Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid is a water soluble vitamin and the body does not stores it in large quantities. Like other vitamins of group B, B5 is also essential for conversion of food into energy. B5 is an essential nutrient for optimal health. It is essential for synthesis of red blood cells and plays a key role in formation of various hormones.
It is necessary for proper usage and metabolism of other vitamins, especially Vitamin B2. It is involves in cholesterol synthesis and regulation of fat metabolism and is essential for digestive health. It keeps the skin moist and healthy, speeds up wound healing, improves acne and there is scientific evidence that it can reduce the pain in rheumatoid arthritis.
The recommended daily allowance for B5 or Pantothenic Acid for adults is 5-10 mg per day.
It is found in a wide variety of foods, but most of B5 is lost during processing like cooking, freezing or refining. Fresh meats, vegetables, and whole unprocessed grains have more vitamin B5 than refined, canned, and frozen varieties.
The best sources of B5 or Pantothenic Acis are:
- Nuts, especially peanuts,
- Sweet potatoes,
- Sunflower seeds.
- Wheat germ,
Since most of the foods are rich in B5, its deficiency is rare, the symptoms of Vitamin B5 deficiency are fatigue, tiredness, insomnia, depression, lack of energy, irritability, vomiting, stomach pains, burning sensation in feet, and increased susceptibility to infections.
It is relatively safe and associated with very few side effects. It should ideally be taken with water after meals to ensure proper absorption.