm, you’ll just need to take a few more trips to the toilet than normal.