Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Functions, Foods, Health Benefits, Doses, Deficiency Symptoms

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Functions | Foods | Health Benefits | Dose | Deficiency Symptoms

What is Vitamin B5?

Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is a crucial nutrient required for human life. Your body needs it to produce blood cells, and it helps you absorb nutrients from the food you eat by converting them into energy.

Vitamin B5 is one of the ‘eight B vitamins.’ All B vitamins help you convert the fats, proteins, and carbohydrates you eat into energy.

Absorption & Storage of Pantothenic Acid:

Pantothenic acid is readily absorbed from the small intestine through the portal vein into the general circulation. If ingested above the requirement, it will not be stored in the body; but it is metabolized by tissues or excreted in the urine.

What Are the Functions of Vitamin B5?

Vitamin B5 has a lot of health benefits for the human body and needed for:

  • Healthy skin, eyes, and hair
  • Cholesterol synthesis
  • Maintaining a healthy digestive system
  • Proper functioning of the brain and liver
  • Helping the body use other vitamins, particularly vitamin B2
  • Producing red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body
  • Making coenzyme A (CoA) which help build and breakdown fatty acids
  • Producing sex-related and stress hormones in the adrenal glands

What are the Main Food Sources of Vitamin B5?

Pantothenic acid is found to some extent in almost all plant and animal foods because vitamin β5 is found in all living cells. The best B5 sources are chicken, beef, organ meats, fortified grains, and some vegetables.

What are the Main Food Sources of Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid

The best way to ensure that you are getting enough vitamin B5 is to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet every day. B5 is an easy vitamin to include in a healthy diet plan.

Foods High in Vitamin B5 are:

·         Beef·         Chicken breast
·         Organ meats·         Fish
·         Lobster·         Salmon
·         Eggs·         Dairy milk
·         Yogurt·         Mushrooms
·         Members of the cabbage family·         White & sweet potatoes
·         Whole-grain cereals·         Fortified Cereals
·         Nuts·         Seeds
·         Brown rice·         Oats
·         Broccoli·         Avocado

Do You Know?

The name Pantothenic acid comes from the Greek root pantos, which means “everywhere” because it is present in various foods. ‎

However, during processing, vitamin B5 is lost from food. Fresh vegetables, meats, and whole grains contain more vitamin B5 than canned, refined, and frozen foods.

How Much Vitamin B5 Should You Get?

Dietary recommendations for vitamin B5 vary based on age. According to experts, the daily intake of vitamin B5 should be as follows:

  • Infants birth – 6 months: 1.7 mg/day
  • Infants from 7 months – 1 year: 1.8 mg/day
  • Children 1 – 3 years: 2 mg/day
  • Children 4 – 8 years: 3 mg/day
  • Children 9 – 13 years: 4 mg/day 
  • Teens 14 – 18 years: 5 mg/day
  • Adult 19 years – older: 5 mg/day
  • Pregnant women: 6 mg/day
  • Breastfeeding women: 7 mg/day

Note: Your health care professional may recommend higher doses to treat certain “conditions.”

What Are The Health Benefits of Vitamin B5?

What are the health benefits of Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic Acid
  1. Vitamin B5 Helps Treat Dyslipidemia

B5 has a potential role in lowering cholesterol levels in people with dyslipidemia. Because pantothenic acid helps break down fats. 

Dyslipidemia is a condition that has an abnormally high level of fats or lipids in the blood (LDL ‘bad cholesterol, triglycerides) and low levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. Low levels of CoA can prevent the breakdown and removal of fats in the blood.

  1. Vitamin B5 as an Antioxidant Effect

It is suggested that pantothenic acid may have an antioxidant effect that helps reduce low-grade inflammation – which is present in the early stages of heart disease.

  1. Pantothenic Acid Can Counter High Cholesterol

The body needs vitamin B5 to metabolize cholesterol, but vitamin B5 can also help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol in the blood.

According to a study, people with high levels of LDL-cholesterol were given 300 mg of vitamin B5 every day for 16 weeks, their levels “significantly” decreased.

  1. Vitamin B5 is Used in Cosmetics

B5 is often added in hair and skin products, as well as makeup. A chemical made from B5 is used in lotions and creams designed to moisturize the skin. In hair products, B5 can help add shine, volume along with improving texture. 

  1. Pantothenic Acid Can be Used To Clear Acne

Research suggests that taking vitamin B5 for acne could be a viable option for this skin condition. US researchers found that people with acne who took 2.2 grams of vitamin B5 daily for 12 weeks reported fewer blemishes and better skin quality because pantothenic acid has skin-softening and antibacterial activities.

  1. Pantothenic Acid Supports Healthy Hair

Vitamin B5 is often added to hair products to keep hair looking shiny and long. It also improves the texture of hair that has been physically or chemically damaged. One study found that pantothenic acid ‎can help stop hair thinning.

  1. B5 Can Help Slow Down Grey

Vitamin B5 is believed to help prevent gray hair, and one study found that a vitamin B5 deficiency can lead to “premature aging.”

  1. B5 is used for Skincare and Wound Healing

Preliminary research suggests that vitamin B5 has moisturizing effects on the skin. Other studies suggest that vitamin B5 supplementation can speed wound healing, especially after surgery. It can be especially true when vitamin B5 is combined with vitamin C.

  1. B5 Can Help Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

Research suggests that vitamin B5 may improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. One study discovered that people with rheumatoid arthritis might have lower levels of B5 in their blood than healthy people. 

  1. Vitamin B5 Used for Many Skin Conditions

It can also be applied to the skin to relieve itching and promote healing of skin conditions such as:

  • Eczema
  • Poison ivy
  • Insect bites
  • Diaper rash

Note: Dexpanthenol has also been used to prevent and treat skin reactions caused by radiotherapy.

Vitamin B5 is Used in Medical Conditions

People take vitamin B5 supplements and derivatives to help with a variety of conditions. These conditions include:

AcneAllergiesADHD
AlcoholismAsthmaDepression
Carpal tunnel syndromeBurning Feet syndromeColitis
Celiac diseaseChronic fatigue syndromeConjunctivitis
ConvulsionsCystitisDiabetic nerve pain
DandruffBaldnessEnlarged prostate
DizzinessHeadacheIrritability
Heart failureInsomniaLeg cramps
Low blood sugarLow blood pressureNeuralgia
Multiple sclerosisMuscular dystrophyParkinson’s disease
Premenstrual syndromeObesityOsteoarthritis
Respiratory disordersRheumatoid arthritisWound infections
Salicylate toxicityTongue infectionsYeast infections

Note: Although people take vitamin B5 for these conditions, there is little evidence that it helps most conditions. More scientific research is required to determine its ‘effectiveness.’

What Are the Available Forms of Vitamin B5?

Vitamin B5 can be found in vitamin B complex and multivitamins. Or it is sold separately under calcium pantothenate and pantothenic acid. It is available in different forms, such as tablets, capsules, and soft gels.

Vitamin B5 Deficiency Signs & Symptoms 

Deficiency is rare, except in people with other nutrient deficiencies, such as severe malnutrition or due to genetic mutations. Symptoms of deficiency can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle cramps
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps
  • Burning or numbness sensations in the feet or hands

Vitamin B5 Toxicity 

No toxic level of pantothenic acid from food sources was observed. Mild diarrhea or stomach upset has been reported with very high daily doses of 10 grams/day. However, it is rare, and a tolerable upper limit for pantothenic acid has not been established.

Pantothenic Acid/Vitamin B5 – Takeaway

Vitamin B5 is a nutrient that helps us maintain good general health. Your body needs vitamin B5 to make blood cells and to convert food into energy.

It’s unlikely that you will suffer from vitamin B5 deficiency or require supplements as long as you consume a balanced, healthy diet.

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