Vitamin B5

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-3-17 (EDT)

See Also Vitamins


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Vitamin B5, or Pantothenic Acid is a water-soluble micronutrient. It is important for proper fat and carbohydrate utilization in the body and the making of adrenal hormones and red blood cells as it is used in the making of coenzyme A (CoA) and acyl carrier protein (ACP). Deficiencies in this vitamin a rare in humans because it is ubiquitous in foods. In fact, pantos, from which its name is derived, means "everywhere" in Greek. Pantethine is the most active and stable form of the vitamin.

Contents

Food Sources

The following foods have the highest concentration of vitamin B5. For a more expansive list on food sources of specific nutrients visit Health Canada's Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamins or USDA's National Nutrient Database

Other food sources include:[1]

Uses

The following are the primary uses of Vitamin B5. [2] [3]

  • Adrenal Support: Vitamin B5 is often considered the "antistress" vitamin due to its important role in adrenal function and cellular metabolism.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: It has been found that blood levels of vitamin B5 is inversely related to the severity of symptoms in those with rheumatoid arthritis. Supplementation with the vitamin can mitigate symptoms.
  • High Cholesterol and Triglycerides: Pantethine is the form of this vitamin that has the significant lipid-lowering activity as compared to Pantothenic Acid. Pantethine significantly reduces serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL (bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL (good cholesterol). It works by inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol and allows the body to utilize fats as an energy source more quickly. This form of the vitamin is quite expensive but is safer for use in diabetes than other natural lipid-lowering agents.
  • Acne, Obesity, and Lupus: Deficiency in vitamin B5 has been linked to all three of these conditions. High doses are generally needed.
  • Swinging Gait: Deficiency in this vitamin can also cause a swinging running gait. Supplementation has been shown to help.

Deficiency Symptoms

  • Fatigue and listlessness are usually the first signs.
  • Deficiency is characterized by "burning foot syndrome" which includes symptoms such as numbness and shooting pains in the feet.

Assessment Procedure

Common Deficiency Tests [4]

  • Urine alpha-Keto Acids - a high level indicates a deficiency

Prescribing Considerations

  • Pantothenic acid is available most often as calcium pantothenate. The most active and useful form, however, is pantethine. [2]
  • The recommended dosages varies based on age and health status. To determine what your specific requirements are talk to your naturopathic doctor or other trained medical professional.
  • Infant: 2mg (under 6 months); 3mg (6-12 months)
  • Children and Adults: 3-4mg (1-6 years); 4-5mg (7-10 years); 4-7mg (11+ years)

Safety

There are no significant adverse reactions, side effects, or drug interactions associated with vitamin B5. [2]

References

  1. Medlineplus [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Murray Michael T (2005) Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements, The Essential Guide for Improving Your Health Naturally, Prima Publishing
  3. Hoffer Abram, Prousky Jonathan (2006) Naturopathic Nutrition, a Guide to Health Food and Nutritional Supplements, CCNM Press
  4. Bralley J Alexander and Lord Richard S (2005) Laboratory Evaluations in Molecular Medicine, Nutrients, Toxicants, and Cell Regulators Institute for Advances in Molecular Medince, GA
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