Vitamin B5 // Pantothenic Acid

Sources of Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is available in a variety of foods, usually present as coenzyme A (CoA) or phosphopantetheine (20). Liver and kidney, yeast, egg yolk, broccoli, peanuts, fish, shellfish, chicken, milk, yogurt, legumes, mushrooms, avocado, and sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamin B5 (20, 21).

Whole grains are major sources of pantothenic acid, but processing and refining grains may result in a 35% to 75% loss (21). Freezing and canning of foods result in similar losses (12).

Some vitamin B5 is synthesized by the intestinal bacteria that normally colonize the human colon (‘large intestine’).  The uptake of biotin and pantothenic acid in cultured colon cells by a specialized transporter suggests that humans may be able to absorb intestinal produced pantothenic acid and biotin. However, it is not yet known to which extent bacterial synthesis contributes to pantothenic acid intake in humans  (16, 34).

Supplements commonly contain pantothenol, a more stable alcohol derivative, which is rapidly converted to pantothenic acid by humans. Calcium and sodium D-pantothenate, the calcium and sodium salts of pantothenic acid, are also available as supplements (4, 21). Pantethine, a disulfid derivate of pantothenic acid, is applied as cholesterol-lowering agent in Japan and as dietary supplement in the US (21).

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