Pantothenic Acid

Also called Vitamin B5

All of the B vitamins, including pantothenic acid, work together to keep you healthy and feeling good. Here is a summary the role of this water-soluble vitamin, also known as Vitamin B5 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 vitamins, including Vitamin B5, since these nutrients are susceptible to the processes used in canning, freezing and refining food.

Getting Enough

In general, people who live in developed countries like the U.S. get enough Vitamin B5 and deficiency of this vitamin is rare. However, those with eating disorders or who live in poverty may not be eating enough food to get sufficient amounts of this and other vitamins in their diet.

Although the bacteria in your colon can produce Vitamin B5, it is still unknown whether your body can actually use this as a source of this B vitamin.

The sources listed above are the best sources, but many foods contain small amounts of Vitamin B5. If you eat a variety of fresh foods from all of the food groups, you will more than likely get enough.

Interesting Facts: 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 this B vitamin has been shown to be beneficial in the healing of wounds.

Most health experts agree that the best way to obtain vitamins  is from the foods you eat. Even if you take a vitamin supplement, the idea is to fill in the gaps, but most nutrients should come from the foods you eat.

The nutrients in food appear to be more accessible to your body, than nutrients from pills because they are not isolated, but surrounded by other substances that work with them to keep you healthy.

This is not to say you should not take supplements; many health experts recommend that you do. However, do not make the mistake of trying to use a pill to replace healthy food in your diet.

Click here to go from Pantothenic Acid page to Vitamins page.

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