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  • Pantothenic acid, a member of the B vitamin clan (technically vitamin B5), is everywhere. It can be found in all living cells and, at least to some extent, in all foods. Appropriately, its name comes from the Greek word pantos, meaning "everywhere."

    Although discovered more than 40 years ago, nutritionists have never gotten too excited over the vitamin because overt deficiency in humans is very rare. In fact, symptoms of pantothenic acid deficiency in people occur only after long periods of food restriction. This is a so-called "stress vitamin," and deficiency is difficult to pin down because it appears to affect all organs' ability to handle stressors, both emotional and physical.

    In this article, we'll take a look at the history, therapeutic value, and sources of pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5. Here's a preview:
    • What is Vitamin B5?

      Like other B vitamins, pantothenic acid helps the body extract energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. It also helps to metabolize fats and produce red blood cells and hormones from the adrenal gland. Pantothenic acid is necessary to maintain good health.

    • Benefits of Vitamin B5

      Vitamin B5 might be useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis. It could also be used to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Pantothenic acid is commonly found in "anti-stress" formulas because it works with the adrenal glad to produce stress hormones.

    • Vitamin B5 Deficiency

      Vitamin B5 deficiency is extremely rare. It is not likely to occur in people who eat ordinary diets that include a variety of foods. Symptoms of deficiency have occurred only in experimental situations.

    Vitamin B5 is just one of many essential nutrients that need to be a part of your diet. For more information, visit these links.
    • A deficiency of vitamin B1, or thiamin, results in the disease beriberi. Learn more in How Vitamin B1 Works.
    • In How Vitamin B2 Works, read about how B2, or riboflavin, works in concert with its B-complex relatives to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
    • Vitamin B3, or niacin, acts as a coenzyme, assisting other substances in the conversion of food into energy. Learn more in How Vitamin B3 Works.
    • Vitamin B6 is actually three substances, pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, and pyridoxal, that work to metabolize protein and amino acids. Read more in How Vitamin B6 Works.
    • In How Biotin Works, learn how biotin acts as a coenzyme in several metabolic reactions, such as the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.

    • To learn about the many vitamins in our diet, how much you should be eating, and where to find them, go to our general Vitamins page.
    • To find the best prices on B vitamin supplements, click here.

    This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

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