Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
If you are being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use vitamin B5 supplements without first talking to your health care provider.
Antibiotics, Tetracycline -- Vitamin B5 interferes with the absorption and effectiveness of the antibiotic tetracycline. You should take B vitamins at different times from tetracycline. (All vitamin B complex supplements act in this way and should therefore be taken at different times from tetracycline.)
Drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease -- Vitamin B5 may increase the effects of a group of drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors, which are used to treat Alzheimer's, potentially leading to severe side effects. These drugs should not be taken with B5 unless under a doctor's supervision. Cholinesterase inhibitors include:
- Donepezil (Aricept)
- Memantine hydrochloride (Ebixa)
- Galantamine (Reminyl)
- Rivastigime (Exelon)
Aprahamian M, Dentinger A, Stock-Damge C, Kouassi JC, Grenier JF. Effects of supplemental pantothenic acid on wound healing: experimental study in rabbit. Am J Clin Nutr. 1985;41(3):578-89.
Arsenio L, Bodria P, Magnati G, Strata A, Trovato R.. Effectiveness of long-term treatment with pantethine in patients with dyslipidemia. Clin Ther. 1986;8:537-545.
Bertolini S, Donati C, Elicio N, et al. Lipoprotein changes induced by pantethine in hyperlipoproteinemic patients: adults and children. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther Toxicol. 1986;24:630-637.
Coronel F, Tornero F, Torrente J, et al. Treatment of hyperlipemia in diabetic patients on dialysis with a physiological substance. Am J Nephrol. 1991;11:32-36.
Gaddi A, Descovich GC, Noseda G, et al. Controlled evaluation of pantethine, a natural hypolipidemic compound in patients with different forms of hyperlipoproteinemia. Atherosclerosis. 1984;50:73-83.
General Practitioner Research Group. Calcium pantothenate in arthritic conditions. A report from the General Practitioner Research Group. Practitioner. 1980;224(1340):208-211
Hoeg JM. Pharmacologic and surgical treatment of dyslipidemic children and adolescents. Ann NY Acad Sci. 1991;623:275-284.
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Alternative NamesPantothenic acid
How to Take It
Recommended daily intakes of dietary vitamin B5 are listed below:
- Infants birth - 6 months: 1.7 mg
- Infants 6 months - 1 year: 1.8 mg
- Children 1 - 3 years: 2 mg
- Children 4 - 8 years: 3 mg
- Children 9 - 13 years: 4 mg
- Adolescents 14 - 18 years: 5 mg
- 19 years and older: 5 mg
- Pregnant females: 6 mg
- Breastfeeding women: 7 mg
Higher doses may be recommended by a health care provider for the treatment of specific conditions.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: 2,000 mg/day
- High cholesterol/triglycerides: 300 mg pantethine, 3 times daily (900 mg/day)
Because of the potential for side effects and interactions with medications, you should take dietary supplements only under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.
Vitamin B5 is considered safe at doses equivalent to the daily intake, and at moderately higher doses. Very high doses may cause diarrhea and may potentially increase the risk of bleeding.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not exceed the daily adequate intake unless directed by their physician.
Vitamin B5 should be taken with water, preferably after eating.
Taking any one of the B vitamins for a long period of time can result in an imbalance of other important B vitamins. For this reason, you may want to take a B complex vitamin, which includes all the B vitamins.
Vitamin B5 can be found in multivitamins and B complex vitamins, or sold individually under the names pantothenic acid and calcium pantothenate. It is available in a variety of forms including tablets, softgels, and capsules.
Vitamin B5, also called pantothenic acid, is one of 8 B vitamins. All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is "burned" to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, also help the body metabolize fats and protein. B complex vitamins are necessary for healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver. They also help the nervous system function properly.
All B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning that the body does not store them.
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 or riboflavin). It is sometimes referred to as the "anti-stress" vitamin because of its effect on the adrenal glands, but there is no real evidence as to whether it helps the body withstand stressful conditions.
Pantothenic acid is also needed for the body to synthesize cholesterol, and a derivative of pantothenic acid called pantethine is being studied to see if it may help lower cholesterol levels in the body.
It is rare for anyone to be deficient in vitamin B5 -- a proper diet will give healthy people all they need. Symptoms of a vitamin B5 deficiency may include fatigue, insomnia, depression, irritability, vomiting, stomach pains, burning feet, and upper respiratory infections.
High Cholesterol/High Triglycerides
Several small, double-blind studies suggest that pantethine may help reduce triglycerides (fats) in the blood in people who have high cholesterol. In some of these studies, pantethine has also helped lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. In some open studies, pantethine appears to lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in people with diabetes. But not all studies have found any benefit. Larger studies are needed to determine whether pantethine has any real benefit.
Studies, primarily in test tubes and animals but a few on people, suggest that vitamin B5 supplements may speed wound healing, especially following surgery. This may be particularly true if vitamin B5 is combined with vitamin C.
Preliminary evidence suggests that pantothenic acid might help with symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but the evidence is weak. One study found that people with RA may have lower levels of B5 in their blood than healthy people, and the lowest levels were associated with the most severe symptoms. A small study conducted in 1980 concluded that 2,000 mg/day of calcium pantothenate improved symptoms of RA, including morning stiffness and pain. More studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Pantothenic acid gets its name from the Greek root pantos, meaning "everywhere," because it is available in a wide variety of foods. A lot of vitamin B5 is lost when you food is processed, however. Fresh meats, vegetables, and whole unprocessed grains have more vitamin B5 than refined, canned, and frozen food. The best sources are brewer's yeast, corn, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, avocado, legumes, lentils, egg yolks, beef (especially organ meats such as liver and kidney), turkey, duck, chicken, milk, split peas, peanuts, soybeans, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, whole-grain breads and cereals, lobster, wheat germ, and salmon.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. ©1997-2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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