Pantothenic Acid Sources and Functions

Pantothenic Acid Sources and Functions

All of the B vitamins work together to keep you healthy and feeling good. Here is a summary of the role of pantothenic acid, a water-soluble vitamin, in your good health.

What it does Functions as a coenzyme to help release energy from the food you eat.
Daily needs [Infants*: 1.7-1.8 mg] [Children†: 2-5 mg] [Men: 5 mg]
[Women#: 5 mg] [Pregnant: 6 mg] [Lactating: 7 mg]]
Not enough Muscle cramps, Nausea, Vomiting, Depression, Low blood sugar
Too Much Diarrhea
Foods Whole or enriched grain products, Meat, Tomatoes, Eggs, Broccoli

*The lower value is for infants up to 6 mos.,higher value is for infants up to a year old.
† The first value is for children 1-3 with the amount increasing until age 18.
# Women taking birth control pills may require a higher amount.

Destroyed by Processing

Food processing can destroy pantothenic acid, since it is susceptible to canning, freezing and processes that refine food.

The bacteria in your colon can produce pantothenic acid, but it is unknown whether your body can actually use this as a source of the vitamin.

Getting Enough

In general, people who live in developed countries like the United States get enough pantothenic acid and deficiency of this vitamin is rare. However, those suffering from eating disorders or living in poverty may not be eating enough food to get sufficient pantothenic acid in their diet.

The sources of pantothenic acid listed above are the best sources, but many foods contain small amounts of this B vitamin. If you eat a variety of fresh foods from all of the food groups, you will more than likely get enough pantothenic acid. 

Interesting Facts about Pantothenic Acid Sources and Functions: During World War II, prisoners of war in the South Pacific experienced painful “burning feet,” which could be alleviated by pantothenic acid. In addition, ointment containing pantothenic acid has been shown to aid in the healing of wounds.

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Tips for Healthy Eating

Eat a variety of fresh, whole foods, including selections from the five food groups—Vegetables, Fruits, Grains, Meat/Legumes and Dairy.

Include at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, with an emphasis on vegetables.

Include a serving of low-fat versions of good quality protein with each meal and snack.

Eat good carbs such as whole grains most, if not all of the time. 

Choose unsaturated fats such as olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds.

Include fiber foods with each meal so that you get a total of 25-30 grams of fiber each day.

Eat a balanced diet with a ratio of 40-30-30 of good carbs, low-fat protein and good quality fats respectively.

Eat colorful foods for their phytonutrients.

Choose low-fat versions of dairy products and leaner meats.

Stay away from empty calories that provide calories but little nutrition.

Limit your intake of foods that contain added sugar and salt.

Limit prepackaged foods and fast foods, which are generally over-processed, full of preservatives and high in sodium.

Drink 6-8 glasses of filtered water each day, while avoiding soft drinks and limiting fruit juice.