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How Vitamin B5 Works

Vitamin B5 Deficiency

The RDA for vitamin B5 is 5 mg for both men and women with an estimated safe and adequate daily intake for adults between 4 and 7 mg. The average American gets about 10 to 20 mg. Bacteria living in the intestinal tract make some pantothenic acid, but no one knows yet if this contributes to the body's supply.

Vitamin B5 deficiency is not likely to occur as long as people eat ordinary diets that consist of a variety of foods. Symptoms of deficiency, such as insomnia, leg cramps, or burning feet, have only occurred in experimental situations. Even then, severe symptoms have occurred only if people also take a drug that interferes with the vitamin.

Insomnia, leg cramps, and burning feet are symptoms of a pantothenic acid deficiency.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.
Insomnia, leg cramps, and burning feet are symptoms of a pantothenic
acid deficiency.

Vitamin B5 Supplements

Vitamin B5 used for adrenal gland support would be effective at approximately 250 mg twice a day. For arthritis, 2,000 mg (2 g) per day may be helpful for pain relief. There are no known toxicity problems with high doses of pantothenic acid or pantethine. Massive doses, 10 to 20 g per day, may cause diarrhea in some people, however.

While vitamin B5 is necessary for good health, the good news is that a deficiency of this essential nutrient is extremely rare. Just eat a balanced diet to keep a vitamin B5 deficiency at bay.

Vitamin B5 isn't the only vitamin you need to maintain overall health. Visit these links to learn about other essentail nutrients you need to include in your diet.
  • Vitamin A, or retinol, plays a vital role in vision. Learn more in How Vitamin A Works.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Jennifer Brett, N.D. is director of the Acupuncture Institute for the University of Bridgeport, where she also serves on the faculty for the College of Naturopathic Medicine. A recognized leader in her field with an extensive background in treating a wide variety of disorders utilizing nutritional and botanical remedies, Dr. Brett has appeared on WABC TV (NYC) and on Good Morning America to discuss utilizing herbs for health.

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.