How Vitamin B5 Works

Benefits of Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 often rides on the shirttails of the other B vitamins in "anti-stress" formulas. It does work closely with the adrenal gland, which produces stress hormones. Pantothenic acid supports the adrenal gland, renewing its supply of stress hormones and generally and keeping the gland in optimal health.

Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers are often low in pantothenic acid.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers are
often low in pantothenic acid.

Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers are often low in pantothenic acid, leading many to believe that the vitamin has a place in the treatment of this disease. In one study, supplementation of 2 g per day lessened arthritis pain for many participants.

A certain form of vitamin B5, called pantethine, may be helpful for lowering blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. At a dosage of 300 mg taken three times a day, it raised "good" HDL cholesterol levels while significantly lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol levels. It helps the body use fat more efficiently and puts the brakes on cholesterol synthesis. People with diabetes and high cholesterol levels have benefited from pantethine supplementation too.

At one time there was speculation that vitamin B5 might keep hair from turning gray because the hair of laboratory rats turned gray when they were made deficient in this vitamin. This was only speculation; pantothenic acid has no such effect in humans.

A deficiency of vitamin B5 is extremely unlikely in someone who eats an ordinary diet. Symptoms of deficiency, such as leg cramps and insomnia, have occurred only in test settings. Learn more about vitamin B5 deficiency on the next page.

Vitamin B5 isn't the only nutrient you need to maintain good health. Check out these links to learn more about vitamins that need to be part of your diet.
  • A vitamin B1, or thiamin, deficiency 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.
  • In How Vitamin E Works, learn about this important antioxidant with far-reaching health benefits.
  • Vitamin K is important in allowing your blood to clot properly. Learn more in How Vitamin K Works.
  • 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.