Vitamin B5—Pantothenic Acid

Posted by Blog Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Center of Energy

Pantothenic acid derives its name from the root word pantos, which means “everywhere.” It has been found in every living cell including plant and animal tissues as well as in microorganisms. Pantothenic acid was first iidentified in 1933 when Roger Williams detected it as a growth factor for yeast. It is used in a wide variety of vital body processes.

Pantothenic acid forms a large part of the coenzyme A molecule. Coenzyme A is essential for the chemical reactions that generate energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, as you can see in Figure -12.

Figure -12 Pantothenic acid is central to energy production.

Pantothenic acid, in the form of coenzyme A, is needed for the synthesis of cholesterol and the synthesis of steroid hormones such as melatonin. Coenzyme A is also needed for the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter. Heme, a component of hemoglobin, cannot be synthesized without coenzyme A. In addition, the liver requires coenzyme A in order to metabolize a number of drugs and toxins.

 Pantothenic acid forms a large part of coenzyme A.

Pantothenic acid in the form of coenzyme A is indispensable for the synthesis of fats used in the myelin sheaths of nerve cells, and also synthesizes the phospholipids in cell membranes.

Pantothenic acid deficiency is very rare and seen only in cases of severe malnutrition. Pantothenic acid is found in many common foods and average diets are thought to have an adequate amount of it. Pantothenic acid is also made by the normal bacteria that live in the colon. Absorption of pantothenic acid from the colon has been demonstrated, but may not be available in meaningful amounts from colonic bacteria.

Summary for Pantothenic Acid—Vitamin B5

Main function: Energy metabolism.

Adequate Intake Level: Men and women, 6 mg.

No toxicity or deficiency disease reported, no upper intake level set.

Healthy food sources: avocado, sunflower seeds, and sweet potatoes.

Degradation: easily destroyed by freezing, canning, and refining.

Coenzyme form: pantothenic acid forms a part of coenzyme A.

Healthy sources of pantothenic acid include whole grains, nuts and seeds, nutritional yeast, sweet potatoes, legumes, mushrooms, tomatoes, and broccoli; please refer to Graph 4. Enriched grains such as white flour are not

Graph 4 Pantothenic acid amounts in some common foods.

Figure -13 Pantothenic acid is reduced by processing, freezing, and canning.

enriched with pantothenic acid and about 43 percent of the pantothenic acid is lost in the milling process. Both freezing and canning decrease the pantothenic acid by approximately half, as seen in Figure -13. The adequate daily intake is 5 mg.

Pantothenic acid is not known to be toxic. It is easily eliminated in the urine. Oral contraceptives may increase the need for pantothenic acid. Supplements are usually in the form of pantothenol, a stable form of the vitamin. Supplements are also made from calcium and sodium D-pantothenate. The panthene form of pantothenic acid is a cholesterol-lowering drug used only under expert supervision.

More about B-Vitamins:

B Vitamins The Energy Vitamins


Vitamin B1—Thiamin

Vitamin B2—Riboflavin

Vitamin B3—Niacin

Vitamin B5—Pantothenic Acid

Vitamin B6—Pyridoxine

Vitamin B12—Cobalamin

How the B Vitamins Make Energy Production Possible

”Wanna B” Vitamins That Might Not Be Vitamins


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