What is vitamin B5?
Vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin, also known as pantothenic acid and it is part of the essential nutrients category. In living organisms, it helps in synthesizing coenzyme A, carbs, and proteins and it can be found in almost every food source. For the most part, this vitamin is mainly used in mix with other vitamins belonging to the B complex and extremely rare on its own.
One of the reasons is that we do not usually need vitamin B5 supplements, especially since the research has found no relevant benefits linked to the consumption of supplements strictly containing this type of nutrient.
Vitamin B5 Benefits
The main biological role of pantothenic acid is to allow for the synthesis of coenzyme A, which plays an important role in upgrading the metabolized energy. Aside from this, coenzyme A is a crucial part of the biosynthesis of cholesterol and fatty acids, making vitamin B5 an indispensable part of the system. However, this is the best-researched effect. The rest of the benefits people are looking for when focusing on pantothenic acid have not been proven as factual, but only with varying degrees of certainty.
We will enumerate the most important ones nonetheless, as they may occur as long as the levels of vitamin B5 remain within the healthy numbers:
- Improved athletic performance. The effects are linked to an increase in energy levels, allowing, in theory, for a better physical performance.
- Sleeping disorders. Some people use it in order to soften the symptoms of insomnia, as well as improving mood swings and decreasing irritability linked to sleeping problems.
- Potentially effective in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The effects are more likely to occur during the oral administration.
- Believed to help in reducing the signs of premature aging, as well as delaying the aging process
- Protects against mental stress and anxiety
- Used in fighting the symptoms of several diseases, like celiac disease, Parkinson’s and ADHD.
- Used in treating acne, alcoholism, and even allergies in some cases.
- Possibly useful in strengthening the immune system, as well as reducing oral infections, dandruff, and gray hair incidence.
There are potentially dozens of other benefits that the general population has linked vitamin B5 to, but not all are researched and proven as facts. On the contrary, the majority of these benefits are only suppositions, effective for some, inexistent for others.
Vitamin B5 Side-effects
Until now, there have been observed no toxic outputs from the exaggerated consumption of vitamin B5. Even more, there is no maximum allowed dosage limit and not even excessive doses have not caused any meaningful side effects. The most aggravated symptom linked to excessive consumption was diarrhea and was rather mild in the majority of the cases.
The deficiency is also extremely rare and it can be quickly reversed using vitamin B5 supplementation. The most common symptoms are the same as in the case of other B-complex vitamins deficiency, mainly nausea, sleep disorders, vomiting, abdominal cramps and hypoglycemia in some cases.
Vitamin B5 Sources
The vitamin B5 can be easily found in relatively minor amounts in every food, mainly egg yolks, liver, and mushrooms. Larger quantities can be found in fortified whole-grain cereals or in supplements.
How much Vitamin B5 should you take?
For adult men and women, the optimal intake is about 5 mg per day, with a plus of 1 to 2 mg for pregnant and breastfeeding women. In the case of children, the dose drops gradually from 5 mg to 1.7 for infants.