Vitamin B5 is an important supplement that helps maintain bodily function and metabolism. It is a natural substance that can improve your health. Read below to learn about the health benefits that Vitamin B5 provides.

What is Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)?

Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, is involved in many different functions of the body. It helps convert food into energy and it also helps the body use proteins and fats. Vitamin B5 is important for the immune, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems.

It is a precursor for coenzyme A (CoA), which many different enzymatic pathways in the body need [1].

Vitamin B5 is sold under many different names as supplements: D-pantothenic acid, dexpanthenol, zinc pantothenate, and calcium pantothenate [2].

Vitamin B5 Snapshot

  • Helps with immune and nervous system function
  • Aids metabolism of fats and carbohydrates
  • Balances cholesterol levels
  • May reduce stress

Health Benefits of Vitamin B5

1) Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Adrenal glands need CoA (and Panthothenic Acid) to produce cortisol. Cortisol is an important anti-inflammatory produced by the body.

Moreover, it suppresses the immune system and aids in fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism [1].

Several animal experiments recorded that a lack of vitamin B5 can affect the adrenal cortex to function properly.

2) Aids in Metabolism

Pantothenic acid is a precursor to coenzyme A, which is essential for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates [1].

3) Stress Tolerance

Pantothenic acid may minimize some of the negative effects of stress [3].

Adrenal glands need pantothenic acid to make high levels of CoA. These glands make the hormone cortisol.

4) Promotes Heart Health

By converting carbohydrates and fats into glucose, Pantothenic Acid helps to balance and lower cholesterol levels in the body. It may also help to lower high blood pressure and prevent heart failure [4].

A study was done on 32 people who were randomized to take 600-900 mg/day 16 weeks. It found that Pantethine (a derivative of Vitamin B5) favorably altered total, LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and non-HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol in low to moderate cardiovascular risk participants [5].

Pantothenic acid was effective in treating a young boy with dilated cardiomyopathy (diseases of the heart muscle) according to one clinical report. Large doses of pantothenic acid produced a sustained improvement in heart muscle function and growth [6].

In one clinical study, pantethine was effective in treating patients with heart disease [7].

5) Helps Liver Function

The liver has high concentrations of CoA (Pantothenic acid makes up CoA).

A high concentration of CoA in the liver helps the body to get rid of the toxic substances we are exposed to, thus helping the liver function properly [8].

6) Respiratory Problems

There are case studies where Pantothenic acid, when included with some other ingredients, may help certain respiratory issues. However, larger clinical trials with Pantothenic acid alone need to be done.

Pantothenic acid in the form of Dexpanthenol in “ Myer’s Cocktail” (Magnesium, Calcium, B vitamins and Vitamin C), when supplied to a five-year-old boy with a 2-year history of Asthma, showed a marked improvement and prevented further asthma attacks [9, 10].

In another clinical case study of a 40-year old male presented with cold and a one-day history of nasal congestion when given an oral infusion of 1 ml Vitamin B5 along with other components of the Myer’s cocktail was symptom-free by the end of the 10-minute treatment [9, 10].

According to a pilot study in children with allergic rhinitis, a medical device grip-stop DMG with D-panthenol (also included lactoferrin, carboxymethyl -glucan and dipotassium glycyrrhizinate) effectively reduced all considered symptoms of allergic rhinitis including nasal congestion [11].

Pantothenic acid along with the other minerals and vitamins was effective against asthmatic bronchitis [12, 13], upper respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis, and seasonal allergic rhinitis.

7-8) Eyes & Skin

Eye drops use Vitamin B5, in the form of dexpanthenol, to help reduce pain and inflammation in dry eyes [14].

It’s been speculated by some that a B5 deficiency can lead to acne [15].

Topical use of an analog of pantothenic acid is widely used in clinical practice for the improvement of wound healing. It speeds up the wound healing in test tubes and animals by repairing the skin and is most effective when recovering from surgery [16].

Sources of Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 is found in different foods like Meat (beef, fish, lobster pork, chicken), sunflower seeds, dairy products (yogurt, milk, cheese, etc) eggs, avocado, sweet potato [17].

Bacteria in the large intestine can naturally produce calcium pantothenate. Human breast milk also contains pantothenic acid [18, 19].

Side Effects

Symptoms like fatigue, headaches, nausea, tingling in the hands, depression, personality changes and heart instability have been reported as side-effects after taking vitamin B5 supplements.

Additionally, high dosages can lead to digestive problems, abnormal teeth sensitivity, and diarrhea.

Vitamin B5 deficiency is uncommon in humans. However, some common symptoms include numbness and burning sensations in the limbs, headaches, fatigue, and insomnia [20].

Dosage

The following doses are recommended daily: [21]

  • 1.7 mg for infants younger than six months
  • 1.8 mg for infants 6-12 months
  • 2 mg for children 1-3 years
  • 3 mg for children 4-8 years
  • 4 mg for children 9-13 years
  • 5 mg for 14 years and older
  • 6 mg for Pregnant women
  • 7 mg for Breastfeeding women

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