Daily Dose of Pantothenic Acid: 5-10mg
Pantothenic Acid, otherwise known an vitamin B5, is found in every cell of the body and in every living thing. Just like other vitamins in the B vitamin group, it is necessary for breaking down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to make energy. Often used in combination of the other B vitamins, there are many great benefits to pantothenic acid and it serves many important functions of the body. Among these are wound healing. Vitamin B5 as an ointment, can help wounds grow in the right direction, improve closure, and strengthen scar tissue. Another notable benefit is that it can also balance cholesterol. Pantethine, a medication derived from pantothenic acid, has been proven to lower both cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. It is also used to treat and prevent skin reactions due to radiation therapy and maintain nervous system functions.
Because we can get pantothenic acid from most foods available today, a deficiency is rare, but low levels of vitamin B5 can cause several symptoms. The main function of the B vitamin group is to metabolize food and turn it into energy. The body cannot use food as a fuel resource without pantothenic acid, so fatigue is usually the first symptom of a B vitamin deficiency. The other symptom of low levels of vitamin B5 is high cholesterol. As mentioned earlier, pantothenic acid can lower LDL cholesterol. This is the “bad cholesterol” that gathers in the walls of the circulatory system. High LDL cholesterol can cause heart attacks from a sudden blood clot in an artery hardened by atherosclerosis. Anxiety is another symptom because pantothenic acid may help encourage the release of dopamine and serotonin.
Natural sources of vitamin B5 include meats, avocados, eggs, peas, broccoli, sunflower seeds, and bread. Just 100g of sunflower seeds can provide all the pantothenic acid that is needed for a day. As a dietary supplement, it is recommended to consume 5-10mg a day.
- Kobayashi D1, Kusama M, Onda M, Nakahata N. The effect of pantothenic acid deficiency on keratinocyte proliferation and the synthesis of keratinocyte growth factor and collagen in fibroblasts. J Pharmacol Sci. 2011;115(2):230-4. PMID: 21258175.
- Rumberger JA1, Napolitano J, Azumano I, Kamiya T, Evans M. Pantethine, a derivative of vitamin B(5) used as a nutritional supplement, favorably alters low-density lipoprotein cholesterol metabolism in low- to moderate-cardiovascular risk North American subjects: a triple-blinded placebo and diet-controlled investigation. Nutr Res. 2011 Aug;31(8):608-15. PMID: 21925346.