What is Vitamin B5?

Vitamin B5 is basically an “anti-stress” vitamin belonging to the category of the 8 group of B vitamins. It is a water soluble vitamin and can be easily found in common foods. It is also known as pantothenic acid. The vitamin was discovered by Roger J. Williams in the year 1919.

Functions of Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 has an array of amazing health benefits:

  • It helps in releasing the much needed energy in the cells i.e. convert the food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose).
  • It helps in maintaining a healthy digestive tract.
  • It helps in the secretion of hormones needed to assist metabolism, maintain healthy skin, muscles and nerves and also helps to fight allergies.
  • It helps in the production of red blood cells in the body.
  • Vitamin B5 helps to regulate the nervous system, thus alleviating stress and anxiety. This vitamin is responsible for building the much needed stamina of the human body.
  • It also helps in the alleviation of such conditions as asthma, hair loss, allergies, respiratory disorders and ageing signs.
  • It helps in keeping the human heart in normal working condition by regulating the level of cholesterol and controlling the blood pressure.
  • It helps in the improvement of osteoarthritis, diabetes, physical growth, skin disorders etc.
  • Vitamin B5 helps to boost the immune system of the body

Sources of Vitamin B5

Important sources of vitamin:

  • Vegetable products:

    broccoli, white and sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower,  cabbage, collard green, avocados, mushrooms etc

  • Animal products:

    eggs, fish, tuna, salmon, milk and milk products, lean beef, turkey etc

  • Other sources:

    wheat, soybeans, peanut, nuts, brewer’s yeast, legumes, lentils, whole grain cereals etc

Deficiency of Vitamin B5

Since vitamin B5 is easily available in most foods a deficiency is most rarely seen. However, if a deficiency does occur it is known to be associated with fatigue, numbness, insomnia, skin irritation and disorders, depression, vomiting, burning feet, muscle cramps, stomach pain, duodenal ulcers etc. In some severe cases it leads to infection in the upper respiratory tract and abnormal skin developments.

Recommended Daily Allowance

Age Group Adequate Intake mg/day
Infants0-6 months

7-12 months

 1.7mg

1.8mg

Children 1-3 years

4-8 years

 2mg

3mg

Males9-13 years

14 years and older

 4mg

5mg

Females9-13 years

14 years and older

 4mg

5mg

Pregnant Females 6mg
Breast-Feeding Females 7mg

Tips and Warning:

  • Vitamin B5 has little or no side effects. However, too much intake of dietary supplements for vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid can cause diarrhea and increase the risk of bleeding. There may be cases of skin rashes, swelling of the face, tongue and lips, itching etc.
  • Few drugs that are used to treat Alzheimer’s disease can cause negative interactions with the dietary supplements for vitamin B5.
  • Pregnant and breast feeding women should never exceed the daily adequate intake of vitamin B5 unless prescribed by their physician.
  • Vitamin B5 supplements should never be consumed if you are being treated with such medications as antibiotics, tetracycline. Always consult your physician if you are on other medications.
  • Vitamin B5 complements well with such B group of vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E.
  • Those under stress, consuming too much alcohol, susceptible to allergies may require more vitamin B5.
  • Vitamin B5 is destroyed while cooking and while being subjected to vinegar, baking soda and soda while cooking.