Learn about the many functions and uses of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) in the human body. While the list is not necessarily exhaustive, it is as detailed as possible and continues to be updated once in a while.
Major Functions of Vitamin B5 in the Body
Vitamin B5 is a key mineral in the proper functioning of various body processes. Below are the major functions of pantothenic acid in the human body.
#1 The anti-inflammatory function of pantothenic acid
Pantothenic acid functions and uses are quite many. For anti-inflammation, pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 is a crucial function where it is involved in the production of cortisol.
This vitamin is used by the adrenal glands to produce cortisol.
Cortisol is a critical anti-inflammatory substance produced by the body. Also, pantothenic acid suppresses the immune system and aids the metabolism of fat, carbohydrates, and protein.
Studies have shown that a lack of this acid in the body affects the proper functioning of the adrenal cortex.
#2 Pantothenic acid aids metabolism and bodily function
As stated above, vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid plays a vital role in the process of metabolism to generate energy for body functions.
As a precursor to coenzymes, vitamin B5 helps the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids. This acid helps the body to synthesize essential lipids as well as neurotransmitters.
It is a constituent of calcium pantothenate, which is used in the manufacture of red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. Pantothenic acid also plays a role in the production of steroids and sex hormones.
#3 Pantothenic acid for stress reduction
Both human and animal research has shown that the coenzyme of vitamin B5 enables persons and animals to sustain adaptive responses and reduce the systematic effects of stress.
It is an important ingredient used by the adrenal glands to produce corticosterone hormones.
This hormone is triggered in response to stressful situations. However, research is still underway to identify the reason behind relieving stress.
#4 Pantothenic acid promotes heart health
Heart failure and other cardiovascular illnesses have increased in recent years. They are currently consuming a large proportion of household income.
However, it is possible to promote the health of your heart using vitamin B5-rich food and supplements.
This substance lowers the level of cholesterol by converting fats and carbohydrates into glucose. High levels of cholesterol in the body affect heart functioning.
It thus militates against blood pressure and prevents heart failure among other cardiovascular disorders.
One clinical study reported that pantothenic acid could be used to treat persons with dilated cardiomyopathy – a common disorder of heart muscle.
It further revealed that large doses of vitamin B5 improve myocardial growth and functions.
They also treat stable angina and coronary heart disorders. For improved health of your heart, you can try out vitamin B5-rich foods and supplements.
#5 Pantothenic acid promotes liver function
Pantothenic acid is used to synthesize CoA, which is a critical component of the liver.
CoA is highly concentrated in the liver, and this high amount of coenzyme A in the liver is essential in eliminating the toxic substance from the body.
The human body is exposed to a myriad of toxic chemicals. The high concentration of this enzyme improves the functioning of the liver and the body.
A well-functioning liver is good for the excellent health of the body, and this can be improved by taking pantothenic acid-rich foods and supplements.
#6 Pantothenic acid for preventing hair loss
Hair loss and breakages are common conditions in many people caused by different factors.
Clinical studies found that the quality of hair and retarded hair growth can be effectively improved using pantothenic acid.
When this acid is used as pantogar component, it even works more effectively than the placebo in improving the quality of hair.
Another clinical study used panthenol – an alcohol analog of this acid to investigate its effects on hair loss.
The study reported a significant increase in the diameter of scalp hairs, reduce shear modulus, and increase break stress on the hair.
In other words, vitamin B5 improves hair thickness, pliability, and strength to withstand breakage force. Therefore, those persons with hair loss problems can use pantothenic acid to rectify their condition.
#7 Pantothenic acid for treating respiratory problems
In a clinical study involving an adolescent boy with a history of asthma, a type of Pantothenic acid; Dexpanthenol was used to establish the effect of this component on illness.
The results showed remarkable improvement and prevention of future asthma episodes.
Another clinical study found that when vitamin B5 is used together with Myer’s cocktail helps to relieve nasal congestion, common cold, and rhinorrhea in less than 10 minutes after use.
Rhinorrhea is a condition characterized by a mucus-filled nasal cavity. Therefore, pantothenic acid is a good dose for relieving various respiratory conditions.
#8 Pantothenic acid for reducing eye pain
A few drops of dexpanthenol vitamin B5 cool down pain in the eyes by reducing inflammation of dry eyes.
The vitamin is used by the adrenal glands to manufacture cortisol substance which is a critical anti-inflammation agent.
#9 Pantothenic acid for promoting healthy skin
Vitamin B5 keeps your skin healthy and moisturized. Lack of this vitamin in the body has also been attributed to acne.
This is because calcium pantothenic helps to repair wounded skin, thus speeding up the healing of wounds.
There are a variety of pantothenic drugs, supplements, and foods on the market for purchase.
Pantothenic Acid Benefits
Typically, pantothenic acid is used to treat and prevent low levels of vitamin B5 in the body. This acid is basically a supplement for vitamin B5 and works by providing the body with vitamin B5 when not enough is obtained from foods.
Always avoid using these supplements if you are allergic to any of their ingredients or when you become pregnant until advised by your doctor.
Breastfeeding mothers should also avoid supplements of pantothenic acid unless prescribed by the doctor. The healthy benefits of pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 are many.
Some common benefits include lowering levels of stress, relieving stress by facilitating the production of hormones, promoting a healthy heart through lowering the level of cholesterol, and also being used in skincare among many more benefits.
Below you will learn, in detail, the pantothenic acid benefits for your body.
1. It nourishes Hair & Skin
Vitamin B5 can work wonders for your skin by keeping it not only healthy and smooth but equally glowing and attractive in appearance. This explains why it is most preferred by many young celebrities and models.
It is also suitable for those who want to avoid premature aging wrinkles and spots. According to most studies, pantothenic acid is equally effective for hair pigmentation and discoloring until you reach your older years.
2. An effective Body Detoxifier
Vitamin B5 or pantothenic is good for keeping your body free from toxins. This is done in two ways; first, it promotes the functioning of the liver.
It is used to synthesize coenzyme A which is highly concentrated in the liver and an essential substance for getting rid of toxins from the body. Secondly, the vitamin is also water-soluble.
Normally, any type of water-soluble vitamin does not add toxins to the body since they are easily filtered and swept away through urine. They are also effective and beneficial for persons of all ages and any gender.
3. An effective Immune System Booster
The immune system is essential in fighting infections and diseases for good health. This system is strengthened by vitamin B5 thus reducing your chances of getting diseases and infections.
Everyone wants a healthy body free of diseases and infections, and this acid in your diet will do just that by maximizing the count of your white blood cells.
4. It promotes Cardiovascular Health
Vitamin B5 is impressive in maintaining the healthy and normal functioning of your heart. This vitamin facilitates the metabolism of fats and proteins thus reducing the level of cholesterol.
It thus improves cardiovascular functions and health. On this basis, it reduces blood pressure, and heart failure among other cardiovascular disorders.
5. It improves Body Stamina
It has been proven to build body stamina by facilitating metabolic activities. This makes vitamin B5 most appropriate for active individuals and sportspersons.
Metabolism allows the body to perform different tasks efficiently and in a healthy way.
Vitamin B5 ensures that embolism for the whole body is maximized and kept on track hence reducing unnecessary weariness and fatigue of the body.
6. It increases Levels of Hemoglobin
Calcium pantothenate is used in making red blood cells. Hemoglobin is an oxygen carrier found in red blood cells. High red blood cells count increases the capability of the blood to carry oxygen around the body.
Oxygen is required for the oxidation of carbohydrates and protein to release energy for body functions.
Therefore, eating food rich in vitamin B5 is advisable especially for persons that experience constant fainting.
A study carried out at Asahikawa Medical College in Japan reported that pantethine can help to prevent diabetic angiopathy.
These findings were supported by a similar study conducted at Belarus University which found that pantethine can treat diabetes.
With increasing cases of diabetes around the world, it is advisable to consume foods rich in vitamin B5. For those people with vitamin deficiency, there are many types of pantothenic supplements on the market.
Other Benefits of Pantothenic acids
There are several other benefits of pantothenic acid. The list below presents some of these health benefits and uses of vitamin B5.
- Stimulates production of adrenal hormones such as corticosterone for responding to and relieving stress
- Vitamin B5 is known to relieve Parkinson’s and autism diseases as well as respiratory conditions like the common cold, nasal congestion, asthma, and rhinorrhea.
- It is used to relieve inflammation of the skin and other body organs as it is involved in the production of cortisol substances.
- Pantothenic acid heals other conditions like premenstrual syndrome, osteoarthritis, candidiasis, and many more.
Pantothenic Acid Side Effects
Adverse effects of pantothenic acid are rare if used in small doses. This is due to the availability of many foods rich in these essential vitamins for the body.
The most known side effects are associated with an overdose of vitamin B5 and consumption of very high amounts ranging over 10-20 grams daily.
Common side effects include gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea and heartburn and diarrhea. It is hence advised to avoid large doses of this acid such as megavitamin therapy or mega doses unless instructed by your doctor.
Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should seek the advice of doctors before using these supplements. Possible side effects of pantothenic acid are discussed in detail below.
#1. Severe Allergic Reactions
These include the presence of rashes, hives or itching, and breathing difficulty as well as chest tightness and swelling in the face, mouth, tongue, and lips.
If you notice these symptoms after taking pantothenic acid, seek immediate medical attention.
Vitamin B5 may cause diarrhea in some patients. This is associated with a high intake of pantothenic acid to 10-20 grams in the form of supplements.
Even though tolerable upper consumption level is not yet established, diarrhea still remains one key symptom resulting from megavitamin therapy and mega doses of calcium D pantothenate which is the most common supplement.
#3. Gastrointestinal Side Effects
These side effects are associated with parts of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the colon.
Nausea and heartburn are also known gastrointestinal side effects reported from those taking high amounts of pantothenic acid supplements up to 1,200 mg.
It is important to note that since pantothenic acid is water-soluble, it can be easily filtered and swept out of the body through urine.
There should be not much worry about overdose and the excess amount of this vitamin in the body. Nonetheless, very high doses can still cause some side effects as explained above.
Clinical studies have reported that oral administration of pantothenic acid and pantothenol ointment and cream on the skin has the potential of delaying the healing of the wound.
Similarly, some studies have found no speeding up and improving the healing process of the wound.
It is apparent that the benefits of pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 outweigh its side effects. Following this assertion, this water-soluble vitamin is good for your health.
However, taking it in foods is highly recommended than in supplements. Besides, they are many types of vitamin B5-rich foods on the market.
Avocado has the most amount of vitamins, and if suspect any deficiency in the body, there is absolutely no harm in trying out avocado for the good of health.
Pantothenic Acid Reviews
Below are some of the reviews of best-selling Vitamin B5 brands you can buy and get value for money.
#1 Now Foods pantothenic acid 500mg 250 capsules
This is one of the products that have been extensively reviewed by users, and have received good ratings. Now Foods Pantothenic Acid is rated highly in terms of effectiveness, ease of use, and satisfaction.
Priced at $ 11 and $26 for 250 and 500mg capsules at Amazon stores inclusive of freight, this product gives healthy skin and reduces breaking and loss of hair.
#2 Acnetame for Skincare
This is a vitamin B5 supplement for skincare, top-rated, bestselling, and lowest-priced in the market.
It contains 60 pills, an OTC form of natural supplements, and vitamins for treating acne and hormonal balance for men and women with pimples.
It’s well-recognized for clearing oily skin and cystic acne spots and blemishes. It is one of the most reviewed vitamin B5 supplements on Amazon with positive feedback from users around the globe.
#3 Complexion Formula
This product provides protection against skin breakouts and blemishes. It also contains acne vitamins for acne treatment and antioxidants. It reduces the buildup of bacteria.
It clears the skin from the inside out, thus promoting internal cleansing. Complexion formula is an innovative pill for acne, redness, and black and whiteheads.
It is commendable for preventing skin breakouts, clearing and hydrating the skin, and also for fighting body and face acne.
#4 GNC Pantothenic Acid 500 mg
This product is recommended for promoting metabolism activities to release energy for the functioning of the body.
As stated earlier, vitamin B5 is a precursor for the CoA enzyme for metabolic activity. It is also used in the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body.
#5 Swanson Pantothenic Acid 500 mg
Swanson premium is recommended as an effective capsule for metabolism.
This vitamin B5 supplement is approved by the FDA and can be easily accessed from Walmart, Amazon stores, and Walgreens.
Besides commercial products, you can obtain plenty of vitamin B5 from almost every plant and animal nutrient.
It is evident that pantothenic acid functions and uses are many, and side effects are minimal. There is no harm in trying out pantothenic acid supplements to avoid catastrophic deficiency in the body.
READ MORE: Good food sources for pantothenic acid.