Health Benefits Of Vitamin B5 ( Pantothenic Acid )
Health Benefits Of Vitamin B5 ( Pantothenic Acid )
Pantothenic acid, also known as Vitamin B5, and Pantothenate is a water-soluble vitamin from the B group of vitamins. Water soluble means that this vitamin dissolves in water. It runs through the bloodstream and is excreted in urine. We do not store it and need to consume it every day to replenish supplies.
Vitamin B5 is commercially available as D-pantothenic acid, as well as dexpanthenol and calcium pantothenate, which are chemicals made in the lab from D-pantothenic acid.
Humans and animals need vitamin B5 to synthesize and metabolize fats, proteins and carbohydrates. It is also required to synthesize CoA (coenzyme-A).
Pantothenic acid is frequently used in combination with other B vitamins in vitamin B complex formulations. Vitamin B complex generally includes vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin/niacinamide), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), and folic acid. However, some products do not contain all of these ingredients and some may include others, such as biotin, para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), choline bitartrate, and inositol.
This vitamin forms an essential component of the coenzyme A - a chemical necessary for metabolism at the cellular level. Each single cell in the human body depends on the presence of pantothenate as part of coenzyme A. However, comparable to all other nutrients required by the human body, a particular organ is particularly dependent on the actions of the vitamin; this organ is the hormone producing adrenal cortex. One major consequence of this vital role played by pantothenate lies in how humans respond to stress, a response which is actively controlled by the adrenal cortex and its hormones.
Pantothenic acid has a long list of uses, although there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether it is effective for most of these uses. People take pantothenic acid for treating dietary deficiencies, allergies, baldness, asthma, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, burning feet syndrome, yeast infections, heart failure, carpal tunnel syndrome, respiratory disorders, celiac disease, colitis, conjunctivitis, convulsions, and cystitis. It is also taken by mouth for dandruff, depression, diabetic nerve pain, enhancing immune function, improving athletic performance, tongue infections, gray hair, headache, hyperactivity, low blood sugar, trouble sleeping (insomnia), irritability, low blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, muscular cramps in the legs associated with pregnancy or alcoholism, neuralgia, and obesity.
Pantothenic acid is also used orally for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson's disease, nerve pain, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), enlarged prostate, protection against mental and physical stress and anxiety, reducing adverse effects of thyroid therapy in congenital hypothyroidism, reducing signs of aging, reducing susceptibility to colds and other infections, retarded growth, shingles, skin disorders, stimulating adrenal glands, chronic fatigue syndrome, salicylate toxicity, streptomycin neurotoxicity, dizziness, and wound healing.
People apply dexpanthenol, which is made from pantothenic acid, to the skin for itching, promoting healing of mild eczemas and other skin conditions, insect stings, bites, poison ivy, diaper rash, and acne. It is also applied topically for preventing and treating skin reactions to radiation therapy.
Pregnant women need more of this vitamin as the levels of pantothenate in the body drop during a term of pregnancy - this lowering of blood levels of pantothenic acid indicates an increased requirement for the vitamin at the cellular level. For this reason, all pregnant women must make sure that they receive enough of this vitamin in the diet. The body's requirement for pantothenate also seems to be raised by the consumption of a low salt diet over the long term, as test animals given a low salt diet in experiments seem to suffer from more severe symptoms of a pantothenate deficiency. At the same time, pantothenate requirements in the body are also raised by a low protein diet and this stresses the functioning of the adrenal glands.
The proper utilization of vitamin B5 in the body requires the presence of other B complex vitamins, namely folate and biotin, therefore a deficiency in one of these vitamins can also lead to an increase in the requirements for pantothenate at any time. The symptoms of a deficiency of any one of the vitamin will be lessened by supplements of either biotin or pantothenate. The requirement of vitamin B5 in the body can also be raised by long term use of antibiotics - as these can often destroy the beneficial bacteria in the gut that are active in the synthesis of vitamin B5.
The body's requirement for pantothenate is also increased by any kind of stress in the body. This fact does not imply the necessity of supplementation. This however, means that all individuals affected by stress should ask themselves if they are receiving enough pantothenate in the diet and check from time to time with their doctor that they are receiving sufficient vitamins through the diet and through supplements.
Food sources of Vitamin B5 ( Pantothenic Acid )
Most foods have quantities of vitamin B5.
A variety of dosages of vitamin B5 supplements are available in the market, these supplements range from a few milligrams to several hundred milligrams per dose.
In terms of trace amounts, vitamin B5 compound is seen in almost all plant and animal tissues, though it can vary in amounts from one tissue to another. Pantothenate is found in abundant quantities in various organ meats, in egg yolks, in peanuts, in vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, in cabbage, and all whole grains and bran. Food sources containing the vitamin B5 in fair amounts are meat, milk and other dairy products as well as all kinds of fruits. Vitamin B5 is found in the highest amount in royal jelly, this is the substance worker bees make from nectar to feed the queen bee - royal jelly is the richest natural source of the vitamin.
Significant quantities of the vitamin B5 are lost in the processing, canning and freezing of foods. An adequate supply of foods cannot be obtained from excessive use of processed foods as part of the diet. Cooking does not normally lead to the destruction of pantothenate. At the same time, exposing this vitamin to acids and alkalies will result in its destruction and degradation.
Scientists say bacteria in humans might be generating pantothenic acid. This has yet to be proven conclusively.
While generally believed to be rare in occurrence, the deficiency of pantothenic acid can affect individuals suffering from chronic alcoholism.
Symptoms of Vitamin B5 ( Pantothenic Acid ) Deficiency
Pantothenic acid deficiency is virtually unheard of, because it is so plentiful. In cases of severe starvation or small volunteer trials, all deficiency signs symptoms were reversed when individuals were given pantothenic acid.
Teenagers are more likely to experience a deficiency, because their diets often include high amounts of "fast foods" sugars, and refined flours (all low in B vitamins). And the problem may be compounded because the acne often associated with this type of diet is commonly treated with tetracycline antibiotics, which reduce the intestinal bacteria and thereby the production of pantothenic acid in the colon.
Studies of pantothenic acid deficiency in rats showed increased graying of the fur, decreased growth, and, in the extreme, hemorrhage and destruction of the adrenal glands. In humans, the decreased adrenal function caused by B5 deficiency can lead to a variety of metabolic problems. Fatigue is most likely; there may also be physical and mental depression, a decrease in hydrochloric acid production and other digestive symptoms, some loss of nerve function, and problems in blood sugar metabolism, with symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) being the most common. Pantothenic acid affects the function of cells in all systems, and a deficiency may reduce immunity, both cellular and antibody responses. Other symptoms of B5 deficiency include vomiting, abdominal cramps, hair loss, skin problems, tachycardia, insomnia, tingling of the hands and feet, muscle cramps, recurrent upper respiratory infections, and worsening of allergy symptoms.
Vitamin B5 ( Pantothenic Acid ) Side effects and cautions
Using vitamin B5 at supplemental doses has not been connected to any toxic effect, side effects are very rare but do occur. For example, taking very high doses of pantothenic acid - amounting to several grams daily can induce diarrhea in the person.
Do NOT use pantothenic acid (vitamin b5) if:
You are allergic to any ingredient in pantothenic acid (vitamin b5)
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using pantothenic acid (vitamin b5):
Some medical conditions may interact with pantothenic acid (vitamin b5). Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with pantothenic acid (vitamin b5). However, no specific interactions with pantothenic acid (vitamin b5) are known at this time.
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if pantothenic acid (vitamin b5) may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.