I wrote a few months ago on all the members of this dream team: Vitamins B3, B6, B7 and 8, B9…. I realised I never wrote on B5 and would like to apologise. But let’s not fret: there’s a good reason. In fact, our dear Dr. Vania, tutor at the AMCC, makes it pretty clear: you do not recommend supplements of Vitamin B5.
The Question and the Answer
Here’s our student’s question – taken from our famous Q&A database here at the AMCC:
In podcast 2 it mentions that vitamin B5 is a good supplement for adrenal support, stress, hypoglycemia etc However, in the manual in nutrition it says that a dietary deficiency of B5 is actually quite difficult. But if someone doesn’t eat the richest sources of pantothenic acid eg. liver etc should we recommend this as a supplement?
And here’s our smart answer from our even smarter tutor:
It’s very rare to have a vitamin B5 deficiency in developed countries. Generally, only people who are malnourished will have a B5 deficiency. Symptoms of such deficiency are given on p. 95 of course 142 (Nutrition Basics). They include insomnia, leg cramps, paresthesia of the feet and hands (tingling, burning or numbness), fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, depression, respiratory infections, hypoglycemia and immune deficiency. Unless you suspect the patient to be malnourished, and to have a conjunction of these symptoms, don’t prescribe vitamin B5.
There you have it. And that’s why it slipped my mind to mention it on the blog. But now that I’m low on subjects to write about, I thought about making a come-back for the Complex B Dream Team.
What’s Vitamin B5 and what does it Eat in Winter?
Now for that we have to look in our AMCC books, course 142 – Nutrition Basics.
Other names: pantothenic acid or coenzyme A.
Vitamin B5 is a fundamental component in all kinds of metabolism, as it is at the center of energy production in glycolysis28 and lipolysis.29 It is an essential component of acetyl-coA and the Krebs cycle. It is a vitamin that is found in all kinds of foods, as its Greek name indicates: pantos, meaning “everywhere.”
Vitamin B5 is quite sensitive to heat. Just like my husband.
• Participates in the oxidation of carbohydrates (or glycolysis), of fats (or lipolysis) and protein or oxidative deamination.
• Produces a large number of enzymes.
• Helps maintain precise communication between the brain and central nervous system.
• Helps manage stress due to psychological tension: migraines; chronic fatigue syndrome; or coffee, alcohol and tobacco withdrawal.
• When combined with choline and thiamine, fights gastric reflux.
• Controls cholesterol levels through pantethine, which is a metabolite of pantothenic acid that the body can assimilate.
• Reduces certain allergy symptoms (nasal congestion from seasonal allergies).
Pro-compounds of vitamin B5: B-Complex, B6, B9, B12, biotin, and C
Anti-compounds of vitamin B5: Antibiotic treatments, alcohol and coffee can cause B5 deficiency.
Deficiency and excess
A dietary deficiency in vitamin B5 is technically inexistent, since pantothenic acid is omnipresent in our food. However, refined grains, canned food, freezing and cooking destroy a good part of the vitamin B5 that is present in food. A poor diet made up particularly of ready-to-eat meals and refined foods in addition to antibiotic use can cause a deficiency in pantothenic acid.
– Leg cramps
– Paresthesia of the feet and hands (feeling of pins and needles, burning or numbness)
– Gastro-intestinal problems
– Respiratory infections
– Immune deficiency
There is no toxicity even at elevated doses of 10 g a day. The only known symptom is diarrhea.
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