Pantothenic acid is central in the metabolism of food. Pantothenic acid, also known as
vitamin B-5 is required for the conversion of carbohydrates, fats, and protein into usable
energy for the body. It is necessary for the synthesis of red blood cells, steroid
metabolism, and is vital in the synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol, and other
Pantothenic acid is often referred to as an anti-stress vitamin due to its essential
role in the formation of various adrenal hormones. These hormones allow you to adapt to
and respond effectively to various types of stress.
Pantothenic acid is important to the nervous system as well as contributing to the
production of important neurotransmitters in the brain, such as acetylcholine. Pantothenic
acid also supports the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and for
maintaining a healthy immune system, including stimulation of antibody production.
Pantothenic acid is wide spread in foods making deficiency very rare except for those
with a highly processed diet as much of the vitamin B-5 activity is lost during the
refinement process. Additionally, pantothenic acid is produced by beneficial bacterial in
the gut. A reduction or destruction of intestinal flora, most commonly by antibiotic use,
can contribute to vitamin B-5 deficiency.
There are claims that pantothenic acid can prevent graying and even restore hair to its
natural color, but this is based on animal research that showed increased graying of the
fur, decreased growth, progressing to hemorrhage and destruction of the adrenal glands.
In humans, pantothenic acid deficiency results in diminished adrenal gland function. A
variety of metabolic problems will also manifest themselves. Fatigue is common along with
depression, and problems associated with the digestive system. There will also be loss of
nerve function, and problems with blood sugar metabolism, with hypoglycemia being the most
Pantothenic acid deficiency can reduce immune system responses, increasing the risk of
infection. Other symptoms of B-5 deficiency include skin problems, insomnia, lack of
coordination, muscle cramps and worsening of allergy symptoms.