Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, affects, among other things, the functioning of the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and the immune system. We get it along with the consumption of food products of both plant and animal origin. Check how to dose vitamin B5 and what are the consequences of its deficiency.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – what functions does it perform in the body?
Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, or pantothenate, consists mainly of two compounds: panthein and panthenol. This is one of the B vitamins belonging to the group of water-soluble vitamins.
Pantothenic acid is involved in the formation of coenzyme A (CoA), which is necessary for the breakdown of fatty acids or many anabolic processes. Vitamin B5 is necessary for the proper metabolism of fatty acids, the transformation of vitamins A and D, as well as the production of steroid hormones, melatonin, cholesterol, neurotransmitters and hemoglobin.
Vitamin B5 is involved in chemical reactions that are responsible for the production of energy in our body. Therefore, it is recognized that pantothenic acid helps to reduce the concomitant feeling of fatigue and helps to maintain mental performance at the right level.
Vitamin B5 helps to maintain mental performance at the right level and reduces the feeling of fatigue and tiredness.
Provitamin B5 – panthenol – is found in the skin, hair and nails of a person and is necessary to maintain their good condition. Vitamin B5 is used in the cosmetic industry as an ingredient in cosmetics.
It acts as a moisturizer, a substance responsible for the proper maintenance of water in the epidermis and hair. Pantothenic acid is used as an adjunct to the treatment of acne vulgaris – it can lead to a decrease in skin lesions and a decrease in inflammation.
Scientific studies show that vitamin B5 reduces the concentration of total cholesterol, the concentration of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. In addition, it can positively affect the increase in the level of “good” cholesterol, i.e. HDL fraction.
Vitamin B5 helps to maintain immunity due to the fact that it is involved in the production of antibodies.
Pantothenic acid – what are the consequences of its deficiency?
It is assumed that vitamin B5 deficiency usually affects people who are malnourished or suffer from eating disorders. Although vitamin B5 is not stored in our body, we provide it daily with food.
Pantothenic acid deficiency leads to symptoms that can be combined with other nutrient deficiencies or diseases.
Vitamin B5 deficiency is manifested by:
- general weakness of the body and the concomitant feeling of fatigue
- complaints from the digestive system (abdominal pain, diarrhea, heartburn, vomiting, nausea)
- increased irritability
- burning sensation in the hands and feet
- skin lesions (peeling of the epidermis, eczema, acne lesions, discoloration of the epidermis, cracking of the skin in the corners of the mouth)
- prolongation of the wound healing process
- sleep disorders
- decreased immunity
- development of anorexia
- increased concentration of triglycerides in the blood
- disturbances in the functioning of the testicles
- excessive hair loss
- development of anemia
- fatty degeneration of the liver
Excess Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5 is considered safe – also in case of a significant excess of its daily dose. This is due to the fact that excess pantothenic acid is excreted in the urine.
Due to the fact that the risk of side effects is almost zero (gastrointestinal ailments are mentioned here), there is currently no upper limit on the daily intake of pantothenic acid.
Dosage of Vitamin B5
It is assumed that the optimal daily intake of vitamin B5 is from 2 to 7 milligrams. Below we present control values of consumption depending on gender and age.
Dosage of vitamin B5:
- Infants up to 6 months: 2 mg
- Infants up to 1 year: 3 mg
- children under 3 years: 4 mg
- children from 4 to 12 years: 4 mg
- girls from 13 years to 18 years: 5 mg
- boys 13 to 18 years: 5 mg
- men: 5 mg
- women: 5 mg
- pregnant women: 6 mg
- lactating women: 7 mg
What are the natural sources of vitamin B5?
Vitamin B5 is found in both animal products and plant foods. It is believed that its richest sources are: meat and offal, whole grains, legume seeds, egg yolks.
It is worth noting that breakfast cereals and energy drinks are also enriched with vitamin B5.
Pantothenic acid is found in plant and livestock products.
Pantothenic acid does not show stability during storage, preservation and heat treatment of food products. It is assumed that especially freezing processes can lead to a significant loss of vitamin B5. Foods should also not be exposed to solar radiation.
Vitamin B5 is found in:
- meat (e.g. chicken, beef, pork)
- fish (e.g. mackerel and salmon)
- dairy products
- brown rice
- whole wheat bread
- wheat bran
- sweet potatoes
- sunflower seeds