Vitamin B5 Background and Benefits
Vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin with specific forms that include pantothenic acid and pantothenate. It is an essential nutrient for both humans and animals. Pantothenic acid is named after the Greek word pantothen, meaning “from everywhere.” This name reflects the presence of pantothenic acid in virtually all foods. The most significant dietary sources of this nutrient include whole grains, legumes, meat, eggs, mushrooms, yeast and yogurt.
Health supplements typically provide vitamin B5 in the form of calcium pantothenate, since pantothenate is the most biologically active form of vitamin B5 in humans. However, pantothenate must be broken down into pantothenic acid before it can be absorbed. Pantothenic acid exists in two stereoisomers, including dextrorotatory (D) and levorotatory (L) forms. Only D-pantothenic acid is biologically active, while L-pantothenic acid may inhibit the action of the D isomer.
The biological roles of vitamin B5 include the synthesis of coenzyme-A (CoA), which is used in many reactions. CoA transports carbon atoms through the cell by forming acetyl-CoA and similar compounds. Vitamin B5 is also essential for metabolizing carbohydrates, fats and proteins. This function involves the use of acetyl-CoA in the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Additional uses of CoA include the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Uses of Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5 provides many specific benefits since it is an essential nutrient. Its most significant benefits include physical energy, healthy cholesterol level management, healthy wound repair and joint function.
Vitamin B5 can help to maintain energy levels in a variety of ways. These include the conversion of food to chemical energy, red blood cell production and the synthesis of hormones in the adrenal gland.
Joint health support
Some evidence suggests that vitamin B5 supplements may help to manage joint discomfort and morning stiffness.
Healthy cholesterol level management
Vitamin B5 may help to maintain a healthy cholesterol profile, according to some studies. The specific components of this profile include HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Supports wound repair
Supplements of vitamin B5 may also support wound healing, especially after surgery.
Signs You May Need Vitamin B5
A nutritional deficiency of pantothenic acid is rare, given its near universal presence in food. A low energy level is the most significant sign that you may need vitamin B5 supplements. You may also benefit from vitamin B5 if you suffer from apathetic or irritable moods. Additional signs that vitamin B5 could help you include muscle cramps and numbness.
Synonyms and Similar Forms of Vitamin B5
Pantothenic acid, D-pantothenic acid, pantothenate