Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, is one of the 8 B Vitamins. Similar to the other 8 B Vitamins, Vitamin B5 is an essential component in energy production.
- What Is Pantothenic Acid?
- Role Of Vitamin B5
- How Much Vitamin B5 Do You Need?
- Best Dietary Sources Of Vitamin B5
What Is Pantothenic Acid?:
Pantothenic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that it dissolves in water, so it will be found in the water contained within cells or blood. Pantothenic acid is one of the most abundant vitamins in the world and is found in nearly every food in some quantity. Vitamin B5 was discovered in 1933 by Dr. R.J. Williams, who appropriately named the vitamin, pantothenic from the Greek origin word “pantos” meaning “everywhere”.
Read More: The Importance Of Micronutrients
Roles Of Vitamin B5:
Pantothenic acid and its derivatives are essential for the production of Coenzyme A. Coenzyme A is what allows for the sugar (as glucose), fatty acids and amino acids to be used as fuel in the cells. Coenzyme is responsible for converting fatty acids and pyruvate (derived from glucose or amino acids) into Acetyl CoA, which can then enter into the Krebs cycle and be converted down the line into usable energy as ATP.
Long story short, if you don’t have enough of Vitamin B5 your cells will not be able to convert all of your food into energy. A severe deficiency in Vitamin B5 is very rare due to its abundance in food, but in WWII a number of soldiers undergoing severe malnutrition experienced painful burning and tingling in their feet which was relieved by B5 supplementation.
Coenzyme A also plays an important role in anabolic process (building) like the production of cholesterol and the steroid hormones. Cholesterol is the precursor to all of the steroid hormones in the body including:
- Vitamin D
Without enough pantothenic acid (B5), your body’s ability to produce enough Coenzyme A will be limited and therefore its ability to produce cholesterol and the steroid hormones will be limited.
Interestingly, a few studies have found that supplementation of pantethine, a byproduct of Vitamin B5 significantly lowered LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The scientists believe that the most likely mechanism of which is due to an increase in activity of the Coenzyme A in the cell causing the cells to uptake more cholesterol and triglycerides to be used as fuel.
Vitamin B5 is also necessary for…
- The Synthesis of Melatonin
- Producing The “Heme” protein part of hemoglobin that is necessary for red blood cell production
- Producing the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine
- To make mucin, the mucous necessary to lubricate the eyes, ears, mouth, nose internal organs, and genitals
- Producing the main blood vitamin carriers
- Glycine production
- DNA synthesis
To say the least, pantothenic acid is extremely important and it is extremely vital to consume enough of in your diet.
Read More: Everything You Need To Know About Vitamin B1
How Much Pantothenic Acid Do You Need?:
The FDA recommends that adults consume 5 mg of vitamin B5 daily, but according to some nutrition experts this is likely not enough to satisfy our body’s full requirements. Everyone will need a slightly different amount of Vitamin B5 based on their biochemistry with some people needing no more than 5mg while others may need more than 10-20X as much.
Best Dietary Sources Of Pantothenic Acid:
Some of the foods with the highest amount of pantothenic acid are:
- Shiitake Mushrooms
- Organ Meats
- Dairy (cheese & milk)
- Beef, Pork & Poultry
- Fortified Grains
Daily B contains the recommended daily intake of all 8 B vitamins. By doing this you ensure you're consuming enough of each of the B vitamins and all of the additional vitamins consumed in your diet become icing on the cake. Click here to try out Daily B for yourself risk-free today!
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