Vitamin B-5, also called pantothenic acid and pantothenate, is vital to living a healthy life. Like all B complex vitamins, B-5 helps the body convert food into energy. B-5 is naturally found in many food sources. “Pantothenic,” in fact, means “from everywhere,” because the vitamin is available in so many food sources.
Vitamin B-5 is one of eight B vitamins. All B vitamins help you convert the protein, carbohydrates, and fats you eat into energy.
Vitamin B-5 provides a multitude of benefits to the human body. It is found in living cells as a coenzyme A (CoA), which is vital to numerous chemical reactions, according to a study published in the journal Vitamins and Hormones.
“Pantothenic acid is typically used in combination with other B vitamins in the form of a vitamin B complex formulation.The other vitamins in the vitamin B complex are vitamin B-1 (thiamine), vitamin B-2 (riboflavin), vitamin B-3 (niacin), vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B-12 (cyanocobalamin), and folic acid.
Specifically, B-5 helps to:
- Create red blood cells
- Create stress-related and sex hormones
- Maintain a healthy digestive tract
- Process other vitamins, particularly B-2 (riboflavin)
- Synthesize cholesterol
There is very little information about B-5 allowances and there is not a recommended daily allowance (RDA) set forth by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine. The board has created a dietary reference intakes (DRIs) guide for B-5, though. This is the DRI adequate intake recommendation,
- Age 0-6 months: 1.7 milligrams per 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
Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding may need higher amounts of pantothenic acid and should consult their doctors for more information.
The best way to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B-5 is to eat a healthy, balanced diet every day.
Vitamin B-5 is an easy vitamin to incorporate into a good diet. It’s found in most vegetables, including:
- members of the cabbage family
- white and sweet potatoes
- whole-grain cereals
Other healthy sources of B-5 include:
- dairy products