Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic Acid - The Anti-Stress Factor

Vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin of the B complex group. It is also known as pantothenic acid. Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid is a pale yellow, oily liquid which is not crystallised, but its calcium salt crystallises readily and this is the form in which it is generally available. This vitamin is not destroyed in neutral solutions, but is liable to rapid destruction in acid and alkaline mediums. It is also liable to destruction by food-processing techniques, caffeine, sulphur drugs, sleeping pills, and alcohol. Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid is absorbed from the alimentary tract, and excreted in urine and mother's milk.

Recommended Daily Allowance - Vitamin B5
Men 10 mg
Women 10 mg
Children 5.5 mg

Vitamin B5 Benefits - Functions in the body

Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid is a part of the enzyme system which plays a vital role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and in the synthesis of amino acids and fatty acids. It is also essential for the formation of porphyrin, the pigment portion of the haemoglobin molecule of the red blood cells.

This vitamin is involved in all the vital functions of the body. It stimulates the adrenal glands and increases production of cortisone and other adrenal hormones. It is primarily used as an anti-stress factor and protects against most physical and mental stresses and toxins. Pantothenic acid increases vitality, wards off infections, and speeds recovery from ill health. It helps in maintaing the normal growth and development of the central nervous system. This vitamin prevents premature ageing. It also provides protection against any damage caused by excessive radiation.

Vitamin B5 Deficiency Symptoms

A deficiency of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) can cause chronic fatigue, an increased tendency towards infections, greying and loss of hair, mental depression, irritability, dizziness, and muscular weakness. It may lead to stomach distress, constipation, skin disorders, retarded growth, painful and burning feet, insomina, muscle cramps, exhaustion, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and duodenal ulcers.

Vitamin B5 Rich Food Sources

Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid is found in extensive quantities in foods. The best sources are yeast, liver, and eggs. Other good sources are peanuts, mushrooms, split peas, soya beans and soya bean flour. About one-half of the pantothenic acid is lost in the milling of grains. Fruits are relatively poor sources of this vitamin.

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