Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) Benefits, Side Effects, Uses & Warnings

Pantothenic Acid, often referred to as Vitamin B5, is one of the B-Complex water-soluble vitamins which are found in living cells in the body. As they are naturally found in the body, your body naturally produces them. And, you get a certain amount of Vitamin B5 from the foods you consume and your diet. With this being said, many people rely on a supplement of this, and other B-family vitamins, for the simple fact that their dietary routine simply isn’t enough. Add in the fact that many people have a restrictive diet, and some foods are simply off the table, meaning it is even harder to get the proper levels of the vitamin in on a daily basis. This simple guide will discuss what the vitamin is, does, what it is important for, and where you can get the proper levels of Vitamin B5, to ensure your body functions as it should be.

What does Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) do?

Research and studies suggest that Vitamin B5 is important for many bodily functions. These include converting the foods you consume into energy, breaking down fats/carbs/proteins and synthesizing them into fuel sources, reducing bad cholesterol levels, helping to balance the blood sugar levels in the body, and helping reduce high blood pressure levels. It has also been shown that when the vitamin is taken at the proper levels, it can help prevent heart failure in certain individuals, prevent nerve damage, and help reduce the levels of pain which are often linked to nerve damage.

It is also important in metabolizing the energy you consume. Like other B-vitamins, it helps break down the foods you consume each day. It helps synthesize those foods into energy. And, it further helps to break down the enzymes in the foods you are eating, to ensure the body is properly metabolizing the foods. This can help with proper and healthy weight management and can also prove integral in helping to prevent weight gain in those who are consuming the proper dosage of the vitamin each day.

Neurotransmitters

The energy which Vitamin B5 helps to produce, is often linked to firing up the neurotransmitters in the brain, which help the brain carry the chemicals signals throughout the rest of the body. Basically this helps your body function as it should, helps you perform the daily (trivial) tasks you perform each day, and it helps to ensure your body is functioning properly. It is also important to helping maintain the overall health of your nervous and immune system, so can help in preventing the common cold in some individuals who consume it.

B5 is also linked to the production of sex and stress-related hormones which are produced in the adrenal gland. These control numerous and important body functions and help with proper development and growth. Not only in adults, but in developing children as well, it is important to ensure the proper levels of the B-vitamin are present in the system.

Helps Promote a Healthy Digestion

Vitamin B5 has been linked to helping maintain a healthy digestive tract, it is also linked to boosting immunity in the process. So, it can help the body digest foods which are consumed, and it can help increase immunity levels to external sources, which the body otherwise can’t fight or ward off on its own.

Where is the Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) found?

When choosing food sources which are rich in B5, you can find the vitamin in both plant and animal-based food products you consume. So, even if you do follow a vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, or other specific diet, there are several foods which are rich in levels of Vitamin B5, meaning it is possible to ensure you get sufficient levels each day. Some of the sources include: raw milk, beans, organic meats, legumes, seeds, and eggs.

When choosing food sources, choose unfiltered and unprocessed. Look for foods which are enriched or fortified and are not heavily processed prior to being consumed. These processes typically remove the healthy and beneficial components, so it is important to choose foods which are rich, organic, or all natural, when choosing foods to consume that are high in Vitamin B5 levels.

Some food sources which are rich in Vitamin B5 include: beef liver, sunflower seeds, duck, portabella mushrooms, eggs, lentils, beans, salmon, sun-dried tomatoes, yogurt, and broccoli. So, you can see, even if you follow a strict diet, or if there are certain foods you do not have access to, there are plenty of foods which are rick in the vitamin. And, you can find the vitamin in several other foods you consume on a daily basis as well.

Are you deficient in Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)?

Like deficiencies with the other B-vitamins, if you are deficient in vitamin B5, you are going to suffer from several symptoms which are commonly reported by those who are deficient in the vitamin. In Western cultures, deficiencies are rare, but it is possible. Some of the commonly reported of deficiencies include:

-          Fatigue, tiredness, lack of energy.

-          Depression and irritability.

-          Insomnia, difficulty sleeping, stomach pains.

-          Vomiting, burning feet, and upper respiratory infections.

-          Muscle cramps and swelling.

Symptoms and severity/levels of pain, are going to vary in each case. Further, not all of these are going to occur if there is a deficiency. It is important to understand the pain, the possible side effects, and discuss these with your doctor. This is the best way to ensure if there is a deficiency, it is properly treated, and that you are prescribed the right dosage levels, to ensure safe consumption and use of Vitamin B5.

Benefits of Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)

Some of the reported benefits of ingesting Vitamin B5 include:

-          Increased cardiovascular health. The vitamin is used to synthesize cholesterol, so it can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and reduce the bad cholesterol levels. It can help reduce plaque buildup and can help improve overall blood flow throughout the body. All of these are greatly going to improve overall heart health, and can serve to prevent certain heart diseases as well.

-          Treating anemia. The vitamin, along with B2, has been linked to helping treat and control anemia. It can help mobilize iron levels, so if there are deficiencies, these are easily targeted when ingesting the vitamins. Low levels of the vitamin are often associated with fatigue and tiredness, which is a telltale sign of anemia.

-          Cholesterol synthesis. This is basically a way of saying it helps to maintain high levels of LDL, and it will help reduce the HDL, or the bad cholesterols. When you take this, along with a healthy diet, and consume the right foods, your not only going to reduce cholesterol levels, but also improve overall levels of health in no time.

-          Gives you energy. The B-vitamins are known to metabolize and synthesize the foods you eat. They help turn the carbs/fat/proteins you eat daily, into fuel and energy sources. They also help your body metabolize these foods, meaning you aren’t going to gain weight quickly, or can better maintain a healthy body weight, when you are consuming this vitamin in high volumes, along with other vitamins in the complex-family.

When taking Vitamin B5, you are also going to realize a healthy nerve function. The primary chemicals in the brain are going to work cohesively. It will help you with memory retention, help in treating possible memory loss, and can help slow down the memory loss which is often linked to age-related causes. Mental performance, clarity, and overall health are also improved with the incorporation of a Vitamin B5 supplement. Because it helps reduce the risks of brain function illness which is linked to age, you are going to remain smarter, more alert, and you are going to find it much easier to focus on things that others in your age bracket (who may be deficient) do not have such an easy time doing.

If you are highly stressed, the inclusion of a supplement can also help to reduce the body’s stress response. You are not going to become agitated as quickly, you are going to learn how to calm down, and you are going to react better when things do not always go your way. By reducing stress levels naturally, not only is this going to help you feel more calmed and relaxed, it is also beneficial to overall heart health as well, so your heart is not going to suffer as much as in an individual which is highly-stressed, all of the time.

B5 has been used in treating dark spots, wrinkles, premature aging, and overall skin appearance. Pantothenic acids induce an accelerating effect of normal healing processes the body undergoes on its own. This means when you use an ointment or rub on the affected areas, the body is going to work faster, to naturally heal itself, of the wounds or troubled areas you are treating. Cellular multiplication is also increased, meaning the skin cells on your body produce faster, and are going to replace the damaged ones more quickly, than the body’s natural healing process is going to do on its own.

Symptoms or Rheumatoid arthritis are also minimized with the inclusion of a B5 supplement. This and general arthritic conditions can also be better managed and treated with the supplement. Because it helps with joint pan and mobility, and also helps reduce the levels of inflammation which are prominent in arthritic sufferers, including the supplement is a natural way to help ensure the levels of inflammation are kept at bay. Stiffness, difficult in mobility, painful movements, and other inflammation which are commonly linked to arthritis, have been known to reduce and naturally heal themselves, when the proper supplement is taken.

Many studies suggest the B5 supplement can be used to help treat immune system failure, conditions like AIDS, HIV, and can help improve overall immune health and function. If you get sick often, this can help reduce the amount of time you suffer from the common cold. If harmful toxins enter the body, the vitamin will help push them out and through your system in less time than the body can do on its own.

Treating acne and common skin conditions is something which is often linked to the Vitamin B5 supplement benefits-list as well. Since it helps with healing, rejuvenating, improving blood flow, and helping fight the oxidation, these are all going to help reduce and eliminate harmful toxins, and stresses, which can lead to these skin conditions. When properly incorporated with a healthy diet and skincare regimen, you will find that the Vitamin B5 is highly beneficial in helping maintain smooth, young-looking skin, as you naturally age.

For most, the benefits truly do outweigh any risks. And, knowing it is a water-soluble vitamin, also guarantees that toxicity and other adverse health reactions aren’t going to occur if you do take Vitamin B5, even if it is taken at higher dosage levels.

Speak to your doctor 

Even knowing it is safe to take, and highly beneficial when properly used and consumed, it is best to discuss the use with a doctor before you incorporate a Vitamin B5 supplement into your daily regimen. Not only to ensure it is safe for you to consume with other medication or prescriptions you are currently taking, but also to ensure the proper dosage levels are prescribed. A doctor or a specialist can also dispel any myths, and teach you how to properly use the supplement, in order to ensure the best benefits are attained with daily and proper use.

Because there are many products which aren’t unfiltered, and aren’t produced in FDA approved labs, it is also best to get your prescription directly from a doctor or a specialist. Not only do you know you are getting the purest form of the vitamin but also one which is safe for you to consume daily. You also know it is not diluted, meaning you are going to receive the proper dosage levels, and most potent supplement levels, when you do take the vitamins which are prescribed by your doctor.