Pantothenic Acid (aka Vitamin B5) is often found in many B-complex supplements and makes its way into most people's diets through meats, mushrooms and seeds. It serves several vital roles in nutrient metabolism and must be consumed daily. It is quite unstable and heat will quickly destroy it, so if your primary source is meat, it would be best not to cook it to oblivion. The RDA is set at 5 mg per day.

Functions

  • Necessary for Coenzyme A
  • Proper energy metabolism
  • Heme synthesis
  • Cholesterol synthesis
  • Lipid synthesis
  • Steroid hormone production

Primary deficiency symptoms and diseases

  • Burning and tingling sensations in the feet
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Vomiting and stomach pains

Food sources

As mentioned earlier, B5 is easily destroyed by heat and therefore foods should not be overcooked in order to preserve this vitamin. A good rare piece of meat will provide adequate pantothenic acid, but plant sources exist as well.

  • Liver
  • Turkey and poultry
  • Red meat
  • Mushrooms
  • Seeds

Supplementation

Most people will supplement B5 in a B-complex supplement, but there are also several options for taking this vitamin on its own. Excess can cause stomach cramping and pain.

  • Calcium pantothenate
  • Pantothenol

Who needs it most?

  • Those with nutrient malabsorption
  • People who consume alcohol frequently