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Pantothenic acid Overview

Also called vitamin B5, pantothenic acid is a water-soluble B vitamin and is categorized as an essential nutrient. It is synthesized from the combination of pantoic acid and the amino acid ?-alanine. All animals need pantothenic acid for the synthesis of coenzyme A (CoA) – essential for the metabolism of fatty acids and the general synthesis and metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) – Get An Insight On Its Benefits, Uses & More
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)

Pantothenic acid is a combination of pantoic acid and ?-alanine. Its name comes from pantos (Greek), meaning “from everywhere,” since almost all foods contain small amounts of pantothenic acid. Human deficiency is essentially rare. As an animal feed or dietary supplement, the form (of pantothenic acid) commonly used is calcium pantothenate due to its chemical stability and, by extension, long shelf life as compared to free pantothenic acid or sodium pantothenate.

Unlike vitamin E, which comes about in eight chemically associated forms referred to as vitamers, pantothenic acid is just one chemical compound.


Pantothenic acid is a vital nutrient naturally available in some foods, and present as a dietary supplement. The primary function of this water-soluble vitamin is for the acyl transporter protein and the synthesis of coenzyme A (CoA). Coenzyme A is vital in the transfer of acetyl and acyl groups, the synthesis and degradation of fatty acids, and many other catabolic and anabolic processes. The main role of the acyl transporter protein is in the synthesis of fatty acids. [1]

Pantothenic acid is contained in many different animal and plant foods. About eighty-five percent of dietary pantothenic acid is in the form of CoA or phosphopantetheine. These forms are altered to pantothenic acid by digestive enzymes (nucleosidases, peptidases, and phosphorylases) located in the intestinal cells and lumen. After this, pantothenic acid is assimilated in the intestine and passed directly to the bloodstream by a process called active transport (and even by elementary diffusion in higher doses).

However, pantetheine (the dephosphorylated composition of phosphopantetheine) is first absorbed by intestinal cells and altered to pantothenic acid before its release into the blood. The intestinal flora also creates vitamin B5, but its percentage total to the whole amount of pantothenic acid assimilated by the body is unknown and might be negligible. The vehicle through which pantothenic acid is transported throughout the body are red blood cells. Most pantothenic acid in tissues are in CoA form and are present as acyl transport proteins or free pantothenic acid in smaller amounts.

Sources of Pantothenic Acid

In Food

Panthothenic acid is contained in almost all plant and animal foods in various amounts. Some of the richest food sources of pantothenic acid are whole grains, chicken, beef, organic meat, and vegetables. Pantothenic acid is added to many foods during production, such as beverages (energy drinks) and breakfast cereals. Insufficient information indicates that more than half of the body’s present pantothenic acid at any time is gotten from food. [2]

Comestible plant and animal tissues comprise comparatively prominent pantothenic acid concentrations. However, food processing can cause vital losses of this compound.

Food sources of vitamin B5 include but are not limited to: beef liver, breakfast cereals, sunflower seeds, chicken, tuna, milk, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese, broccoli, yogurt, rice, amongst others. [3]

Pantothenic Acid Benefits

  • Prevents pantothenic acid deficiency.
  • Reduces stress.
  • Improves heart health.
  • Increases endurance.
  • Useful for hair and skin.
  • Strengthens the immune system.

Other Medical Benefits

Reduction of High cholesterol / High triglycerides

Many small studies intimate that vitamin B5 may help lower triglycerides or blood fats in people with high cholesterol. These studies prove that pantotheine helped reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. In some general studies, pantothenic acid appears to reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels in diabetes patients. However, not all studies are in line with this. Extensive studies are needed to determine if pantethine benefits tangibly. [4]

Skincare And Wound Healing

Prelim research proposes that vitamin B5 has a moisturizing effect on the human skin, but scientists aren’t sure why it has these properties. Other studies, mostly on animals and test tubes and a lower fraction on humans, suggest that pantothenic acid supplements may accelerate the healing of wounds after surgery. This may be especially true if vitamin B5 is merged with vitamin C.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Preliminary proof suggests that pantothenic acid may positively impact rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, but the evidence is unstable. One study proved that rheumatoid arthritis patients might have smaller levels of B5 in their bloodstream than otherwise healthy people, and these smaller levels were supposedly associated with more serious symptoms. Other studies show that calcium pantothenate helps rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, including morning rigor and pain. As for the first point, comprehensive studies are needed to give flesh to these findings. [5]

Food Supplements

Pantothenic acid is available in dietary supplements combined with other B-complex vitamins, containing only pantothenic acid and in some multivitamin products. Some supplements contain pantethine (a dimeric compound of pantetheine) or, more popularly, calcium pantothenate. No existing studies have compared the comparative bioavailability of pantothenic from these other forms. The volume of pantothenic acid in supplements generally ranges from close to 10 mg in multivitamin products to 1,000 mg in vitamin B-complex supplements or in pantothenic acid alone.

The dosage and timing of use of this type of vitamin may vary if used for different purposes. The recommended dose for adults is 5 mg per day. As a dietary supplement, the amount can be 5 to 10 mg per day.

For pregnant women, it is 6 mg per day. In breastfeeding women, the recommended dose is 7 mg. Men and women 14 years of age and older are 5 mg. Infants aged 0 to 6 months receive 1.7 mg daily. Infants aged 7 to 12 months are 1.8 mg. Children aged 1 to 3 years use 2 mg, children aged 4 to 8 years use 3 mg, and children aged 9 to 13 years use 4 mg daily.

Pantothenic acid FAQ’s

Q: What is pantothenic acid and is it good for you?

A: Pantothenic acid, also called Vitamin B5, is one of the 8 B vitamins. All these vitamins help convert foods (carbohydrates) in the body into much-needed fuel (glucose), which the body uses for energy. These B vitamins, often called B-complex vitamins, also help the body use proteins and fats.

Q: What does pantothenic acid do to your body?

A: Pantothenic acid helps convert the food you eat into the energy you need. It is important for many body functions, especially for the production and breakdown of fats. [6]

Q: Does pantothenic acid cause hair loss?

A: Large doses of pantothenic acid do not cause symptoms, except (possibly) diarrhea. [7]

Q: Is B5 good for the skin?

A: Vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin from the group of B vitamins. It helps manufacture energy by breaking down proteins and carbohydrates. It also promotes healthy skin and liver. [8]

Q: Is pantothenic acid good for acne?

A: An 8-week study in people with mild to moderate facial acne found that taking a pantothenic acid-based nutritional supplement significantly reduced acne and facial spots. Although this study shows the potential of using vitamin B-5 to treat acne, further research is needed to demonstrate its effectiveness. [9]

Q: What is the recommended daily intake of vitamin B5?

A: The recommended daily dose for men and women over 19 years is 5 mg daily. During pregnancy and lactation, the amount is increased to 6 mg and 7 mg per day. [10]

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We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

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[9] Yang M, Moclair B, Hatcher V, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of a novel pantothenic Acid-based dietary supplement in subjects with mild to moderate facial acne. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2014;4(1):93-101. doi:10.1007/s13555-014-0052-3
[10] Pantothenic Acid – Vitamin B5: