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B5 – Pantothenic Acid

What is Pantothenic Acid (B5)?

Pantothenic acid, a water-soluble vitamin, also known as vitamin B5, is part of the B group vitamins. It is sometimes classified as the “anti-stress vitamin”.

What does Pantothenic Acid (B5) do?

Vitamin B5-Pantothenic acid is used by the body to aid in the release of energy as well as assist in the metabolizing of fat, protein and carbohydrates. The vitamin has an important role to play in the body because it supports the adrenal glands by secreting hormones like cortisone. Those same hormones are there to assist the metabolism; they help to fight many allergies and are very beneficial in the maintenance of the nerves, muscles, and healthy skin. Not only does Pantothenic Acid play a large role in the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates for energy, it is critical to the manufacture of red blood cells, and other hormones produced in the glands. Vitamin B5 is also important in maintenance of a healthy digestive tract because it helps the body use other vitamins. And though there is no real evidence to state it, Pantothenic Acid also known as Vitamin B5, is sometimes called the anti-stress vitamin.

Where is Pantothenic Acid (B5) found?

The name of the vitamin Pantothenic Acid is derived from a Greek root word ‘pantos’ which means everywhere, due to it being available in a large selection of foods. However, much of the vitamin B5 is diminished when food is processed. The best way to maintain the amount of the vitamin in food is to use whole unprocessed grains, fresh meats, and vegetables because they possess more of the vitamin than frozen, refined, or canned foods. Though found in numerous foods, the richest sources of B5 are; corn, brewer’s yeast, kale, cauliflower, tomatoes, broccoli, legumes, avocado, lentils, organ meats such as liver and kidney, egg yolks, turkey, chicken, duck, milk, peanuts, split peas, soybeans, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes, cereals and whole-grain breads, lobster, salmon, and wheat germ.

What happens when someone is vitamin B5 deficient?

Many people may not realize that they are deficient of vitamin B5 because so many other factors play a role in how they feel. If a person experiences symptoms such as frequent infection, fatigue, headaches, vomiting, abdominal pains, nausea, tingling and numbness in the feet and hands, insomnia, muscle weakness, depression, and cramps, among other things, they may be suffering from a vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) deficiency. On the other hand and even though it does not appear to be toxic in high dosage; side effects like digestive disturbances, teeth sensitivity, water retention, and diarrhea have been recorded.

Helpful food sources, supplements and additional benefits of Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)

As stated earlier, some of the foods that are rich in B5 include but is not limited to; brewer’s yeast, eggs, beef, kidney, fresh vegetables, legumes, mushrooms, liver, nuts, royal jelly, pork, saltwater fish, whole wheat and rye flour, and torula yeast. Studies suggest that the vitamin may speed wound healing and even help with symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Some even believe that pantothenic acid is helpful to fight wrinkles as well as graying of the hair.

A health benefit to remember is; pantothenic acid can be lost in cooking, as well as when exposed to acids like vinegar, or alkaline products like baking soda. It is also damaged greatly in canning.

Vitamin B5 may be found in B complex vitamins, multivitamins, or separately sold under the names calcium pantothenate and pantothenic acid. It is available in an array of forms including softgels, tablets, and even capsules.

 

AIs (Adequate Intakes)

Infants
0-6 months
7-12 months
Milligrams per Day
1.7
1.8
Children
1-3 years
4-8 years

2
3
Males
9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years

4
5
5
5
5
5
Females
9-13 years
14-18 years
19-30 years
31-50 years
50-70 years
> 70 years

4
5
5
5
5
5
Pregnancy
< 19 years
19-30 years
31-50 years

6
6
6
Lactation
< 19 years
19-30 years
31-50 years

7
7
7

Source: USDA Dietary Reference Intakes