Herbal Supplements
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Vital and Ubiquitous

  1. What it is
Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid is one of the essential water-soluble vitamins. It is crucial for the normal body functioning, and it can be found in all the cells and tissues of the body. This acid is a part of coenzyme A, which plays an important role in metabolic processes in the body.
 
  1. What it does in the body

Pantothenic Acid is converted into its active form called pantethine in the body. It is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates and turning them into energy. Vitamin B5 is also essential for the breakdown of fats and proteins. This vitamin takes place in the production of red blood cells and formation of all cells membranes.     

Vitamin B5 is of special importance for the healthy functioning of the adrenal glands, as it aids in the production of cortisone, and is thus helpful in increasing body’s ability to manage stress. It is also necessary for the production of some other steroid hormones, including sex hormones. In addition, vitamin B5 is used by the body to make acetylcholine – a neurotransmitter, which along with other neurotransmitters ensures the process of brain cells communication.

It is stated that vitamin B5 is necessary for the healthy and strong immune and nervous systems, and, taking into account the recent research of cholesterol and triglycerides lowering with pantothenic acid, it may be of great importance for cardiovascular system health as well.

  1. Sources of vitamin B5

Nearly every food, consumed by a man, contains some amount of pantothenic acid; thus, eating ordinary foods may be enough to supply the body with the necessary level of vitamin B5. Foods, which contain the largest quantity of this vitally important element, include organ meats (mainly kidney and liver), poultry, eggs yolks, fish, mushrooms, buckwheat, rice, wheat germ, yeast, whole grains, avocados, red chili pepper, soybeans, sunflower seeds, peanuts and alfalfa.

  1. What happens in case of pantothenic acid deficiency

It is now known that some small amount of vitamin B5 is produced in the human digestive tract by the intestinal bacteria. In addition, almost all the foods are the sources of some amount of vitamin B5. Consequently, deficiency of this component is very unlikely to occur under the usual circumstances.

However, been artificially induced in the course of several experiments, B5 deficiency led to such symptoms as fatigue, sleep disturbances, headache, depression, personality changes, nausea, dermatitis, itching, muscle cramps and abdominal distress. Immune problems and impaired coordination were also reported, along with adrenal glands insufficiency.  

In general, all the body functions get impaired in case of vitamin B5 deficiency; and this may happen only if a patient starves almost to death. Still, when usual dietary regimen is back all the abnormalities and deficiency symptoms disappear.  

  1. What happens in case of vitamin B5 overdose

In fact, safe dosages of the given vitamin have not been extensively studied, especially in children, pregnant, and breastfeeding women. It is known that vitamin B5 may cause mild diarrhea, drowsiness, fluid retention, memory loss and depression if taken in large amounts. However, the risk of toxicity is very low, and even if 10 grams of the acid is taken a day, side effects seem to be mild. Very low amount of vitamin B5 can be stored in the liver, while its excess is excreted in the urine.

To sum it up, vitamin B5 is a vital and crucial element for the human body. It is usually supplied with the normal diet, and its deficiency is rare. Moreover, the vitamin is safe to be taken as a supplement with very little risk of overdose.

About Vitamin B5

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About Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 Medicinal Uses

Conditions improved by a supplement Many scholars suggest that taking into ...

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