Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is, like other vitamins, quite essential to the body`s functioning. It is required for heart health, skin and hair care, hemoglobin generation, hormone stimulation, stress relief, healing of wounds, preventing rheumatoid arthritis, reducing fatigue, and providing stamina to the body.
History and Discovery of Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5 was discovered by Roger J. Williams and R.W. Truesdail in 1931. It was during a research on the components of yeast that vitamin B5 was discovered. It was found in a combination with other compounds and was successfully isolated in 1938. Its scientific name was inspired by the Greek Word, pantos, which means “everywhere” and this is because this vitamin is found in all living cells.
Like other B vitamins, vitamin B5 is water soluble. These vitamins ensure the proper functioning of the brain, nervous system, conversion of carbohydrates into energy, and breakdown of fats. It is also required for metabolism and the synthesis of cholesterol. Vitamin B5 is found in multivitamins B complex supplements. It is found in over-the-counter medications too. Such medications may have the name: calcium pantothenate or pantothenic acid.
Some Food Sources of Vitamin B5
- Chicken Liver
- Sunflower seeds
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Sweet potatoes
- Egg yolk
Health Benefits of Vitamin B5
Depression and anxiety, in some cases, are as a result of a deficiency of vitamin B5. Vitamin B5 keeps the mind calm by regulating the hormones associated with mood.
This vital organ is saddled with the responsibility of delivering nutrients through the blood to different parts of the body. It also retains helpful fats and eliminates excessive fats from the body, keeping the blood vessels cholesterol-free.
Healthy Nerve Function
Ever heard of acetylcholine? It is an essential molecule that makes it possible for the brain and the spinal chord to send nerve signals to the immune system, kidneys, spleen, liver, heart, lungs, and some other organs. Vitamin B5 is required for nerve function, particularly for creating acetylcholine. The nervous system is dependent upon acetylcholine because it is the primary chemical that ensures that the nervous system communicates with organs. This is a reason that the primary signs of a B vitamin deficiency are muscle impairment and pain, and burning feet syndrome. So, apparently,w ithout enough vitamin B5, nerve damage and impairment in movement can develop.
Vitamin B5 has stimulating properties that promote the regulation of the release of hormones from various glands in the body, ensuring they`re balanced and they perform their respective tasks. What is more? Vitamin B5 is a synthesizer of multiple enzymatic processes in the body, including the stimulation of hormones.
Increased Metabolic Rate
An active metabolism brings about an active mind and body. Metabolic processes cannot be mentioned without referring to vitamin B5. Vitamin B5 is an essential nutrient required by the body to keep the enzymatic processes going. It helps the body break down proteins and regenerate muscles faster. It is also essential for the generating of energy from a cellular level to the use of energy throughout the organs in the body.
Skin and Hair Health
Vitamin B5 balances hormones in the entire body: this covers the protection of the pigmentation of hair follicles; ensuring the skin looking tighter and is generally healthy aren`t left out of this. people who consume vitamin B5 experience a drastic reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and age spots on their faces.
Ensuring a Healthy Immune System
A strong immune system is required to keep diseases far away. Vitamin B5 is great at strengthening the immune system by fighting against a number of infections and diseases.
Increased Hemoglobin Level
Vitamin B5 plays an important role in the cell turnover and cell regeneration. Vitamin B5 unites with elements such as iron and copper to enable the body to generate more hemoglobin.
Vitamin B5 reduces not-so-helpful cholesterol (LDL) and triglyceride levels in the blood of people with heightened blood fats. It also raises beneficial HDL cholesterol. High serum concentration of LDL cholesterol is a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
A daily intake of vitamin B5 lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin B5 facilitates the speeding up of wound healing and coagulation of blood.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Prevention
A number of people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis have proven to be deficient in vitamin B5. A regular intake of vitamin B5 calms the inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis. It reduces pain too.
What about Vitamin B5 Deficiency?
Here are some symptoms of vitamin B5 deficiency:
A deficiency in vitamin B5 is actually uncommon. Below are recommended doses for various age groups.
- Age 0-6 months: 1.7 mg/day
- Age 7-12 months 1.8 mg/day
- Age 1-3 years: 2 mg/day
- Age 4-8 years: 3 mg/day
- Age 9-13 years: 4 mg/day
- Age 14 and older: 5 mg/day
So, the deficiencies:
- tingling sensations
- upper respiratory infections
- stomach pains
- heightened fatigue
What about Side Effects and Interactions?
- Vitamin B5 is better consumed in appropriate amounts. Much higher portions may lead to side effects such as diarrhea and an increased risk of bleeding. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not exceed the doctor-recommended amount.
- Vitamin B5 has been found to increase the effects of a group of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors, which are used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. In essence, taking these medications together with vitamin B5 together may lead to severe side effects, hence, a physician’s supervision is highly recommended.
- It is not appropriate to take dexpanthenol, a derivative of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) when treating hemophilia and gastrointestinal blockage. This medication may prolong bleeding.
- Vitamin B5 interferes with the absorption and effectiveness of tetracycline, an antibiotic. B vitamins should be taken at different times from tetracycline.
- It is important to note that all vitamin B complex supplements react this way in regards to antibiotics, so leaving some time between when antibiotics and multi vitamins or B complex vitamins are taken is essential.
General Vitamin Facts
- The term ‘vitamin’ is derived from the Latin words, ‘vital’ and ‘amine’, because vitamins are required for life and it was believed long ago that they were amines.
- Vitamins are organic compounds required by humans as nutrients in small amounts known as micronutrients.
- Vitamins are classified as either water-soluble or fat-soluble. In humans, there are 13 vitamins: 4 fat-soluble (A, D, E and K) and 9 water-soluble (8 B vitamins and vitamin C). Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body’s fatty tissue, while water-soluble vitamins are used by the body immediately they`re consumed. Left over water-soluble vitamins leave the body through the urine. Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the liver for many years.
- Because most of the vitamins cannot be produced by humans, they should be obtained from food.
- Life and healthy living are dependent on vitamins. Not getting the necessary amounts of vitamins unavoidably causes deficiency states that are unhealthy and may cause some damage to the body. A sufficient intake of vitamins is highly important to ensure the prevention of diseases. In fact, some vitamins even have the ability to promote health and particularly prevent diseases.