Pantothenic acid

Essential Micronutrient

OVERVIEW

Summary

B5, also called pantothenic acid, is needed by every cell in our bodies. Sometimes referred to as the “anti-stress” vitamin, it plays a key role in the production of adrenal hormones and essential neuromuscular transmitters (chemical signals that help regulate brain function). B5 also aids the release of usable fuel from fats and supports our immune, adrenal, and nervous systems.

Other names for Pantothenic acid

Vitamin B5, pantethine

Where to find Pantothenic acid

Good sources of B5 are cauliflower and avocados and salmon, chicken, liver, egg yolks, and cheese.

Popup: Foods highest in Pantothenic acid

Daily Value

The Daily Value for Pantothenic acid is 10 mg.

PERFORMANCE BENEFITS

Why athletes use Pantothenic acid

Vitamin B5 is used primarily as part of a B-complex formula or multivitamin by a wide range of people to support overall health and increase the bodies’ ability to cope with increased stress due to prolonged physical activity. Some doctors recommend Vitamin B5 to patients with high cholesterol levels, arthritis pain, allergies, or heartburn. And it’s being examined for its potential to increase the energy available for exercise.

Ways that Pantothenic acid can enhance Energy & Endurance:
  • Aid the transport and release of fatty acids into usable energy
Ways that Pantothenic acid can enhance Mental Functioning:
  • Encourage the production of hormones, like cortisone from the adrenal glands, relieving symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress
  • Support the synthesis of acetylcholine, the critically important brain chemical responsible for neuromuscular reactions

HEALTH BENEFITS

Signs of Pantothenic acid deficiency

Deficiency of Pantothenic acid has been linked to:

  • Hair and scalp disorders
  • Fatigue/Weakness
  • Insomnia/sleep disorders
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Numbness in hands and feet
Potential uses for Pantothenic acid

Research indicates that Pantothenic acid may also be useful in the treatment of:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Migraine headaches
  • Alcoholism
  • Herpes
  • Arthritis
  • Aches and pains

DISCUSSION

More about Pantothenic acid

B5, also called pantothenic acid, is needed by every cell in our bodies, playing a key role in the production of adrenal hormones and neurotransmitters (chemical signals that help regulate brain function and mood). B5 also aids the release of usable fuel from fats and supports our immune, adrenal, and nervous systems.

Energy Enhancement

B5 aids the production of an enzyme called acetyl-coenzyme A, which is essential for energy production. Plus, the process of converting fats that we ingest into energy requires B5 along with other B vitamins. While B5 is necessary for energy, and some researchers claim that it will boost levels, most studies don’t support independent use for increased performance. B5 as part of a B-complex, however, can aid the reduction of fatigue due to depletion of nutrients.

Optimal health

Because B5 supports the production of serotonin and acetylcholine, studies suggest it may also be helpful for treating anxiety, depression, and stress, in addition to enhancing memory and cognitive functioning. B5’s support of serotonin production has also been shown to be helpful in the reduction of migraine headaches.

B5 aids our bodies’ natural production of antibodies to enhance our immune systems and has been shown as a great defense against acne. It has also been found helpful for gastrointestinal ailments.

Pantethine, a specific form of B5, has been shown to significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels while raising levels of HDL cholesterol. Regular Vitamin B5 does not appear to have this effect.

Therapeutic uses

B5 has been used clinically to combat heartburn when combined with choline and thiamin. And because it appears to control congestion, it has been used effectively to battle allergies. B5 is also regularly recommended by doctors to help alleviate morning pain and stiffness in people suffering from arthritis.

In conclusion

While B5 has shown benefits in many areas, it is most often supplemented as part of a B-complex formula or a high-quality multivitamin blend. There are instances when B5 is used independently to counteract deficiency states and has been an effective aid for neurotransmitter production, metabolism of fats into fuel, cognitive support, and many other bodily functions.

NOTES ON USAGE

Amount

This vitamin is most commonly taken in amounts ranging from 25 to 50 mg daily; however, under times of great stress or increased physical exertion, it is quite common to take up to 100 mg per day.

To lower cholesterol: 300 mg of a specific form of Vitamin B5 called pantethine is recommended 3 times daily.

Other uses: Doctors may recommend up to 1,000 mg daily for arthritis pain, allergies, and heartburn.

Timing

Vitamin B5 is most effective with meals and other B vitamins, such as in a B-complex formula or high-quality multivitamin.

Synergists of Pantothenic acid

Vitamin B5 combined with B1 (thiamin) and choline may help combat heartburn.

Safety of Pantothenic acid

Although Vitamin B5 is very safe, prolonged use of high amounts (over 2 to 3 grams) can cause diarrhea.

Toxicity of Pantothenic acid

No known toxicity.

Bans and restrictions

None reported.

RELATED RESEARCH

  • Angelico, M., et al., “Improvement in Serum Lipid Profile in Hyper-Lipoproteinaemic Patients After Treatment with Pantethine: A Crossover, Double-Blind Trial Versus Placebo,” Curr Ther Res 33 (1983) : 1091.
  • Barton-Wright, E.C., and Elliott, W.A., “The Pantothenic Acid Metabolism of Rheumatoid Arthritis,” Lancet 2 (1963) : 862-3.
  • Bertolini, S., et al., “Lipoprotein Changes Induced by Pantethine in Hyperlipoproteinemic Patients: Adults and Children,” Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol 24 (1986) : 630-7.
  • Fidanza, A., “Therapeutic Action of Pantothenic Acid,” Int J Vitam Nutr Res Suppl 24 (1983) : 53-67.
  • Gaddi, A., et al., “Controlled Evaluation of Pantethine, a Natural Hypolipidemic Compound, in Patients with Different Forms of Hyperlipoproteinemia,” Atherosclerosis 50 (1984) : 73-83.
  • General Practitioner Research Group, “Clacium Pantothenate in Arthritic Conditions,” Practitioner 224 (1980) : 208-11.
  • Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board, Dietary Reference Intakes: Thamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline (National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1998) 357-373.
  • Leung, L.H., “Pantothenic Acid Deficiency as the Pathogenesis of Acne Vulgaris,” Med Hypotheses 44.6 (1995) : 490-2.