Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is known as the anti-stress vitamin, and is necessary for optimal healthy function of the adrenal glands.
What does it do?
Pantothenic acid is used in the synthesis of coenzyme A (CoA). Coenzyme A may act as an acyl group carrier to form acetyl-CoA and other related compounds; this is a way to transport carbon atoms within the cell CoA is important in energy metabolism for pyruvate to enter the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA cycle) as acetyl-CoA, and for α-ketoglutarate to be transformed to succinyl-CoA in the cycle.CoA is also important in the biosynthesis of many important compounds such as fatty acids, cholesterol, and acetylcholine. CoA is incidentally also required in the formation of ACP,which is also required for fatty acid synthesis in addition to CoA.
Pantothenic acid in the form of CoA is also required for acylation and acetylation, which, for example, are involved in signal transduction and enzyme activation and deactivation, respectively.
Since pantothenic acid participates in a wide array of key biological roles, it is essential to all forms of life. As such, deficiencies in pantothenic acid may have numerous wide-ranging effects.
In addition to playing a role in the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates for energy, vitamin B5 is critical to the manufacture of red blood cells, as well as sex and stress-related hormones produced in the adrenal glands, small glands that sit atop the kidneys. Vitamin B5 is also important in maintaining a healthy digestive tract, and it helps the body use other vitamins, particularly B2 (also called riboflavin). It is sometimes called the "anti-stress" vitamin, but there is no concrete evidence whether it helps the body withstand stress.
Your body needs pantothenic acid to synthesize cholesterol. A derivative of pantothenic acid called pantethine is being studied to see if it may help lower cholesterol levels in the body.
Vitamin B5 deficiency is rare, but may include symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, depression, irritability, vomiting, stomach pains, burning feet, and upper respiratory infections.
Pantothenic acid is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in appropriate amounts. The recommended amount for adults is 5 mg per day. Even larger amounts seem to be safe for some people, but taking larger amounts increases the chance of having side effects such as diarrhea.
Dexpanthenol, a derivative of pantothenic acid, is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin, used as a nasal spray, or injected as a shot into the muscle appropriately, short-term.
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Pantothenic acid is LIKELY SAFE when taken in recommended amounts of 6 mg per day during pregnancy and 7 mg per day during breast-feeding. However, it is not known if taking more than this amount is safe. Avoid using larger amounts of pantothenic acid.
Children: Pantothenic acid is POSSIBLY SAFE for children when taken by mouth appropriately.
Hemophila: Do not take dexpanthenol, a derivative of pantothenic acid, if you have hemophila. It might extend the time it takes for bleeding to stop.
Stomach blockage: Do not take dexpanthenol, a derivative of pantothenic acid, if you have a gastrointestinal blockage.