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Vitamin B5 - pantothenic acid

Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid is an essential nutrient, which helps to synthesize coenzyme-A (CoA), as well as to synthesize and metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

Coenzyme A may act as an acyl group carrier to form acetyl-CoA and other related compounds. CoA is also important in the biosynthesis of many important compounds such as fatty acids, cholesterol, and acetylcholine. Furthemore CoA is required in the formation of acyl carrier protein (ACP), which is also required for fatty acid synthesis in addition to CoA.

Pantothenic acid is involved in more than 100 different metabolic pathways which also include the synthesis of neurotransmitters, steroid hormones, porphyrins and hemoglobin.


Pantothenic acid is widely available in foods. The major food source of pantothenic acid is organ meats.

Other good sources are whole grains, brewer’s yeast, egg yolks, fish, chicken, cheese, peanuts, dried beans, and many vegetables including sweet potatoes, green peas, cauliflower, and avocados. Here is a list of foods with the highest content of pantothenic acid.

Daily intake

The recommended daily intake for adults is 5 mg, for pregnant and breastfeeding women it is 6 mg and 7 mg, respectively.


Pantothenic acid deficiency is exceptionally rare.

In the few cases where deficiency has been seen (victims of starvation), nearly all symptoms can be reversed by taking the vitamin.

The symptoms of deficiency include irritability, fatigue, and apathy, numbness, paresthesia, muscle cramps, and low blood glucose concentration. Additional symptoms could include restlessness, malaise, sleep disturbances, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps.


Toxic symptoms of pantothenic acid are unlikely to occur. Large doses of the vitamin, when ingested, have no or little side effects.

In humans, the only reported symptom after intakes of 10 to 20 g calcium pantothenic acid was diarrhea.

References: 1 , 2 , 3

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