Findings from a systematic review suggest there may be a role for nutraceutical supplements in the treatment of acne. However, the review’s authors note many studies were small, and future research should focus on larger randomized clinical trials to assess the utility of nutraceuticals in the treatment of acne.
According to the authors of the study, published online in JAMA Dermatology (Oct. 25, 2023), patients with acne are increasingly interested in nutraceuticals as a potential treatment option. However, there is uncertainty regarding the efficacy and safety of these products.
To clarify that question, researchers searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Web of Science databases for randomized clinical trials that evaluated oral nutraceutical interventions in individuals with acne. They examined both clinician-reported and patient-reported outcomes.
From an initial pool of 2,582 identified abstracts, 42 met the inclusion criteria. There were a total of 3,346 participants in the included studies.
The authors found studies of fair or good quality showed the potential benefit of vitamins B5 and D, botanical extracts (green tea), probiotics, and ω-3 fatty acids in the treatment of acne.
These interventions were most frequently associated with decreased lesion counts or improved investigator global assessment scores. Adverse effects were rare for most of the therapies evaluated, but gastrointestinal tract adverse effects were reported for zinc therapy.
“Physicians should be prepared to discuss the evidence regarding the potential role of nutraceuticals with patients,” the authors write.