While being part of the fat and carbohydrate breakdown process, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is a water soluble vitamin and paramount to the creation process of red blood cells. The body also uses it to synthesize cholesterol. Similar to vitamin B3 (niacin), it plays a part in the production of hormones relating to sex and stress.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) benefits
Apart from the role it plays in the creation process of red blood cells and synthesis of cholesterol, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) may aid in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Other studies suggest that it may help in improving the healing process post surgery, especially when combined with vitamin C. Though not conclusive, some evidence exists that calcium pantothenate (a form of vitamin B5) may reduce symptoms such as morning stiffness and pain for those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Sources of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
Available in many foods, the best sources of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) are found in yeast, vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, tomatoes, avocado), legumes, lentils, egg yolk, beef, turkey, duck, chicken, milk, whole-grain breads and flour products.
The Recommended daily intake values for vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) are below.
|Table 1: Recommended Dietary Intake values for vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)1|
|0-6 months||1.7mg/day (adequate intake)|
|7-12 months||1.8mg/day (adequate intake)|
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) deficiency
While it is rare for one to experience a vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) deficiency, symptoms may include fatigue, difficulty sleeping or insomnia, depression, irritability, vomiting, stomach pains, a burning in the feet, and upper respiratory infections.
1Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) - http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/vitamin-b5-000336.htm
Pantothenic acid and biotin - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002410.htm