Do you know all your B vitamins and their scientific names? Which B vitamin is pantothenic acid?
Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 is an essential coenzyme that activates enzymes that are involved in metabolism. Coenzymes are molecules that bind to enzymes and change their shape so that they can accept a substrate and perform a chemical reaction. If an enzyme breaks down a molecule into two smaller molecules, this is called catabolic metabolism. If an enzyme makes a bigger molecule out of two smaller ones, this is known as anabolic metabolism. Biological systems can’t survive without enzymes nor can they survive without their corresponding coenzymes or B vitamins. Pantothenic acid is a water-soluble vitamin which needs to be replenished every day. Excess amounts of pantothenic acid are excreted by the kidneys.
Pantothenic acid is important for growth, reproduction and general metabolism in every cell of the body including the production of ATP from the breakdown of glucose. It’s important for the synthesis of lipids and neurotransmitters. Pantothenic acid is present in most foods. Can you have a Pantothenic Acid (B5) Deficiency?
Since pantothenic acid is ubiquitous (found everywhere), a deficiency is highly unlikely. A deficiency may occur if an individual is malnourished. Nevertheless, when a deficiency occurs it can easily be reversed with oral administration of Vitamin B5.
If a deficiency occurs, what symptoms would you expect to see? Well, fatigue, lack of motivation, insomnia, upset stomach, vomiting, muscle cramping and low blood sugar.
How Much Pantothenic Acid (B5) is Required
How much pantothenic acid or Vitamin B5 is needed depends on your age and gender. Listed below are the daily recommendations.
- Newborns up to 7 months of age: 1.7 mg
- Infants from 7 to 12 months of age: 1.8 mg
- Toddlers from 1 to 3 years: 2 mg
- Children from 4 to 8 years: 3 mg
- Tweens from 9 to 13 years: 4 mg
- Males/Females 14 and up 5 mg
- Pregnant females 6 mg
- Nursing females 7 mg
Since pantothenic acid is found in most foods (ubiquitous) it is rare that a deficiency would occur. It is believed that if you receive excessive amounts of pantothenic acid not to worry. Excess amounts are eliminated by way of the urine however, you might experience intestinal problems in the form of diarrhea. This would have to be a very large dose that could not be eliminated fast enough by the kidneys.
Foods that have B5
Pantothenic acid or Vitamin B5 is found in most foods. Consider eating organic eggs, avocados, broccoli, meats, whole grains that are unprocessed, beans (lentils, split peas), sweet potato and mushrooms.