Pantothenic acid

Pantothenic acid is a B vitamin also known as Vitamin B5. It is a water soluble vitamin that is a necessary requirement of the human body. Pantothenic acid is needed by the body in order to from coenzyme A and is also crucial in metabolizing proteins, carbohydrates and fats inside the body. Coenzyme A is required for generating energy from foods. It causes chemical reactions in the body that makes the energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins that we eat. Coenzyme-A helps with the synthesis of cholesterols, steroid hormones and essential fats, as well as, the synthesis of melatonin, acetylcholine and neurotransmitters.

Pantothenic acid is found in many types of food. Higher amounts can be found in eggs, meat, whole-grains, broccoli, avocado, mushrooms, milk, yogurt, sunflower seeds, sweet potatoes and legumes. Because it is found in so many foods, deficiency in this vitamin is quite rare. However, there have been cases in which those suffering from malnutrition have shown a deficiency. Deficiency symptoms may include aching, burning or throbbing of the feet, leg cramps, depression, respiratory infections, irregular heartbeats and digestive disorders. Anyone consuming a healthy, balanced diet is probably consuming plenty pantothenic acid. Although, freezing and cooking foods with pantothenic acid can reduce the potency of the vitamin. As well as eating foods overly processed. It is best to eat as many foods as you can that are fresh sources of the vitamin to avoid losing the value of the vitamin. Women who take birth control pills or other forms of estrogen and progestin may be at a higher risk for pantothenic acid deficiency and may require more in their diet or possibly through supplemental form. Taking a daily multi-vitamin containing pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 is usually enough to meet the requirements of most people.

Derivatives of pantothenic acid such as pantethine and pantothenol have been used in treating a few medical conditions. These forms of pantothenic acid can be found in supplemental form and can be used for healing wounds and lowering cholesterol. Since pantothenic acid has a low risk of side effects it is gentle on the body. The one side effect that has been noted by some who took the vitamin in higher doses was diarrhea.

In order to maximize the health benefits of pantothenic acid there are standard amounts that are considered safe and necessary. These amounts are the minimum doses required for proper bodily functioning although greater amounts may be optimal. For infants that are less than 6 months old, the amount required is 2 mg daily. Babies that are 6 to 12 months old should consume 3 mg daily. Children that are 4 to 6 years old require 3–4 mg daily. Children who are 7 to 10 years old should have 4–5 mg daily and anyone who is 11 years of age or older should consume 4-7 mg daily.

As with any vitamin required for a healthy body, it is important to eat a well balanced diet. By making sure you are eating the required amount of foods from each food group daily, you have a much higher chance of consuming all the proper vitamins and minerals you need. Taking a daily multi-vitamin always helps with supplementing vitamins that you may not be getting enough of. For those that have dietary restrictions it may be necessary for you to consult a dietician or someone that is knowledgeable in vitamin and mineral deficiency to give you some helpful guidelines to follow. If you feel that you may be lacking in any vitamin or mineral then you should see your doctor to be evaluated.

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Last updated on Jun 2nd, 2010 and filed under Vitamins and Minerals. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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