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13 Problems With Vitamin B5 Deficiency

Vitamin B5, also called pantothenic acid, is one of the most important vitamins in human health. It is essential for the production of blood cells, and it helps to convert the food you eat into energy. Vitamin B5 is one of eight B vitamins. All the B vitamins help you to convert the protein, carbohydrates, and fats you eat into energy.

B vitamins are also needed:

  • healthy skin, hair, and eyes
  • the efficiency of the nervous system and liver
  • a healthy digestive tract
  • it produces red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body
  • sex and stress-related hormones in the adrenal glands

Vitamin B5 Deficiency

Vitamin B5 deficiency is less common in humans as pantothenic acid is found in almost all foods. A healthy and varied diet should give the person enough.

Clinical trials have shown, however, that shortages can lead to:

  • tiredness
  • apathy
  • depression
  • irritability
  • sleep disorders
  • stomach pains
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • numbness
  • muscle cramps
  • hypoglycemia
  • burning feet
  • upper respiratory infections

B5 deficiency can cause an increase in insulin secretion. In rats, vitamin B5 deficiency led to skin irritation and hair loss, but this was reversed when pantothenic acid was given.

The daily diet is recommended

Experts recommend the daily availability of vitamin B5 and recommend:

  • Infants 0-6 months – 1.7 milligrams (mg) per day
  • Infants 7-12 months – 1.8 mg per day
  • Children aged 1 -3 – 2 mg per day
  • Children 4-8 years – 3 mg per day
  • Children ages 9-13 – 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 dissolves in water and is excreted in the urine. Our bodies don’t keep it, and we need to eat it every day to supplement our diet.

Dietary sources of Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 is widely found in both animal and plant products.

Sources include:

Meat: Pork, chicken, turkey duck, beef, especially animal organs such as liver and kidneys

Fish: Salmon, lobster, and shellfish.

Cereals: Whole wheat and whole grains. Whole grains are a good source of vitamin B5 but digestion can remove 75 percent of B5 content.

Dairy products: Egg yolk, milk, yogurt, and dairy products.

Legumes: Lentils, split peas, and beans.

Vegetables: Mushrooms, avocados, broccoli, sweet potatoes, corn, cauliflower, kale, and tomatoes.

Other sources of vitamin B5 include brewer’s yeast, peanuts, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, royal jelly, and oatmeal. To ensure adequate nutrition, food should be eaten fresh rather than refined. Like all water-soluble vitamins, vitamin B5 is lost when food is boiled.

Scientists have discovered that bacteria in parts of the colon may produce pantothenic acid, but this has not yet been determined.

Side Effects 

Pantothenic acid is considered an additive in most cases, but there is not enough evidence to prove that it is effective in most cases. For people who live within the recommended daily dose of Vitamin B5, or higher, the use of the supplement may be safe, but anyone considering taking the supplement should consult a physician first.

A very high dose, for example, of 10-20 grams (gm) per day, can cause diarrhea and increase the risk of bleeding. If vitamin B5 is taken as a supplement, it can cause an imbalance of other B vitamins. For this reason, it is best to take a vitamin B complex. This should be taken after meals, with water.

Royal jelly contains vitamin B5 so care should be taken not to eat royal gel next to vitamin B5 supplement. Vitamin B5 can interact with other drugs. It can interfere with the absorption and function of the antibiotic, Tetracycline.

It can also increase the effect of other Alzheimer’s diseases, known as cholinesterase inhibitors. These drugs include donepezil (Aricept), memantine hydrochloride (Ebixa), galantamine (Reminyl), and rivastigmine (Exelon). Taking supplements with these drugs can lead to serious side effects.

People taking antiretroviral drugs, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin, should be careful when using vitamin B5 supplements, as B5 can increase the risk of bleeding. Women should not take more than 6 mg a day during pregnancy, and 7 mg during breastfeeding, as it may be unsafe.

It is always a good idea to see a doctor before taking the supplement, especially for people with a health condition and those taking other drugs.


What causes pantothenic acid deficiency?

Most people in the United States get enough pantothenic acid. However, people with a rare inherited disorder called pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration can't use pantothenic acid properly. This disorder can lead to symptoms of pantothenic acid deficiency.

How long does it take for pantothenic acid to clear acne?

The results from this study indicate that the administration of a pantothenic acid-based dietary supplement in healthy adults with facial acne lesions is safe, well-tolerated, and reduced total facial lesion count versus placebo after 12 weeks of administration.


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