Vitamin B5 also known as Pantothenic acid is a water soluble vitamin belonging to B group of vitamins. The word pantothenic is derived from Greek and it means “from everywhere”. This vitamin in true sense is present in almost all foods, although not in substantial amount in some of them. In animal food, pantothenic acid is present in liver and kidney. It is present in large amount in vegetables and fruits.
Besides, this vitamin is prepared in the small intestine by healthy bacteria. Therefore, it is rare to find exclusive deficiency symptoms of vitamin B5. Patients suffering from malnourishment may have deficiency of this vitamin. In such cases oral supplement of vitamin B5 is helpful.
The usual therapeutic doses of pantothenic acid are 50 to 200 mg. In some studies 1,000 mg and more were given daily for six months without any side-effects being produced.
Signs And Symptoms Of Vitamin B5 Deficiency
Here are important signs and symptoms of vitamin B5 deficiency. They usually develop when the deficiency is profound.
- Vitamin B5 deficiency produces burning and tingling sensation in extremities. At times there is lack of coordination.
- Vitamin B5 plays an active role in production of acetylcholine, a chemical which has multiple functions. Acetylcholine is needed for proper contraction of muscles and it acts as a catalyst between two nerve endings for passage of messages. Deficiency of vitamin B5 will result in less production of this chemical and thus it may cause muscle cramps, tingling sensation, numbness etc.
- Similar to other B vitamins, Vitamin B5 also takes part in energy production. Excess deficiency of B5 will thus produce tiredness, fatigue, lack of concentration, irritability etc.
- B5 deficiency can lead to chronic diarrhea. When no other cause of diarrhea is detected, suspect deficiency of B5 vitamin as one of the cause.
- Often low blood sugar, low blood pressure, skin ailments, sleeplessness are due to deficiency of B5 vitamin.
Health Benefits Of Pantothenic Acid Or Vitamin B5
Pantothenic acid is water soluble vitamin. Its enzymatic action is important in various metabolic processes of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It is because of Vitamin B5, the body is able to utilize amino acids and fatty acids for various purposes.
Few studies indicate that vitamin B5 takes part in reduction of triglyceride in the blood in people having high triglyceride level. It is also important in lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol.
- Vitamin B5 encourages production of corticosteroid hormones by stimulating the adrenal glands. This hormone is primarily associated in dealing with stressful situations. When body faces any type of stress, mental or physical, production of this hormone is increased. Basically it is an anti stress hormone.
- Pantothenic acid is also known to initiate faster healing of wounds, especially surgical wounds. Its efficiency increases more together with vitamin C.
- Vitamin B5 is known to strengthen nervous system as it plays a role in production of acetylcholine.
- Other healing properties of vitamin B5 include prevention of premature graying of hair, early wrinkle formation etc.
- For patients suffering from cancer and on radiation therapy, Pantothenic acid provides protection against damage to body tissue and cells.