Vitamin B5 (Calcium Pantothenate, Pantothenic acid)
Pantothenic acid is an essential water-soluble vitamin that has many uses within the body.
Amongst its vital roles are:
- converting food into energy
- the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates
- maintaining the proper functioning of the nervous system
- the synthesis of hormones and cholesterol
- in the production of red blood cells
Our bodies cannot produce Pantothenic acid and very little can be stored by the body.
We must get Pantothenic acid from foods and supplements. Depletion can occur quite rapidly so regular, preferably daily, intake is required.
Processing, cooking in water, defrosting and extremes of pH will remove Pantothenic acid from foods
Pantothenic acid occurs in low concentrations in many natural foods, but is quite easily lost. Foods that are a good source of Pantothenic acid include: chicken, beef, potatoes, liver, kidney, eggs, broccoli, and unprocessed grains.
Your lifestyle may increase the risk of deficiency
Aside from a poor diet, deficiencies can occur due to:
- tea and coffee consumption
- alcohol intake
- heavy exercise
- high stress
Severe Pantothenic acid deficiency is very rare, but even a moderate deficit has health consequences. Some of the symptoms of mild deficiency are similar for all B Group vitamins:
- energy production is reduced which can cause tiredness, irritability, fatigue, and apathy.
- nervous system symptoms such as muscle weakness, cramps and numbness.
There is no RDI for Vitamin B5, however Adequate Intake (AI) levels have been established:
|Girls||14-18 yr||4.0 mg/day|
|Boys||14-18 yr||6.0 mg/day|
|Girls||9-13 yr||4.0 mg/day|
|Boys||9-13 yr||5.0 mg/day|
|Children||4-8 yr||4.0 mg/day|
|Children||1-3 yr||3.5 mg/day|
* Source: Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. National health and Medical Research Council
There are no reports of adverse effects of oral Vitamin B5 in humans. Thus an upper level cannot be determined.