What is Pantothenic Acid?
Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is one of the eight water-soluble B
vitamins that is required to sustain life. It is needed to form coenzyme-A (CoA), and
is critical in the metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Function of Pantothenic Acid:
Pantothenic acid is critical to the manufacture of red blood cells as well as sex and
stress-related hormones produced in the adrenal glands. It is also important in
maintaining a healthy digestive tract and helps the body to use other vitamins
[especially B2 (riboflavin)] more effectively. Studies suggest that pantothenic acid
may enhance the activity of the immune system and improve the body's ability to
withstand stressful situations.
Deficiency of Pantothenic Acid:
Pantothenic acid deficiency is rare and has not been thoroughly studied. It usually
occurs in cases of extreme malnutrition or starvation. Symptoms of minor
pantothenic acid deficiency include fatigue, allergies, nausea, and abdominal pain.
Symptoms of more serious (but reversible) pantothenic acid deficiency include
adrenal insuffiency and hepatic encephalopathy. When tests were conducted on
volunteers, the symptom of Gopalan's Burning Foot Syndrome (Severe Burning of
the sole with lightening pain) was reported.
in the late 1990s, a small study was published promoting the use of pantothenic acid
to treat acne. The study, published in 1997 by Dr. Lit-Hung Leung, showed that high
doses of pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) resolved acne and decreased pore size.
Critics have been quick to point out the flaws in Dr. Leung's study. One cause for
disagreement is that Dr. Leung's study was not a double-blind placebo controlled trial.
To date, Dr. Leung's study is the only study looking at the effect of Vitamin B5 on
acne. Few, if any, dermatologists prescribe high doses of pantothenic acid.
Note: A variety of medical conditions can lead to the symptoms mentioned above. Therefore, it is
important to have a physician evaluate them so that appropriate medical care can be given.
Toxicity (Pantothenic Acid Overdose):
Taking very high doses of pantothenic acid can cause gastrointestinal side effects like
nausea and heartburn to occur. Taking any one of the B complex vitamins for a long
period of time can cause an imbalance of the other important B vitamins. To avoid
the imbalance, it is recommended that you take a B complex vitamin instead of
isolating any single B vitamin.
Caution: Eating natural foods that are high in pantothenic acid is the safest and
healthiest way to get an adequate supply of the nutrient. Due to risk of toxicity,
individuals should always consult with a knowledgeable health care provider before
starting doses of supplements. Before giving supplements to children, it is
recommended that you first consult with their pediatrician. Also, some supplements
may interfere with medications. If you are taking medication, it is recommended that
you consult with your physician before taking any supplements. All supplements
should be kept in childproof bottles and out of children's reach.
Pantothenic Acid Food Chart (List of Foods High in Pantothenic Acid):
Avocado, California, 1 whole - (1.99 mg)
Yogurt 8 ounces - (1.35 mg)
Chicken, cooked, 3 ounces - (0.98 mg)
Sweet potato, cooked, 1 medium ~1/2 cup - (0.88 mg)
Milk, 1 cup - (0.83 mg)
Lentils, cooked, 1/2 cup - (0.63 mg)
Egg, cooked, 1 large - (0.61 mg)
Split peas, cooked, 1/2 cup - (0.58 mg)
Mushrooms, chopped, raw, 1/2 cup - (0.52 mg)
Broccoli, chopped, cooked, 1/2 cup - (0.48 mg)
Lobster, cooked, 3 ounces - (0.24 mg)
Bread, whole wheat, 1 slice - (0.19 mg)
Tuna, light, canned in water, 3 ounces - (0.18 mg)
Fish, cod, cooked, 3 ounces - (0.15 mg)
American Dietetic Association: Complete Food And Nutrition Guide (2nd Edition)
Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS
Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and More
Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH
University of Maryland Medical Center - umm.edu
Linus Pauling Institute - oregonstate.edu
Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
Eating foods that are high in
pantothenic acid can help to
prevent conditions such as
impared energy production which
leads to symptoms of irritability
and fatigue. Foods that are high
in pantothenic acid include: liver,
yeast, egg yolks, and broccoli.
Other foods which provide good
sources of pantothenic acid
include: fish, chicken, milk,
yogurt, legumes, mushrooms,
avocados, and sweet potatoes.
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|These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The content on
this website is for educational purposes only. Please consult with your physician before using natural
remedies and before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise program.
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