Also known as pantothenic acid, vitamin B5 enables people to transfer fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into sources of energy. The body needs vitamin B5 to make hormones and red blood cells, and vitamin B5 supports the body’s immune system and helps the nervous system function properly. The digestive tract requires vitamin B5 to function, and vitamin B5 strengthens other vitamins, especially vitamin B2. Like the other B vitamins, vitamin B5 is water soluble; it is not stored in the body. While the actual amount of vitamin B5 varies from food to food, vitamin B5 is found in almost all foods. The name pantothenic references that fact. The Greek word pantothen means “on all sides” or “from all quarters,” and the Greek work pantos mean “everywhere.” This name was granted to imply pantothenic acid’s widespread in foods availability. Although crucial in energy metabolism, recent research discovered that a derivative of pantothenic acid called pantothenine might help regulate blood cholesterol levels. Vitamin B5 is more stable than some of the other B vitamins, even during the cooking process. Still, over time, it does degrade.
Pantothenic acid is required for the synthesis of coenzyme A (CoA), a coenzyme in chemical reactions that allow the release of energy from carbohydrates, lipids, and protein. It also activates fatty acids so they can yield energy and is used in the initial steps of fatty-acid synthesis. A deficiency of pantothenic acid might occur in alcoholism along with a nutrient-deficient diet. However, the symptoms would probably be hidden among deficiencies of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, and folate, so the pantothenic acid deficiency might be unrecognizable.
What Foods Provide Pantothenic Acid?
Excellent sources of vitamin B5 include shiitake and crimini mushrooms and cauliflower. Very good sources of vitamin B5 include sweet potatoes, broccoli, beet greens, asparagus, turnip greens, bell peppers, cucumbers, and celery. Good sources of vitamin B5 include avocado, lentils, dried peas, chicken, turkey, yogurt, salmon, rye, beef, eggs, potatoes, wheat, corn, shrimp, papaya, winter and summer squash, cow’s milk, cod, collard greens, raspberries, Brussels sprouts, grapefruit, pineapple, watermelon, carrots, oranges, cranberries, Swiss chard, spinach, cabbage, mustard greens, tomatoes, sea vegetables, figs, romaine lettuce, and bok choy. Vitamin B5 is found in multivitamins, B-complex dietary supplements, and supplements with only vitamin B5.
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What Are the Recommended Intake Levels of Pantothenic Acid?
The National Academy of Sciences has established adequate intake amounts for vitamin B5. Lactating women should take in 7 mg per day, while pregnant women should take in 6 mg per day. Males and females 14 years and older should take in 5 mg per day, while children between the ages of 9 and 13 years should take in 4 mg per day. Children between the ages of four and eight years should take in 3 mg per day, while children between the ages of one and three years should take in 2 mg per day. Infants between the ages of six months and one year should take in 1.8 mg per day, while newborns until six months should take in 1.7 mg per day. The National Academy of Sciences did not establish a tolerable upper intake level for the vitamin.
Health Benefits of Pantothenic Acid
Let us discuss on health benefits of Pantothenic acid:-
- Prevent cardiovascular ailments
Body requires pantothenic acid or Vitamin B5 in order to synthesize cholesterol. The derivative of pantothenic acid is known as pantethine which is studied for its capacity to positively influence heart health and cholesterol. It plays a role in use or regulation of cholesterol and helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels within arteries and prevent harmful plaque build-up that could lead to stroke or heart attack. Vitamin B5 is beneficial for creation of red blood cells that carries oxygen all over the body. It promotes hemoglobin levels in human body. It has a vital role in allowing Vitamin B2 to perform its job and Vitamin B2 is engaged in preventing and treatment of anemia. It is also required for steroid hormone synthesis and production of red blood cells and assists in transporting oxygen to the cells for mobilizing iron. Low content of Vitamin B2 is correlated with shortness of breath, fatigue, inable to exercise and various body functions.
- Maintain cholesterol level
High LDL cholesterol is a major risk factor of coronary heart problems and studies have shown that Vitamin B5 lowers bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels in blood of people with inflated blood fats. Meantime, it increases good cholesterol. Vitamin B5 in 900 mg daily dose reduces triglycerides and bad cholesterol lowering the chances of cardiovascular problems. Studies have shown that Vitamin B5 helps to lower cholesterol and triglycerides level in diabetic people though more evidence is required to prove this.
- Packed with energy
B Vitamins assist body in converting carbohydrates into glucose used as fuel and produce energy. It does this by synthesizing enzyme known as coenzyme-A (CoA), which break down sugars in form of glucose for energy. B vitamins assist the body to synthesize or metabolize fats and proteins. With other B vitamins, Vitamin B5 assists body in using foods to rebuild muscles, tissues and organs. As it has role in digestion and nutrient extraction, digestive ailments could be the sign of Vitamin B5 deficiency. Intake of foods rich in Vitamin B’s such as B5 assist proper function of metabolism at optimal levels.
- Nerve health
Pantothenic acid assists functioning of nerves especially for creating vital molecule known as acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a primary chemical allowing nervous system for communicating back and forth with organs. It makes spinal cord and brain to transfer nerve signals to immune system, lungs, heart, liver and spleen. It is used for sending nerve signals to muscles. So the deficiency of Vitamin B5 results in nerve damage and impairment in movement. Muscle impairment and pain and burning feet syndrome is the sign of serious Vitamin B deficiency.
- Promote cognition
B vitamins are correlated with improvement of mental function as they could lower the chances of ailments such as brain function illnesses, function loss and age related memory. Adequate amounts of B vitamins such as Vitamin B5 helps in preventing memory loss, chronic brain syndrome, migraine headaches, insomnia, motion sickness and alcohol dependence. It helps to regulate hormones and is able to lower stress, depression and anxiety. Vitamin B lowers body fatigue as it balance hormones associated to feelings of fatigue or alertness and enhance metabolism.
People who are chronically stressed have shown deficiencies of Vitamin B5. Those with deficiency of Vitamin B5 lose its ability to react stress effectively and also show signs of adrenal fatigue. It include problem in sleeping, exercising, mood swings, coping with problems, stress symptoms and weight gain or loss.
- Lower stress
Vitamin B5 is beneficial for its ability to deal with stress. Without other B vitamins and Vitamin B5, the body could not survive as B vitamins assist with adrenal function. It is recommended to intake B vitamin supplements for people who are chronically stressed and dealing with adrenal fatigue symptoms. B vitamins such as pantothenic acid calms nervous system, regulate hormones, battle chronic stress. It is responsible to regulate adrenal function and create stress hormone cortisol. Studies shows that supplementation of pantothenic acid stimulate capability of adrenal cells.
Adrenal glands produce cortisol which is heavily involved in body’s stress response which assists to be alert and counteract damage and perceived predators that are external sources which causes stress to the body. The bad reputation it got for weight gain, fatigue, anxiety cortisol have essential jobs in the body and helps body to counteract inflammation.
- Heal wounds
Studies show that Vitamin B5 is helpful to cure skin reactions and speeds up healing of cuts and wounds. It delays appearance of premature aging such as dark spots and wrinkles on skin. Recent studies have shown that pantothenic acid accelerates healing process due to some mechanisms which controls improvement in cellular multiplication. Exact mechanism is unclear due to which Vitamin B5 is beneficial for skin but is correlated in promoting skin strength after surgery.
- Treat rheumatoid arthritis
Studies show that Vitamin B5 helps to treat painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Study has shown that people having rheumatoid arthritis lowers B5 levels in blood than healthy people. Low presence of Vitamin B5 is related with severe symptoms of arthritis such as stiffness, painful movements and inflammation. High doses of Vitamin B5 are found to be helpful for people with pain and stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis. Intake of B vitamin supplements is associated with lowering joint pain, enhance muscle strength and few symptoms related with joint and muscle fatigue.
- Enhance immunity
Pantothenic acid helps in forming antibodies which is produced by immune system to defend potential threats. It includes allergic and environmental response, counteracting bacteria, parasite, common cold, viruses, toxins and flu. Vitamin B5 results in lowering proliferation of various harmful parasites and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. It produces adequate immune antibodies for remaining healthy and prevents disease. At the time of chronically stressed, some ability is lost to counteract toxins and invaders as body depletes energy while focusing on things which is shown as immediate threat. B vitamins control the response to stress as the stronger immunity lowers being prone to sick. It is must to have good digestive health or hormone function for having proper immune function. With insufficient B vitamins, one could not digest molecules found in carbohydrates, protein and fat foods and won’t be able to access fuel which keeps the body functioning and defends itself.
- Treatment for acne
Vitamin B5 is beneficial for maintaining skin and hair health. It lowers the chances of premature aging including signs of dark spots, wrinkles and discoloration. Study shows that Vitamin B5 has vital role in pigmentation or growth of hair follicles. It prevents loss of hair color during aging process. Recent studies show that Vitamin B5 supplements lowers acne breakouts in comparison to those who don’t take vitamin. Study has shown dietary supplements to be effective for acne facial lesions. Results shows that Vitamin B5 clears inflammatory skin acne blemishes without any side effects. It is due to the role that Vitamin B5 has in immunity and reduce inflammation.
Can Too Little or Too Much Pantothenic Acid Be Consumed?
Because vitamin B5 is found in so many foods, true deficiency is thought to be rare. But slight deficiencies do occur, especially among children, teens, women who are pregnant, and the elderly. 4 Symptoms of vitamin B5 deficiency include fatigue, insomnia, depression, irritability, vomiting, stomach pains, burning feet, and upper respiratory infections. In all probability, true vitamin B5 toxicity may be created only in a laboratory setting. “In research settings, use of supplemental pantothenic acid at daily doses more than 1000 times the Adequate Intake (AI) of 5 mg did not lead to any discernible side effects.”