Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5
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Vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin from the B group vitamins. It helps produce energy by breaking down fat and carbohydrates. It also supports healthy skin, hair, eyes and liver.

People need B5 to synthesize and metabolize fats, proteins and coenzyme A.

B5 is one of the lesser known vitamins, possibly because deficiencies are rare.

Vitamin B5 is also known as pantothenic acid or Pantothenate. The word pantothenic comes from the Greek “pantou” which means everywhere. Almost all foods contain small amounts of pantothenic acid.

Why do we need vitamin B5?

Vitamin B5 has many important functions. These include:

  • converting food into glucose
  • synthesizing cholesterol
  • creating sex and stress-related hormones
  • forming red blood cells

As with all B vitamins, pantothenic acid helps the body break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins so our body can use them to rebuild energy and tissue, muscle and organs.

Coenzyme A

Vitamin B5 plays a role in the synthesis of coenzyme A.

Coenzyme A plays a role in the synthesis of fatty acids and is important for converting food into fatty acids and cholesterol.

Coenzyme A is also required for the creation of sphingosine, a fat-like molecule that helps transmit chemical messages in body cells.

The liver needs Coenzyme A to safely metabolize some drugs and toxins.

Digestive System

Vitamin B5 helps maintain a healthy digestive system and helps the body use other vitamins, especially vitamin B2. Vitamin B2 helps manage stress, but there is no evidence that pantothenic acid reduces stress.

Skin Care

Some studies have shown that vitamin B5 acts as a moisturizer on the skin and accelerates the healing process of skin wounds.

One study showed that vitamin B5, taken as a dietary supplement, helped acne on the face and reduced the number of acne-related facial blemishes. The researchers noted a “significant mean reduction in the total number of lesions” after taking a B5 dietary supplement for 12 weeks. The authors call for more trials to validate the results.

Cholesterol and Triglycerides

Some research suggests that vitamin B5 intake can help lower cholesterol and blood triglyceride or fat levels. This mode of administration should only be maintained under medical supervision.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Some researchers have found that people with rheumatoid arthritis have lower vitamin B5 levels. However, more evidence is needed to confirm these results.


Vitamin B5 deficiency in humans is extremely rare, as pantothenic acid is found in almost all foods. A healthy and varied diet should provide enough to a person.

Clinical research has shown that a deficiency can lead to:

  • Tiredness
  • Indifference
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Stomach aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Numbness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Burning foot
  • Upper respiratory infections

B5 deficiency can lead to increased sensitivity to insulin.

In mice, vitamin B5 deficiency caused skin irritation and graying of fur, but this was reversed when pantothenic acid was given.

Recommended Daily Intake

Experts recommend daily vitamin B5 intake:

  • 0-6 months old babies – 1.7 milligrams (mg) per day
  • 7-12 months old babies – 1.8 mg per day
  • Children 1-3 years old – 2 mg per day
  • Children 4-8 years old – 3 mg per day
  • Children 9-13 years old – 4 mg per day
  • Men and women 14 years and older – 5 mg per day
  • Pregnant women – 6 mg per day
  • Breastfeeding women – 7 mg per day

Vitamin B5 is water soluble and excreted in the urine. Our bodies do not store it and we need to consume it every day to replenish ingredients.

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