Vitamin B5 - pantothenic acid
Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, as well as the "anti-stress vitamin" is part of the B group vitamins and classified as a water-soluble vitamin. This nutrient can be manufactured in the body by the intestinal flora.
Vitamin B5 - pantothenic acid - is required for
Vitamin B5 plays an important role in the secretion of hormones, such as cortisone because of the role it plays in supporting the adrenal gland. These hormones assist the metabolism, help to fight allergies and are beneficial in the maintenance of healthy skin, muscles and nerves.
Pantothenic acid is also used in the release of energy as well as the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates. It is used in the creation of lipids, neurotransmitters, steroid hormones and hemoglobin.
Some are of the opinion that pantothenic acid is also helpful to fight wrinkles as well as graying of the hair.
Deficiency of vitamin B5
With Vitamin B5 in short supply symptoms like fatigue, headaches, nausea, tingling in the hands, depression, personality changes and cardiac instability have been reported.
Frequent infection, fatigue, abdominal pains, sleep disturbances and neurological disorders including numbness, paresthesia (abnormal sensation such as "burning feet" syndrome), muscle weakness and cramps are also possible indications that this nutrient is in short supply.
Biochemical changes include increased insulin sensitivity, lowered blood cholesterol, decreased serum potassium, and failure of adrenocorticotropin to induce eosinopenia.
The dosage underneath is the (RDA), but be aware that this dosage is the minimum that you require per day, to ward off serious deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.
No recommended dosage but 10 - 100 mg is indicated.
Toxicity and symptoms of high intake
It does not appear to be toxic in high dosage, although diarrhea, digestive disturbances and water retention have been reported on dosage exceeding 10 g a day.
Taking 1,500 mg a day over an extended period may cause sensitivity to the teeth.
Best used with
It is most effective when taken with the B group vitamins, Vitamin A, vitamin C and Vitamin E
When more may be required
People under stress, prone to allergies, consuming alcohol or eating too many refined foods might develop a shortage of this vitamin.
Enemy of vitamin B5
Pantothenic acid can be lost in cooking - particularly with roasting or milling, as well as when exposed to acids like vinegar, or alkali such as baking soda. It is also destroyed to a large degree in canning.
Other interesting points
Do not add soda to the water when cooking vegetables - it will destroy the pantothenic acid.
Food sources of vitamin B5
Beef, brewers yeast, eggs, fresh vegetables, kidney, legumes, liver, mushrooms, nuts, pork, royal jelly, saltwater fish, torula yeast, whole rye flour, and whole wheat.