The Many Benefits of Vitamin B5
Everybody knows that vitamins are some of the most important nutrients in your daily diet. Even then, however, it seems that people really don’t pay attention to how they get their vitamins, which causes many people to suffer from deficiencies.
When you don’t get enough of a certain vitamin in your normal diet, taking a supplement is a convenient way to make sure that you are getting a balanced intake of necessary nutrients. Of course, there are so many vitamins out there that knowing which ones to take can be quite difficult.
Brief Introduction to B Vitamins
As you probably know, most vitamins are given a letter and some of those letters are more popular than others. For example, everyone has heard of vitamin C but not many people have heard of vitamin K. Similarly, vitamin B is commonly subdivided into eight different types, most of which have been given numbers to associate with.
Those types include thiamin (vitamin B1), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), folate or folic acid (vitamin B9), biotin (vitamin B7), niacin (vitamin B3), and riboflavin (vitamin B2).
With that said, there seem to be many other B vitamins that are forms of other vitamins or are technically no longer considered to be vitamins, such as vitamin B4 (adenine), vitamin B8 (inositol), vitamin B10 (para amino benzoic acid), and vitamin B11 (salicylic acid).
These vitamins are often forgotten but they’re not alone; even the eight popular types of B vitamins are frequently forgotten or not even known about. Every vitamin is individually important even though some may not be as necessarily supplemented as others.
What Is Vitamin B5?
Of all the B vitamins, vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, is one of the most commonly forgotten. With that said, it is also one of the most important vitamins in the group. To put it simply, vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is essential for creating new blood cells and converting food into energy.
All B vitamins are helpful in converting food into energy; they’re also beneficial for digestion, a healthy liver, and nervous system, producing red blood cells, improving vision, growing healthy skin and hair, and making hormones related to stress and sex within the adrenal glands.
Vitamin B5 is essential for a healthy metabolism as well as healthy skin. It is also used to synthesize coenzyme A (CoA), which helps many processes within the body (such as breaking down fatty acids). Deficiencies of this vitamin are very rare but the condition is also very serious if it exists.
Without enough vitamin B5, you may experience symptoms such as numbness, burning feelings, headaches, insomnia, or fatigue. Often, a deficiency of vitamin B5 is hard to identify due to how widespread its use is throughout the body.
How Much Do We Need?
Based on recommendations from the United States Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine, adult men and women should consume about 5 milligrams of vitamin B5 every day. Pregnant women should intake 6 milligrams, and women who are breastfeeding should intake 7 milligrams.
Recommended intake levels for children start at 1.7 milligrams until 6 months, 1.8 milligrams until 12 months, 2 milligrams until 3 years, 3 milligrams until 8 years, 4 milligrams until 13 years, and 5 milligrams after 14 years and into adulthood.
Generally speaking, pantothenic acid has not been known to be toxic but taking too much (up to 1,200 milligrams) could cause side effects and gastrointestinal issues such as nausea or heartburn.
What Food Contains Vitamin B5?
Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, is actually a very common nutrient found in many popular foods, which is one reason why deficiencies are typically so rare. Foods with high concentrations of vitamin B5 include eggs, meat, legumes, avocado, yogurt, mushrooms, potatoes (white or sweet), broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, sun-dried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, salmon, and whole grain cereals.
When grains are refined or processed, they lose large amounts of pantothenic acid (up to 75% in some cases), but it is still widely found in a large number of foods. Essentially, due to how easy it is to get vitamin B5 in a normal daily diet, deficiencies are typically only linked with severe cases of malnutrition.
The Discovery of Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5 was discovered by two scientists, Rojer J. Williams and R. W. Truesdail, in 1931. With that said, it wasn’t successfully isolated and studied by itself until 1938. After its discovery, it was named after the Greek word “pantos,” meaning “everywhere,” as it was proven to be found in all living cells throughout biology. The scientists were both given the Mead Johnson Award for their discovery and research into the essential vitamin.
Medicinal Uses of Vitamin B5 Supplements
Although deficiencies of vitamin B5 are very rare, these supplements are often prescribed to help with a variety of conditions. These conditions include basic things such as asthma, allergies, and headaches but they also extend to more serious conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and celiac disease.
Vitamin B5 supplements may also sometimes be used to treat other seemingly random conditions such as ADHD, alcoholism, baldness, dandruff, depression, insomnia, obesity, leg cramps, or tongue infections. It is important to note, however, that there have not been sufficient studies into the effectiveness of vitamin B5 supplements for any of these conditions.
Health Benefits of Vitamin B5
As vitamin B5 is such a versatile and widely used vitamin in the human body, it provides many significant benefits. Generally speaking, vitamin B5 is great for stimulating and balancing hormones in the body, which also does a lot of good for the skin and hair.
Stimulates the Hormones
For example, balanced and stimulated hormones could help to protect the color of hair follicles and could also help the skin to appear younger and healthier for a longer time, reducing signs of early aging such as spots, wrinkles, or fine lines.
Stress and Anxiety
Vitamin B5 could also contribute to the treatment of depression and anxiety as a deficiency of this vitamin could lead to these issues. With that said, the two are not always correlated so it’s best to speak with a doctor before using vitamin B5 to treat depression or anxiety.
Generally speaking, the balancing and stimulation of hormones could regulate a person’s mood and encourage a feeling of calmness. Vitamin B5 is also beneficial in increasing stamina by promoting a healthy and active metabolism, which could help encourage a better mood with more energy.
Vitamin B5 also plays a role in the overall health of your most vital organ. Vitamin B5 plays a vital role in heart health ensuring that nutrients are delivered to the areas of the body where they are needed.
According to research, a chemical called pantethine which is made from B5 may help to reduce cholesterol levels. Once study published in 2014 involving 33 subjects looked at the effects of pantethine on cholesterol. The researchers found that when patients took the chemical for 16 weeks, it helped reduce LDL cholesterol levels. (1)
Moreover the study concluded that it could help reduce the risk of heart disease which is one of the major killer illnesses in the world today.
Immune System Health
Similarly, this vitamin is also great for promoting a healthy immune system, which can help your body fight infections and diseases more efficiently. As these two things are essential to overall health, vitamin B5 is a very essential nutrient to include in your daily diet.
Increased Metabolic Rate
Vitamin B5 also plays an important role in keeping the body’s metabolism working at an efficient rate. By breaking down the proteins from our food and helping our body utilize its nutrients correctly, it can help our muscles to regenerate faster. It is a vital nutrient to ensure that energy is generated from the cells and making sure that energy is properly utilized throughout the body.
Because vitamin B5 helps stimulate the metabolism, it can also help us maintain a healthy and active body and mind. Vitamin B5 helps us to break down complex carbohydrates and fats which gives the body a boost of energy. This can help prevent fatigue and improve both mental and physical stamina.
Skin and Hair Health
Many vitamins have been linked to cosmetic benefits and vitamin B5 is no different. It is actually often added to makeup and other cosmetic products for the skin and hair. For example, dexpanthenol is a chemical made from B5 that is often used in moisturizing creams or lotions.
When used in hair products, vitamin B5 can help repair damaged hair, add volume and shine, and prevent thinning. Because vitamin B5 stimulates and balances the hormones, it can also boost the pigmentation of hair follicles.
Vitamin B5 may also play a role in helping wounds to heal more quickly and effectively. Animal studies have found that pantothenic acid can aid wound healing especially if the nutrient is used together with vitamin C. (2)
Who is Most at Risk of Vitamin B5 Deficiency?
Symptoms of vitamin B5 deficiency can include fatigue, weakness, headaches, dizziness and depression but deficiency in the vitamin is rare. As long as you eat a healthy diet, you should get all the vitamin B5 that your body needs.
Those who are most at risk of a deficiency in vitamin B5 include smokers and alcoholics, people suffering with chronic stress and people who are malnourished. Pregnant women and those taking birth control pills are also at a higher risk. Others at risk are people who have problems absorbing their nutrients because of certain medications or some kind of intestinal disorder.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is vitamin b5 good for?
Like all of the B vitamins, Vitamin B5 is extremely important for human health and well-being. It plays a vital role in red blood cell production and helps convert your food into energy.
What foods contain Vitamin b5?
You should be able to get all the vitamin B5 you need from your diet. The best sources of vitamin B5 are mushrooms, eggs, oily fish, beef, poultry, sunflower seeds, lean pork and avocados.
What happens if you have too little pantothenic acid?
A deficiency in vitamin B5 is rare. However, potential the potential effects include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, numbness, tingling, digestive troubles and mood swings. These are similar symptoms that people experience from eating too much refined sugar and fast food.
Do I need to take Vitamin b5 supplements?
Vitamin B5 deficiency is very rare. As long as you are eating a healthy diet then supplementing with vitamin B5 is unnecessary. Make sure that you eat plenty of food rich in important vitamins and nutrients and you should not need to supplement.
Things to Keep in Mind
It’s important to remember that due to the wide availability of vitamin B5 in a lot of popular foods, most people might not need to take a vitamin B5 supplement. With that said, taking a supplement probably wouldn’t hurt unless you’re already consuming a lot of the vitamin in your typical daily diet. It would be wise to speak with your doctor before adding a vitamin B5 supplement to your diet, however, to make sure that it won’t conflict with anything.
On that note, there are some situations where vitamin B5 could conflict with other vitamin supplements or medications. For example, it may create an imbalance in other vitamin B supplements if taking multiple types at once, which is why taking a vitamin B complex supplement is a much better option.
If you are taking a vitamin B5 or B complex supplement, you should avoid consuming royal jelly at the same time as it contains very high concentrations of the vitamin.
Precautions and Side Effects
There are also many drugs that could be affected by the use of a vitamin B5 supplement. Vitamin B5 could cause changes in the way certain drugs are absorbed or the way they affect the body. This might include antibiotics, blood-thinning drugs, or medications prescribed for Alzheimer’s disease.
If you take a vitamin B5 supplement at the same time as any of these drugs, there could be negative side effects, which is why it is important to speak with a doctor before adding any supplement to your diet.
Overall, vitamin B5 is an often-forgotten but entirely essential vitamin that people consume a lot of without even realizing it. If you’re worried that you may have a vitamin B5 deficiency, speak with your doctor immediately. You may be advised to take a supplement or you may just add more of certain foods to your daily diet. Luckily, vitamin B5 is present in a lot of foods that many people already consume on a daily basis.