Adding pantothenic acid to culture medium of in-vitro human skin models increased cell proliferation and the repair of artificial wounds (6, 30). However, while administration of oral vitamin B5 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 (29), there are inconsistent data available to support accelerated wound healing in humans.
A randomized controlled study in patients undergoing surgery for tattoo removal found that supplementation with 1,000 mg vitamin C and 200 mg pantothenic acid did not significantly improve the wound healing process (7). However, a recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, applying dexpanthenol pastilles (300 mg/day for up to 14 days post surgery), reported an acceleration in mucosal healing after tonsillectomy in children (28).
Clinical studies found daily doses of 900 mg (300 mg three times daily) pantethine, a disulfide derivate of pantothenic acid, to be significantly more effective than placebo in lowering total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood of both diabetic and non-diabetic individuals (8).
The fact that pantethine has few side effects was especially attractive for patients whose blood needs to be cleaned by dialysis (‘hemodialysis’) because of the increased risk of drug toxicity in patients with renal (kidney) failure (9).
Recent larger randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, supplementing pantethine daily (600 mg/day for 8 weeks, followed by 900 mg/day for another 8 weeks), reported a significant improvement of the lipid parameter profile in individuals at low-to-moderate risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). After adjusting to baseline, pantethine was found to be significantly effective in lowering the concentrations of low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) and apolipoprotein B (apoB), compared to placebo (31,32). As pantethine is not a vitamin, the use of pharmacological doses should be advised by a qualified health care provider.
Some very preliminary data suggests that pantothenic acid might help with symptoms of inflammatory conditions / diseases.
A small study concluded that 2,000 mg/day calcium pantothenate improved symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), including morning stiffness and pain (10). This study found that people with RA may have lower vitamin B5 plasma levels than healthy people, and the lowest levels were associated with the most severe symptoms.
An uncontrolled pilot study in humans, suffering from diabetic foot ulcer (a complication of diabetes mellitus), with royal jelly and panthenol ointment showed a 92 to 96% success rate of recovery (27).
Another small human study with high doses of vitamin B5 showed that varying doses of 10-20g pantothenic acid (80% orally and 20% topically administered) resolved acne and decreased pore size in Asian subjects (25, 26)
However, further studies are needed to confirm these findings on inflammatory conditions.
Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010, reviewed and revised by Ines Warnke on 29.05.2017