Vitamin B5 – Pantothenic Acid
B Complex Vitamin
Vitamin B5 is an antioxidant that is very important for good adrenal function because it helps produce cortisone. Antioxidants provide an extra electron to free radicals so they don't have to steal one from somewhere else in the body. This seems to provide protection from all sorts of degenerative diseases like heart disease, cancer and just general aging. It also protects the body from the side effects of stress, and helps to prevent fatigue and nervous disorders. It can help you fight infection by building antibodies, and also inhibits loss of hair color. It is also important in overcoming the side effects of drugs, especially after surgery. Like many other B vitamins, pantothenic acid is also needed in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Extra Vitamin B5 Requirements
There are certain population groups that are more likely to need B5 supplementation. These include the elderly, those with drinking problems and those who take cholesterol-lowering drugs, according to Dr. Song, an associate professor of nutrition at Michigan State University. Dr. Song has also found that the body uses coenzyme A, which contains vitamin B5, in order to detoxify many chemicals, including those found in pesticides, herbicides and various drugs. This means that this is a very important vitamin for all of us in today's age where so many harmful man-made chemicals abound. We probably all need extra B5 today!
Deficiency Symptoms of Pantothenic Acid
Tiredness, fatigue, insomnia and muscle cramping, as well as anemia and lack of coordination can result from a deficiency of pantothenic acid. Further symptoms include gastrointestinal distress like constipation and vomiting.
Food Sources of Vitamin B5
Nutritional yeast, whole grains including brown rice, poultry and organ meats, broccoli and yams, mushrooms, salmon , eggs, peanuts and other legumes. When you cook, can or process foods containing pantothenic acid, up to 50 percent of it can be destroyed.
Supplementing with Vitamin B5
Many health care practitioners caution you to be careful about taking any B vitamin in isolation, unless you know you are very low in a certain B vitamin. Even then, it is easy for you to cause another imbalance by supplementing high levels of just one or a few B vitamins. It is usually recommended to take B vitamins in a B vitamin complex. Make sure and look for a natural B vitamin, as they are typically better absorbed by the body. Synthetic B vitamins are typically made out of coal tar derivatives. A good B complex vitamin is the that comes in a highly absorbable liquid.