Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

As Seen On...


It means “It’s everywhere.” Apparently they named it this because it can be found in a number of sources.

Good sources: Liver, broccoli, and egg yolks.

DRI: 4-5 mg/d. No RDA has been set.

Functions: It is the precursor to Co-enzyme A (CoA) as in acetyl CoA or succinyl CoA (see glycolysis or Kreb’s cycle).

  • Component of coenzyme A and acyl carrier protein (ACP), which facilitates metabolism of two- carbon units (acetyl groups) in the Krebs cyle
  •  Coenzyme A is a cofactor in over 70 enzymatic pathways
  • ACP is cofactor to fatty acid synthase, which is required for fatty acid elongation
  • Essential to the production of energy from food in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) via itsrole in transfer of acetyl groups for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins
  • Acetyl groups are involved in synthesis of cholesterol, steroid hormones, porphyrin (hemoglobin), phospholipids (cell membranes)
  • Coenzyme A is involved in coenzyme Q10 synthesis
  • Coenzyme A is needed for prostaglandin synthesis
  • Coenzyme A is needed for acetylcholine synthesis
  • Coenzyme A is needed for melatonin synthesis
  • Coenzyme A is needed for pyruvate degradation
  • Coenzyme A is required for phase II detoxification of xenobiotics and several drugs by the liver
  • ACP is needed for sphingolipid production, makes the myelin sheath around nerves
  • Modulates protein structure, gene expression and cell signaling via coenzyme A activity
  • Increases activity of lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that breaks down fat cells
  • May reduce hunger during calorie restriction
  • Modifies action of several enzymes involved in cholesterol synthesis
  • Favorably alters LDL (low density lipoprotein) metabolism to less atherogenic type
  • Raises HDL (high density lipoproteins)
  • Lowers triglycerides
  • Lowers plasma beta-thromboglobulin thus reducing hyperaggregation (blood viscosity)
  • Full benefit of B5 supplements for blood lipid improvement may take up to four months
  • Deficiency may lower progesterone production
  • Animal studies show B5 deficiency lowers testosterone
  • Favorably impacts adrenal cortex function and physiological response to different stressors(surgical, cold, radiation, etc)
  • Deficiency causes impaired adrenal function and morphological changes to adrenal glands
  • Increases release of corticosterone in response to adrenocorticotrophic (ACTH) hormone
  • Improves oxygen utilization and reduces lactic acid accumulation in athletes
  • Animal studies suggest that deficiency in B5 causes gray hair
  • Vitamin B5 and vitamin C have sparing effects on each other

Deficiencies: Not well characterized in humans. Tingling in hands, fatigue, head aches, and N/V

Toxicities: None known