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Vitiligo: Some Vitamins Supplements Appear to be Useless

The serum levels of vitamin B12, folic acid and homocystein in patients with vitiligo
Ghiasi et al
Poster, EADV Annual Meeting 2015 – Copenhagen, Denmark



Why was this study done ?

-Studies suggest and recommend the use of vitamin B12 and folates (see “In more detail”). These conclusions are based on anecdotal evidence.
-In more detail…

  • It has been proposed that local increases in homocystein interfere with normal melanogenesis and take part in the disappearance of melanocytes from the skin.
    Serum homocysteine levels appear to be higher in patients with vitiligo, although other studies do not show this difference
  • B12 and folic acid are coenzymes which are essential in homocystein induced remethylation to meythionin, are claimed to be lower in patients with viitligo; based on this there would be therefore an excess of homocysteine but other studies have not shown this



What does this study show ?
-No differences were found in B12, folate and homocystein levels
This study from Tehran, Iran was done in 30 patients with vitiligo and compared with 30 age- and sex-matched controls (Randomized-Control Study). Measurements were done on blood samples.



A word on the 2 vitamins studied:

1. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
-It is a vitamin which plays an important part, in brain, nervous system and red blood cell formation (deficiency leads to macrocytic anemia)
-In the diet it can be found naturally in Cooked clams, Beef liver, Mackerel, Crab, Tofu, Fortified cereals, Beef red meat, Skim Milk, Swiss Cheese, Eggs…It is also found in some algae.

2. Folate or Vitamin B9
-Vitamin B9 is essential for functions:

  • DNA synthesis, repair of DNA by methylation
  • Cofactor playing a role in rapid cell division and growth. Children and adults both require folate to produce functional red blood cells and prevent anemia

In the diet, folates can be found in these foods: Lentils, Pinto Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Asparagus, Spinach, Navy Beans, Black Beans, Kidney Beans, Turnip Greens, Broccoli



Comment: myocardial infarction has been suggested to be associated with vitiligo and this is linked to a deficiency in homocystein

Bibliography:, wikipedia