|Vitamin :: Pantothenic Acid|
|Solubility:||Water soluble, which means any excess is removed in urine. A little may be stored in the liver but it is not kept by the body in significant amounts, unlike for fat soluble vitamins. It must be replenished into the body regularly.|
|On this Page:||What is Pantothenic Acid · Benefits · Deficiency Signs · Foods · Supplements · RDA · Toxicity | Overdose|
Vitamin B5, or Pantothenic Acid, is one of the B Complex vitamins which is required by all cells in the body.
It is widely available in most plant and animal foods. (Its name is derived from the Greek word “pantos” which means “everywhere”, in reference to its wide availability in plants and animals, even if in small amounts.)
However freezing and canning and other commercial refinement processes can cause up to 70% of this vitamin to be lost.
Pantothenic acid, like the other B vitamins, plays a critical role in energy production, which is why feelings of weakness, chronic fatigue, and low energy are often related to deficiency of the B vitamins.
The body converts most of the vitamin B5 it consumes to coenzyme A, or CoA. Coenzyme A is needed for many essential chemical reactions in the body, including the synthesis of hormones and release of energy.
This list summarizes the ways vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, benefits our health.
|::||Vitamin B5 Benefits & Functions|
|1.||constituent of coenzyme A (CoA) which is critical for many biochemical reactions that must take place in cells|
|2.||known as the “anti-stress” vitamin because of its importance in the production of the adrenal hormones that help our bodies handle physical and mental stresses|
|3.||needed for production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, that transmits nerve impulses between nerve cells|
|4.||vital for production of hemoglobin, the oxygen carrying compound in red blood cells that transports oxygen to all parts of our body|
|5.||needed to convert carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy|
|6.||required for the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol to ensure adequate supply of healthy fats in cells|
|7.||supports normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract|
|8.||enables the body to utilize other vitamins and minerals|
|9.||needed for formation of antibodies to ward off infections|
Pantothenic Acid Deficiency Symptoms and Causes
Deficiency is rare due to the widespread availability of this vitamin in food. When it does happen, it is mainly due to malnutrition or digestion problems.
Pregnant and breast-feeding women may need more vitamin B5. Sleeping pills, sulfa drugs, estrogen replacement, and alcohol, might also increase the intake required.
|::||Vitamin B5 Deficiency Symptoms|
|1.||numbness and tingling, with shooting or burning pains in the feet|
|2.||chronic fatigue or feeling of weakness|
|3.||mental depression or irritability or listlessness|
|4.||pantothenic acid levels have been found to be lower in rheumatoid arthritis sufferers|
|9.||increased susceptibility to colds or infections|
Pantothenic Acid Foods
Rich vitamin B5 foods
· animal liver · cauliflower · mushrooms · raw rice bran.
Other foods with pantothenic acid
· beans / legumes · beef · brewer’s yeast · chicken · eggs · fresh vegetables such as broccoli, chard, collard greens, tomato, turnip greens, winter squash, yellow corn · grapefruit · pork · salt-water fish · shellfish · strawberries · sunflower seeds · whole grains · yogurt.
Pantothenic Acid Supplements
Taking vitamins and minerals in their correct balance is vital to the proper functioning of all vitamins. They work synergistically, which means that the effectiveness of any one nutrient requires or is enhanced, sometimes dramatically, by the presence of certain other nutrients.
For this reason, if you are looking to take supplements for maintenance of optimal health, the recommended approach is to take a multi-vitamin that has the proper balance of all the necessary nutrients your body needs.
For a list of reputable top ranked vitamin and mineral supplements chosen in an independent supplement review, see Best Multivitamin Supplements. Many of these are manufactured to pharmaceutical or nutraceutical GMP compliance, which is the highest multivitamin standard possible.
Keep in mind, however, that while vitamin supplements are useful to plug nutritional gaps that are almost inevitable in modern diets, and to ensure we get optimal doses of nutrients, they are no substitute for a good diet. Instead, use them to complement a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Pantothenic Acid RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance)
The Food & Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, in their 1997-2001 collaboration between the US and Canada, set the daily Adequate Intake (AI) of Vitamin B5 as follows.
|Life Stage | Gender||Vitamin B5 Dosage | Day|
|Infants 0-6 mths||1.7* mg|
|Infants 7-12 mths||1.8* mg|
|Children 1-3 yrs||2* mg|
|Children 4-8 yrs||3* mg|
|Girls 9-13 Yrs||4* mg|
|Boys 9-13 Yrs||4* mg|
|Females 14-18 Yrs||5* mg|
|Males 14-18 Yrs||5* mg|
|Females 19-50 Yrs||5* mg|
|Males 19-50 Yrs||5* mg|
|Females older than 50 Yrs||5* mg|
|Males older than 50 Yrs||5* mg|
|Pregnant Women 14-18 Yrs||6* mg|
|Pregnant Women 19-50 Yrs||6* mg|
|Lactating Mothers 14-18 Yrs||7* mg|
|Lactating Mothers 19-50 Yrs||7* mg|
These dosages are the minimum required per day to ward off deficiency. In therapeutic use of this nutrient, dosage is increased as necessary for the ailment, keeping in mind Vitamin B5 toxicity levels.
1 µg = 1 mcg = 1 microgram = 1/1,000,000 of a gram
1 mg = 1 milligram = 1/1,000 of a gram
* Indicates AI figures based on Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) figures
Pantothenic Acid Overdose Symptoms, Toxicity Level & Side Effects
As pantothenic acid is water soluble, it is less likely to accumulate in our bodies, and therefore there is low risk of toxicity.
In its 1998 guidelines, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine did not set a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for it due to lack of data on adverse vitamin B5 side effects.
In the absence of guidelines, however, it is still wise to avoid pantothenic acid overdose (excessive amounts above the RDA) except for therapeutic use under a healthcare professional.
Very high doses might cause vitamin B5 side effects such as drowsiness, fluid retention and diarrhea. It may also interfere with absorption of biotin produced in the intestines.
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|1.||Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary reference intakes for thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, biotin, and choline. Washington, DC: National Academy Press; 1998.|
|2.||U.S. National Libary of Medicine [NLM] & National Institutes of Health [NIH]: MedlinePlus. NLM-NIH home page. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus>. Use the built-in search function to find specific data. Accessed 2009 March – June.|
|3.||The George Mateljan Foundation: The world’s healthiest foods [WHFoods]. WHFoods home page. <http://www.whfoods.com>. Accessed 2009 March – June.|
|4.||Balch JF, Balch PA. Prescription for nutritional healing: A practical A-Z reference to drug-free remedies using vitamins, minerals, herbs & food supplements. Garden City Park, New York: Avery Publishing; 1990.|
|5.||Ulene A. Dr. Art Ulene’s complete guide to vitamins, minerals and herbs. New York, NY: Avery Publishing; 2000.|