Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Vitamin B5, otherwise known as pantothenic acid or pantothenate is a water soluble B-vitamin that is critical for normal function of the human body.  This vitamin is also commonly called the anti-stress nutrient because it plays a role in the production of stress hormones by the adrenal glands.  Deficiency of B-5 contributes to the inability to cope with stress.  Additionally, pantothenic acid plays vital roles in energy production from foodstuffs.  Pantothenate is a component of coenzyme A, which is necessary for energy production from carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and other compounds, as well as synthesis of fats, cholesterol, steroid hormones, porphyrin and phospholipids.

Signs and Symptoms of Deficiency:

  • Fatigue
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Burning and pain in the arms and legs
  • Burning feet
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Irritability
  • Fainting
  • Hair loss
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Susceptibility to infection
  • Premature graying of the hair
  • Hair loss
  • Gluten sensitivity intolerance or celiac disease

Vitamin B5 has been shown to be beneficial for the following conditions:

  • Achlorhydria
  • Depression
  • Dermatitis
  • Adrenal disease (adrenal burn out or failure)
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • High Cholesterol
  • Chronic Fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia

Drugs or Medications that may interfere with or deplete vitamin B5:

  • caffeine
  • high blood pressure medications
  • acid reflux medications

The following foods are the richest dietary source of pantothenate:

  • The term pantos is Greek and means “everywhere”, therefore; B5 is found in most foods.  Meat, legumes, vegetables, nuts, and seeds  are rich sources.