Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid ) is found in varying amounts in most foods. Hence, the vitamin’s name is derived from ‘panthos,’ the Greek word for everywhere.
Vitamin B5 is the main nutrient for nourishing the adrenal glands, making it invaluable for those suffering from stress. Although pantothenic acid is often used in isolated stressful circumstances, it is particularly valid for adrenal exhaustion, a condition associated with the depletion of adrenal hormone supply usually caused by chronic stress of a relatively long duration.
Most common food sources of this vitamin are brewer’s yeast, nuts, liver, soybeans, wholegrains, and milk. Pantothenic acid is crucial for energy release through the production of Coenzyme A and acyl carrier protein, known for their importance in protein, fat, and carbohydrate utilisation.
It is also important for making the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, vital in memory processes, normal brain function, and in the peristalsis action of the intestinal muscles, therefore aiding more regular bowel movements. It may be of value for those trying to overcome laxative dependence, especially if taken together with phosphatidylcholine, the primary nutrient required in the synthesis of acetylcholine.
In doses of up to 2g per day, pantothenic acid has been shown to alleviate stiffness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but not osteoarthritis. Under chronic stress deficiencies symptoms of pantothenic acid include: adrenal atrophy, burning feet, sleep disturbances, fatigue, headache, nausea, and abdominal discomfort.
Vitamin B5 has no known side-affects or contra-indications. It is available in tablets and capsules in 500mg and 1,000mg doses and may be taken alongside other supplements.
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