B group vitamins comprises of 8 vitamins. They are known as B complex vitamins. Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid is one of them. All B group vitamins are water soluble. Unlike fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K they are not stored in the body. Body utilizes them as needed from the food that we eat and the rest is expelled out through urine.
Vitamin B5 plays an important role in proper skin growth, nerve function and health of adrenal glands. In humans its deficiency is not well documented although experimental deficiency may result in apathy, depression, muscle weakness, burning feet and personality changes.
Derived its name from panthos which means present everywhere in the body, pantothenic acid is found extensively in normal daily food. The richest source of B5 is yeast, eggs and liver. Other sources of vitamin B5 is beans, mushrooms, peanuts, walnut, wheat germ, oats, brown rice, broccoli, cauliflower sunflower seeds etc. Fruits do not contain much of this vitamin.
Just like other B vitamins, pantothenic acid is absorbed in human intestine. It is excreted through urine and mother’s milk. Vitamin B5 in dose of 10 to 50 mg is adequate for therapeutic benefits.
Benefits Of Vitamin B5 For Arthritis
Several studies have revealed the benefits of pantothenic acid in alleviating symptoms of arthritis. In a double blind study conducted by researchers, patients found relief in reducing the time interval of morning stiffness which is a debilitating symptom of arthritis.
Its proper intake has also significant effect in alleviating arthritic pain. Arthritis is characterized by inflammation of joints. People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis are known to have low level of Vitamin B5 in their body than their counterpart healthy individuals.
Significant benefits in such individuals is seen when oral calcium pantothenate was given.
Pantothenic Acid Benefits In Stress Relief
Vitamin B5 is often addressed as anti stress vitamin. It may not be able to stop stress factors, but it plays an important role in producing anti stress hormones that play a protective role when body faces extreme situational stress. Adequate amount of vitamin B5 in the body has shown to reduce episodes of frequent panic attacks. Lack of this vitamin is seen in people who worry a lot.
Vitamin B5 has beneficial action on adrenal gland. Vitamin B5 is known to be involved in the production of cortisone and other hormones synthesized by adrenal glands. These hormones are known to combat depression, anxiety and fear. It is useful to give quick energy boost when the body is subjected to physical stress as it plays a vital role in carbohydrate metabolism.
Vitamin B5 For Hair Care
Research has found that lack of vitamin B5 in rats may result in grey hair. They also believe the same is true in humans. When a person is found to be deficient in vitamin B5 who also suffers from premature graying of hair, adequate replacement by eating vitamin B5 rich food helps to restore the natural color of hair.
In such situation eating vitamin B5 rich food such as eggs, legumes, milk, wheat, sunflower seeds is beneficial.