Vitamin B5 is necessary for our bodies to make coenzyme A and the acyl carrier protein which are important for getting energy out of food. It also helps to make cholesterol, steroids and fatty acids. It’s required for growth. And to produce antibodies which the immune system uses to destroy infections. It is important to maintain normal function of the adrenal glands. It also helps produce cortisone. And the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Its actions to help the immune system seem to help the body remain strong despite stress.
Some researchers think B5 can aid in the healing of wounds by inhibiting the inflammatory response created by the granulocytes that impair your skin’s ability to heal wounds in it.
Another researcher found that Vitamin B5 helps to protect us from the effects of low-dose gamma radiation.
A byproduct of Vitamin B5, pathethine, may influence the body to produce less cholesterol. It may also increase HDL good cholesterol and lower triglyceride levels. The actual vitamin doesn’t do these things, however.
Some scientists have suggested using Vitamin B5 to help dieters lose weight by forcing the body to burn stored fat in a more healthy way. When people fast or eat few to no carbohydrates, the body begins to burn fat and the body goes into an abnormal state of ketosis. This is essentially the goal of the Atkins diet.
Some scientists believe these ketone bodies are formed only because of a deficiency in panthothenic acid. Give them enough and they could fast or eat an all-protein diet without health consequences, thus losing weight.
Vitamin B5 deficiencies are rare except in alcoholics. Symptoms include: burning sensation in the feet, enlarged tongue, skin disorders, duodenal ulcers, intestine and stomach inflammation, vomiting, upper respiratory infections, restlessness, cramps, constipation, adrenal exhaustion, depression, fatigue, arthritis and graying hair.
Food sources include brewers yeast, corn, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, milk, split peas, peanuts, soybeans, egg yolks, beef, turkey, duck, chicken, milk, tomatoes, sweep potatoes, sunflower seeds, whole grains, lobster and salmon.
Although water soluble, it’s stable and not much is destroyed by cooking foods.
A supplement of up to 50 milligrams should be taken only in multivitamin form along with the other vitamins in the B family. Or through eating brewers yeast or wheat germ.
Any excess B5 is generally excreted through your urine. However, don’t take it along with the antibiotic tetracycline.