By Slawomir Gromadzki, MPH
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) is important for the immune, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems, helps produce various hormones (including steroid hormones),in the brain, and convert food into energy, helps reduce stress, supports metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, and promotes normal cholesterol levels.
Pantothenic Acid is used in the synthesis of Coenzyme A (CoA), an enzyme that participates in a variety of reactions in the body, especially breaking down of fatty acids [>].
Vitamin B5 supplementation is also recommended for people with skin problems (especially acne), hair loss, allergies, anxiety, asthma, respiratory disorders, osteoarthritis, diabetes, autism, constipation, and heart problems., Parkinson’s disease, syndrome,
Like the word “pantheism”, Pantothenic Acid gets its name from the Greek word “pantos” which means “everywhere“. This name was probably given to Vitamin B5 because it is readily available in a large variety of foods.
Signs of B5 deficiency may include burning feet sensation, fatigue, anaemia, headaches, feeling dizzy, mood swings, irritability, digestive problems, and insomnia.
The most common symptom of vitamin B5 deficiency seems to be a burning feet syndrome >.
Insufficient intake of Vitamin B5, Zinc, and B6 may lead to deficiency of progesterone and hormonal imbalance as these nutrients are required to make female sex hormone progesterone.
CAUSES OF DEFICIENCY
People who are at risk of a Vitamin B5 deficiency include those who are under chronic stress, smokers, alcohol and drug addicts, pregnant women, people consuming refined foods which are low in vitamins and minerals, individuals with impaired absorption of nutrients due to the use of medications or because of inflammatory intestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease.
Contraceptives (birth control pills) containing oestrogen and progestin increase the requirement for pantothenic acid (>).
Taking high doses of Biotin (5-10,000 IU per day) over time lead to Vitamin B5 deficiency and skin problems (acne flares, etc.)
Antibiotics deplete biotin, inositol, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and vitamin K.
The best sources of vitamin B5 include nutritional yeast >, sunflower seeds, avocado, lentils, plantain, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, soybeans, pecan nuts, oatmeal, broccoli, cabbages, legumes, cauliflower, kale, turnip, cucumber and collard greens.
2 heaped tablespoons (about 15 gr) of nutritional yeast may provide about 5-10mg of vitamin B5 (100-200 per cent of daily requirement).
Also royal jelly contains significant quantity of vitamin B5.
Bacteria in the intestines can naturally produce calcium pantothenate (B5).
Animal experiments concluded that a Vitamin B5 deficiency leads to disruptions of normal adrenal cortex function. Adrenal glands need Pantothenic Acid to make cortisol which is an important anti-inflammatory agent, suppresses the immune system and supports fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism [>].
Vitamin B5 is responsible for helping body create an important molecule called Acetylcholine – the primary chemical that allows nervous system to communicate back and forth with organs [>]. Acetylcholine also makes possible for the brain and spinal chord to send nerve signals to our immune system, heart, and other organs. Acetylcholine is also used to send nerve impulses to muscles. Thus lack of B5 can lead to Acetylcholine deficiency and related nerve damage (including burning feet syndrome) and impairment in movement.
Folate (vitamin B9), Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) and B6 (pyridoxine) are very important for the body to make many of the mood-regulating hormones including progesterone, oestrogen, and serotonin.
Vitamin B5 benefits include the ability to cope with stress. It also helps minimize negative effects of stress [>].
Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) can support thyroid gland by improving the health of adrenal glands as they are directly connected. Whenever adrenals become exhausted (due to excessive stress), thyroid is unable to make enough hormones too.
Vitamin B5, B6, and zinc are excellent to increase progesterone which is very important to maintain normal menstrual cycle and to prevent excessive bleeding during menstruation.
In one clinical study, Vitamin B5 in the form of Pantethine was effective in treating patients with heart disease [>].
According to a clinical report, Pantothenic acid was effective in treating certain young boy with a heart condition known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Large doses of B5 resulted in a sustained improvement in heart muscle function and growth [>].
By converting carbohydrates and fats into glucose (used by body to make energy) Vitamin B5 helps lower cholesterol levels and high blood pressure reducing risk of heart attack and stroke [>].
A study with 32 subjects who took a daily dose of 600-900mg of B5 (in the form of Pantethine) for 16 weeks had lower harmful LDL cholesterol [>].
Pantethine (form of B5) is used as a cholesterol-lowering treatment in Japan and is available in the US as a dietary supplement (>).
Vitamin B5 plays important role in the pigmentation of hair and prevents it from losing its colour prematurely. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), B12, Biotin, Folate, Zinc, and PABA (Para Aminobenzoic Acid), apart from strengthening the hair, help to prevent premature greying of the hair >.
According to one study, people on Vitamin B5 supplements had reduced acne outbreaks [>]. The same study results also concluded that Pantothenic Acid was not only effective, but also safe and well tolerated remedy able to reduce total facial lesion counts.
Taking high doses of Biotin supplements leads to deficiency of vitamin B5 as both biotin and Pantothenic Acid (B5) are absorbed from the intestines via the same receptors. When taking Biotin supplements, the amount of Biotin in the gut far outweighs the quantity of vitamin B5, thus leading to its deficiency. Vitamin B5 regulates the barrier function of the surface layer on skin. Therefore, a deficiency of Pantothenic Acid (through poor dietary habits and excess Biotin) could lead to skin problems such as acne flares. It means that the more Biotin supplements you take the more Vitamin B5 you need to prevent its deficiency.
Vitamin B5 helps to create antibodies that our immune system produces in order to defend us against potential threats and infections. In one clinical study a 40-year old male with cold and nasal congestion, when given 1 ml of Vitamin B5 along with other B vitamins, Magnesium, Calcium, and Vitamin C, was symptom-free by the end of the 10-minute treatment [>, >].
We know that allergies and hay fever are caused by overactive immune system. Therefore, since Vitamin B5 helps make cortisol (stress hormone) which has anti-inflammatory properties and suppresses immune system, it may also help minimize allergic responses. However, don’t use B5 in the form of Pantethine for allergy relief.
METABOLISM & HEALTHY BODY WEIGHT
By converting carbohydrates and fats into glucose (used by body to make energy), Vitamin B5 helps burn fat and maintain normal body weight. Vitamin B5 is a precursor of Coenzyme A, which is essential for normal metabolism of fats and carbohydrates [>].
Scientists from Massachusetts have developed an eye drop formula containing Pantethine a form of Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5), that was able to reduce the necessity of surgery in patients with cataract.
Vitamin B5 has been shown to have energy boosting properties by enhancing the level of oxygen-currying haemoglobin.
Rheumatoid arthritis is linked to a deficiency in Pantothenic Acid and some studies suggest that supplementing with this vitamin may help alleviate the symptoms of this autoimmune disorder.
Vitamin B5 assists liver in >].toxic substances. The liver has high concentrations of Pantothenic Acid CoA which helps our body to get rid of the toxic substances, thus helping liver function properly [
Vitamin B5 in the form of Dexpanthenol together with other B vitamins, Magnesium, Calcium, and Vitamin C, when supplied to a five-year-old boy with a 2-year history of asthma, showed a significant improvement and helped prevent further asthma attacks [>, >].
Eye drops with Vitamin B5 in the form of Dexpanthenol, helped reduce pain & inflammation associated with dry eyes [>].
Heartburn may be soothed by Pantothenic Acid, especially when it is combined with Choline and Thiamin (B1).
SUPPLEMENTAL FORMS OF VITAMIN B5
As a supplement Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) is sold in the following forms:
– Calcium Pantothenate
– Sodium D-pantothenate (D-pantothenic Acid sodium salt)
– Zinc Pantothenate
– Pantethine form (used to lower high cholesterol)
– Dexpanthenol (D-pantothenyl Alcohol or D-panthenol) – the most commonly used injectable form
RECOMMENDED DAILY INTAKE
– Infants over six months: 3mg
– Children: 4mg
– Adolescents: 5mg
– Adults: 6mg
– Pregnant women: 5mg
– Lactating women (to make up for the loss in breast milk): 7mg
SAFE UPPER INTAKE FROM SUPPLEMENTS
200mg is set as a safe upper limit (intake) for Vitamin B5 in the form of supplements.
Since Vitamin B5 belongs to the group of water-soluble vitamins, it is not toxic to human body.
Taking up to 200 milligrams of B5 a day in the form of supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.
Pantethine (one of the forms of B5) is generally well tolerated in doses up to 1,200 mg/day.
A very high dose of 10,000mg (10 grams) or more a day of B5 can trigger diarrhoea. No other adverse reactions to high doses have been reported.
SUGGESTED THERAPEUTIC DOSAGES IN VARIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS
Many vitamin B-complex and some multivitamin supplements may contain 50-100 mg of pantothenic acid, which amount is more than adequate in most health problems. However, according to some sources, using B5 to treat adrenal fatigue, allergies, high cholesterol or heartburn may require higher doses of 500mg two to three times a day.
For allergies >: 250-500mg of B5 three times daily.
For chronic heartburn >: 500-1,000mg of B5 twice daily with 250-500mg B1 once a day, and 250-500 mg choline, three times a day.
For high cholesterol >: 150-300mg of Ppantethine form of B5 three times daily.
WHEN TO TAKE B5 SUPPLEMENTS
Take Pantothenic Acid with meals. If you take it once a day, breakfast, or the first main meal, is the best time to ingest any B vitamin.
INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER VITAMINS AND MINERALS
– Although normal doses of Biotin, help absorb B5, yet regular mega doses of Biotin over time lead to B5 deficiency and skin problems (acne flares, etc.). Since high strength Biotin supplements (probably over 2500mg per day) may lead to the deficiency of Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5), supplementation with this vitamin is recommended to prevent this side effect.
– B5 requires B12, folate & Biotin for proper absorption.
– Copper deficiency increases vitamin B5 requirements.
– At the same time too much of Copper from supplements may reduce absorption and effectiveness of B5 from the food and may need supplementation of B5.
– Vitamin B5 helps the body to be able to effectively utilize Vitamin B2.
Use of Pantethine in combination with cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins or with nicotinic acid (form of Niacin or vitamin B3) may intensify the effect on blood lipids (>).
According to Linus Pauling Institute, contraceptives (birth control pills) containing oestrogen and progestin may increase the requirement for pantothenic acid (>).
Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.
© 2016 Slawomir Gromadzki – All Rights Reserved