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Vitamins and natural products

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. It cannot be stored in fat. Vitamin B5 is found in nearly all foods, with high amounts in seeds and whole grains and in some varieties of stinging nettles (plants in the Urticacae or nettle family). Royal jelly is the natural product known to contain the most vitamin B5. 

Vitamin B5 promotes skin and mucosa growth and resistance to stress or disease. It is necessary to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins and is instrumental in the synthesis of some hormones. 

Roles

What does vitamin B5 do? 

  • Promotes lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels;
  • Speeds the healing of wounds, minor burns, irritations, and skin lesions (topical use).

Needs

The data does not allow nutritionists to calculate a recommended dietary allowance (RDA). Adequate intake (AI) of pantothenic acid is considered to be the amount required to offset the B5 eliminated in urine. 

Adequate Intake of Vitamin B5: 

Age
mg
Infants
Birth to 12 months
1.7mg to 1.8mg
1 to 8 years
2mg to 3mg
Preteens
9 to 13 years
4mg
Teens/adults
14 and older
5mg
Pregnant women
 
6mg
Nursing mothers
 
7mg

Source: www.passeportsanté.net; Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board, 2000.

Sources

The main food sources for vitamin B5 are generally chicken, beef, potatoes, oats, tomato-based products, liver, kidneys, yeast, egg yolks, broccoli, and whole grains. 

Food Sources for Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 

Foods
Portion Size
Vitamin B5
Shiitake mushrooms, dry
10 mushrooms (36g)
8mg
Lamb, turkey, beef, chicken, calf, or pork liver, cooked
100g (0.75oz)
4-6mg
Poultry offal, cooked
100g (0.75oz)
3-4mg
Caribou (reindeer), roasted
100g (0.75oz)
3mg
All-bran breakfast cereals
30g (1oz)
3mg
Pork kidneys, braised
100g (0.75oz)
3mg
Shiitake mushrooms, cooked
125ml (0.5 cup) (4 mushrooms)
3mg
Turkey, chicken, pork, or calf hearts, stewed
100g (0.75oz)
2-3mg
Sunflower seeds, toasted or roasted, dry or with oil
60ml (0.25 cup)
2mg
Sunflower seed butter
30ml (2 tbsp.)
2mg
Beef or lamb kidneys, braised
100g (0.75oz)
2mg
Salmon, oven baked
100g (0.75oz)
2mg
Domestic or Canada goose, meat only, roasted
100g (0.75oz)
2mg
Mushrooms, boiled
125ml (0.5 cup)
2mg
Atlantic cod, dehydrated and salted
100g (0.75oz)
2mg
Veal shoulder, braised
100g (0.75oz)
2mg
Hard-boiled egg
1 egg
1mg
Turkey, dark meat
100g (0.75oz)
1mg
Caviar, black or red, grainy
30g (1oz)
1mg
Blue cheese
50g (1.5oz)
1mg

Source: www.passeportsanté.net; Santé Canada, Fichier canadien sur les éléments nutritifs, versions 2001b et 2005; Ministère de l'Agriculture des États-Unis(USDA), National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

*µg = microgramme= millionième de gramme.

Deficiency

Vitamin B5 deficiency is unlikely because B5 is found in virtually all foods. Vitamin B5 is sensitive to air, light, and heat, so freezing, canning, refining, and cooking destroy much of its content in food. An unvaried diet consisting mainly of processed foods and certain antibiotics can lead to a deficit in pantothenic acid. 

Signs of vitamin B5 deficiency: 

  • Irritability and agitation;
  • Hair loss;
  • Fatigue;
  • Low energy;
  • Malaise;
  • Sleep disturbances;
  • Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps;
  • Neurological disorders such as numbness, staggering gait, and muscle cramps;
  • Hypoglycemia and increased sensitivity to insulin.

Adverse effects

Large amounts of vitamin B5 are well tolerated by most people. 

Signs of excess vitamin B5 (rare): 

  • Diarrhea (if more than 10 g/day).

Interactions

Natural health products and vitamin supplements: 

  • none;

 Drugs: 

  • Drugs that lower blood lipid levels (heightened effect);
  • Antibiotic treatments could theoretically cause vitamin B5 deficiency.

Additional information

Speak with your pharmacist if you plan to take B5 supplements. Your pharmacist can help you choose the solution that’s best for you based on your health and any drugs you take. 

Other names

Vitamin B5, Anti-stress vitamin, Coenzyme A, CoA, Calcium pantothenate, Dexpanthenol, Pantothenyl alcohol, Panthenol, Pantethine