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Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic acid

Description

Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is a member of the water-soluble B vitamin family. It is an essential ingredient of two substances, coenzyme A and acyl carrier protein, which are needed to metabolize carbohydrates and fats. The same coenzymes play a part in production of certain hormones, vitamin D , red blood cells, and the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Pantothenic acid is necessary for proper growth and development. Studies of Mexican infants whose diets are deficient in micronutrients have shown that those who receive dietary supplements containing pantothenic acid do not show the growth retardation that appears in control groups.

General use

There is not an RDA for pantothenic acid, since deficiency is not known to occur in normal circumstances. Although a daily intake is required for good health, some of this vitamin is found in nearly every food. The standard for the minimum amount of pantothenic acid is the Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake. That value is 2 mg for infants less than six months old, 3 mg for infants six to 12 months old and children one to three years old, 34 mg for children four to six years old, 45 mg for children seven to 10 years old, and 47 mg for everyone over 11 years of age. This recommended intake is a minimal amount necessary to prevent deficiency, and may not be the optimal amount needed for good health.

Pantothenic acid and pantethine are both available as supplements, and do appear to function somewhat differently. Pantethine can be used to lower serum cholesterol and triglycerides. It is more expensive and less effective than using niacin (vitamin B3) for the same purpose, but does not have the potential side effects that niacin does. Generally a dose of 300 mg taken three times a day is recommended for this purpose. Pantethine may be a good cholesterol-lowering alternative for people with diabetes, who cannot take niacin due to the potential side effects on blood sugar regulation. Taking supplements of pantothenic acid does not affect cholesterol, as in this form it is immediately converted into coenzymes.

One very small study indicated that large daily doses of pantothenic acid (2 g of calcium pantothenate) were helpful to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis . Consult a healthcare provider regarding use of supplements for this purpose.

Panthenol is a derivative of pantothenic acid and is frequently an ingredient of shampoos and other hair care products. Experiments with rats have shown that a deficiency of pantothenic acid can cause hair to turn gray and fall out. Neither oral nor topical use of any form of pantothenic acid has been shown to prevent or treat gray hair or balding in humans. Some skin care products contain another form of pantothenic acid, called panthoderm, which may be helpful in treatment of minor skin injuries.

Other claims for pantothenic acid that remain unproven are that it improves immune function, decreases allergies , and acts as an anti-aging substance.

Preparations

Natural sources

Almost every food contains some pantothenic acid. Meats, dairy, whole grains, eggs, and legumes are among the richest sources. Products made from grains that have been processed are among the few foods that are lacking in B5; it is not added back after processing since there are so many other sources of it.

In order to get the most value out of the pantothenic acid contained in natural sources, use fresh foods whenever possible. Cook with minimal amounts of water since the water-soluble vitamin content may be leached out. Frozen foods lose some of their water-soluble vitamin content as they thaw. Processing can also destroy a significant amount of the vitamin content of foods. Pantothenic acid is fairly heat-stable, and is not broken down by cooking although it is destroyed by extremes of pH as may be created by adding such things as baking soda or vinegar.

Supplemental sources

Oral supplements of both pantothenic acid and pantethine are available. The latter is quite expensive, and less stable than other types. Calcium pantothenate is one form of pantothenic acid made for oral use. Dexpanthenol is formulated for topical, intramuscular, or intravenous use. It is generally recommended that the B-vitamin family be taken in balanced amounts. Taking an excessive amount of an individual B-vitamin may have a detrimental effect on the absorption of others. As with all supplements, pantothenic acid should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, and out of the reach of children. A dose of up to 500 mg is often recommended.

Deficiency

Due to its wide availability in food sources, pure deficiency of pantothenic acid is unknown. It is possible, though, to have low levels in conjunction with other B vitamins under certain conditions. This category may include people with severe nutritional deficiencies; and those with conditions affecting absorption, such as sprue or removal of portions of the gastrointestinal tract. People who chronically abuse alcohol or other drugs, and those under excessive amounts of stress including debilitating illnesses or recovery from burns or surgery are also at higher risk of general vitamin deficiency. The elderly are more susceptible both to poor nutritional status and decreased vitamin absorption. Use of tobacco is also detrimental to B vitamin absorption. Athletes who have a strenuous, daily physical regimen and people with physically active occupations may require larger than average amounts of pantothenic acid.

Experimentally induced deficiency of pantothenic acid has caused fatigue , somnolence, headache , hyperreflexia of extremities, tingling, numbness, or burning in hands and feet, weakness, gastrointestinal problems, irritability, and increased numbers of infections .

Precautions

People with hemophilia should not use dexpanthenol as it may prolong bleeding time. Anyone with a known or suspected obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract should also not use this product.

Side effects

Taken in very large doses, pantothenic acid may cause diarrhea . Topical use of dexpanthenol may cause a skin reaction.

Interactions

The effects of the medication levodopa may be decreased by supplemental pantothenic acid. This problem is not seen with combination carbidopa and levodopa products. These medications are often used to treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease . Anyone taking medication for this condition should consult a health care provider before taking nutritional supplements.

Resources

BOOKS

Bratman, Steven, and David Kroll. Natural Health Bible. Prima Publishing, 1999.

Feinstein, Alice. Prevention's Healing with Vitamins. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press, 1996.

Griffith, H. Winter. Vitamins, Herbs, Minerals & Supplements: The Complete Guide. Arizona: Fisher Books, 1998.

Jellin, Jeff, Forrest Batz, and Kathy Hitchens. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. California: Therapeutic Research Faculty, 1999.

Pressman, Alan H., and Sheila Buff. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. New York: alpha books, 1997.

PERIODICALS

Rivera, Juan A., Teresita Gonzalez-Cossio, Mario Flores, et al. "Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation Increases the Growth of Mexican Infants." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 74 (November 2001): 657.

Judith Turner

Rebecca J. Frey, PhD

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"Pantothenic Acid." Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Pantothenic Acid." Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. . Retrieved December 11, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pantothenic-acid

pantothenic acid

pantothenic acid A vitamin of the B complex with no numerical designation. Chemically, the β‐alanine derivative of pantoic acid. Required for the synthesis of coenzyme A (and hence essential for the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and amino acids) and of acyl carrier protein (and hence essential for the synthesis of fatty acids).

Dietary deficiency is unknown; it is widely distributed in all living cells, the best sources being liver, kidney, yeast, and fresh vegetables. Human requirements are not known with any certainty; the US/Canadian adequate intake is 5 mg/day.

Experimental deficiency signs in rats include greying of the hair (hence at one time known as the anti‐grey‐hair factor; there is no evidence that it affects greying of human hair with age). Experimental deficiency in human beings leads to fatigue, headache, muscle weakness, and gastro‐intestinal disturbances. See also burning foot syndrome.

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"pantothenic acid." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"pantothenic acid." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Retrieved December 11, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pantothenic-acid

pantothenic acid

pan·to·then·ic ac·id / ˌpantəˈ[unvoicedth]enik/ • n. Biochem. a vitamin of the B complex, found in rice, bran, and many other foods, and essential for the oxidation of fats and carbohydrates. DERIVATIVES: pan·to·then·ate / panˈtä[unvoicedth]ənāt/ n.

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"pantothenic acid." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pantothenic acid." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 11, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pantothenic-acid

"pantothenic acid." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved December 11, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pantothenic-acid

pantothenic acid

pantothenic acid A vitamin of the vitamin B complex. It is a constituent of coenzyme A, which performs a crucial role in the oxidation of fats, carbohydrates, and certain amino acids. Deficiency rarely occurs because the vitamin occurs in many foods, especially cereal grains, peas, egg yolk, liver, and yeast.

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"pantothenic acid." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pantothenic acid." A Dictionary of Biology. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 11, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pantothenic-acid-1

"pantothenic acid." A Dictionary of Biology. . Retrieved December 11, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pantothenic-acid-1

pantothenic acid

pantothenic acid Vitamin B3 (see VITAMIN), a water-soluble vitamin synthesized by green plants and micro-organisms, but not by animals, for which it is an essential dietary requirement. It forms part of the structure of the key metabolic compound coenzyme A.

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"pantothenic acid." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"pantothenic acid." A Dictionary of Zoology. . Retrieved December 11, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pantothenic-acid-0

pantothenic acid

pantothenic acid Vitamin B3, synthesized by green plants and microorganisms, but not by animals, for which it is an essential dietary requirement. It forms part of the structure of the key metabolic compound coenzyme A.

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"pantothenic acid." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"pantothenic acid." A Dictionary of Plant Sciences. . Retrieved December 11, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pantothenic-acid

pantothenic acid

pantothenic acid (pan-tŏ-theen-ik) n. a B vitamin that is a constituent of coenzyme A. It plays an important role in the transfer of acetyl groups in the body.

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"pantothenic acid." A Dictionary of Nursing. . Retrieved December 11, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/caregiving/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pantothenic-acid

pantothenic acid

pantothenic acid (păn´təthĕn´Ĭk): see coenzyme; vitamin.

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"pantothenic acid." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"pantothenic acid." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 11, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/pantothenic-acid