Vitiligo is an autoimmune condition that damages cells that form the brown pigment in the skin, leading to a change of color. While there is no known cure for vitiligo, studies involving vitamin treatment have provided mixed results.
Studies have shown that those with vitiligo are often deficient in certain vitamins, like vitamin D, folic acid, B12, copper, and zinc. Some doctors prescribe these vitamins, along with CoQ10, vitamin E, and vitamin C to stabilize the immune system.
Most people with vitiligo generally use vitamins and supplements in combination with other treatments. Some studies have shown that folic acid, B12, and sun exposure, when used together, can aid in re-pigmenting the skin. Consult your doctor for the appropriate dosages. A few supplement combinations can be dangerous when combined or when taken out of balance with one another.
Common vitamin deficiencies in people with vitiligo include folic acid, B12, copper, and zinc. As a result, doctors may prescribe vitamin supplements to boost your immune system.
Vitamin B12 with Folic Acid
Studies focusing on vitamin B12 deficiencies and vitiligo show a high incidence of vitiligo among individuals with pernicious anemia, a condition that hinders B12 absorption. Nevertheless, no recent studies indicate that supplementing vitamin B12, or B12 with folic acid, will help skin pigmentation.
According to the Linus Pauling Institute, epidemiological studies discovered that autoimmune diseases advance as the latitude increases, indicating that vitamin D synthesis is related in the development of these diseases. The results of several studies also suggest that adequate vitamin D intake could decrease the risk of autoimmune ailments. With this in mind, doctors should test vitiligo patients for vitamin D deficiency and prescribe supplements.
Copper and Zinc
A study appearing in “Veterinary Record” looked at buffalo and dairy cattle in India with leukoderma, another name for vitiligo. Researchers discovered that a treatment combining copper and zinc improved moderate leukoderma within ten days. Unfortunately, 20 percent of recovered animals relapsed after the treatment ended.
Other Studies on Vitamins and Vitiligo
According to Healthwise, a study published in “Cutis” in 1992 supplemented participants with 1 to 10 milligrams of folic acid per day, 1 gram of vitamin C per day, and 1,000 microgram injections of vitamin B12 every two weeks. Accordingly, eight people got back some pigmentation in their vitiligo areas after three months. In a different study written in the journal “Acta Dermato-Venereologica” in 1997, participants took 10 milligrams of folic acid per day and 2,000 micrograms of B12 per day by mouth. They also underwent sun exposure therapy. About half had some re-pigmentation in a three to six month period.