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 occurs widespread in foods of plant and animal origin and is found throughout all living cells. Pantothenic acid is a water-soluble vitamin and a precursor for the biosynthesis of  ‘coenzyme A’ (CoA), an essential cofactor in numerous biochemical reactions that sustain life (2).

Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010, reviewed and revised by Ines Warnke on 29.05.2017

Health functions

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) contributes normal mental performance, and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.

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

    The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is dependent on age, gender, and other factors.

  • 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

    Naturally occurring vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) deficiency in humans is very rare and has been observed only in cases of severe malnutrition.

  • Sources

    Foods high in vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) include broccoli, fish, shellfish, chicken, milk, yogurt, beans, mushrooms, avocado, and sweet potatoes.

  • 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.