Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, is essential to all forms of life (1). Its name originates from the Greek word ‘pantos’, meaning ‘everywhere’, as it can be found throughout all living cells. Pantothenic acid occurs in the form of ‘coenzyme A’ (CoA), a vital coenzyme in numerous chemical reactions (2).

Health functions

Vitamin B5 is a component of coenzyme A (CoA), an essential coenzyme required for chemical reactions that generate energy from food (fat, carbohydrates, and proteins).

Disease risk reduction

While administration of oral vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) and application of pantothenol ointment to the skin have been shown to accelerate the closure of skin wounds and increase the strength of scar tissue in animals (6), there are only few data to support accelerated wound healing in humans.

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Things to know about Vitamin B5

  • Intake Recommendations

    Little is known regarding the amount of dietary vitamin B5 required to promote optimal health or prevent chronic disease.

  • Supply Situation

    National nutrition surveys have shown for some European countries estimated mean dietary vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) intakes for adults of 4 –7 mg/day, with a range of 3–12 mg/day (13).

  • Deficiency

    Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) deficiency in humans has been induced experimentally by co-administering a pantothenic acid antagonist and a pantothenic acid-deficient diet.

  • Sources

    Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is available in a variety of foods, such as liver and kidney, yeast, egg yolk, and broccoli. Fish, shellfish, chicken, milk, yogurt, legumes, mushrooms, avocado, and sweet potatoes are also good sources.

  • Safety

    Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is not known to be toxic in humans. The only adverse effect noted was diarrhea resulting from very high intakes of 10–20 g/day calcium D-pantothenate (17).

  • References

    Consult the full list of scientific references.