Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

General Info

Absorption

Pantothenic acid is absorbed through intestinal enzymes.

Dietary Origins

Pantothenic acid is found in all plant and animal tissues. Sources of this vitamin include: broccoli, cauliflower, chicken, eggs, fish, lean beef, legumes, liver, potatoes, tomatoes, whole grain breads, and cereals.

Overview

Pantothenic acid is referred to as a B-complex vitamin and the “anti-stress” vitamin. This vitamin also plays a variety of essential metabolic roles including the production of some hormones and neurotransmitters, and is involved in the metabolism of all carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. After absorption, pantothenic acid is converted to a sulfur-containing compound called pantetheine. Pantetheine is then converted into co enzyme A, which is the only known biologically active form of pantothenic acid. Pantethine, which is the stable and most active form of pantetheine, has been reported to be effective at improving abnormal lipid profiles in both adults and children.

Toxicities & Precautions

General

There are no known toxicities associated with this B vitamin.

Side Effects

Consumption of large amounts may cause diarrhea.

Functions in the Body

Alcohol Detoxification

Participates in the metabolism of acetaldehyde (as-i-tal-duh-hahyd), also known as ethanol.

Anti-stress Effect

It is necessary for the combing complex of steroid hormones and proper functioning of the adrenal glands.

Energy Metabolism

Enhances the release of energy from carbohydrates.

Fat Synthesis

Involved in synthesis of bile acids, cholesterol, fats, and phospholipids.

Red Blood Cells

Involved in production of hemoglobin in red blood cells.

Symptoms & Causes of Deficiency

Pantothenic acid is widely available in numerous foods making deficiency in humans extremely rare. However, based on what is known about panathonic acid it can be speculated that a deficiency may result in problems relating to wound healing, liver function, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, and nerve function.