The body uses pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, to break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats for energy.
Some claims have been made that pantothenic acid is effective for treatment of nerve damage, breathing problems, itching and other skin problems, but these claims have not been proven in clinical trials.
Nutritionists categorize vitamins by the materials that a vitamin will dissolve in. There are two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins, which include the B-complex group and vitamin C, travel through the bloodstream. Whatever water-soluble vitamins are not used by the body are eliminated in urine, which means you need a continuous supply of them in your food. Vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin.
How Much Pantothenic Acid Is Enough?
Lack of pantothenic acid in the diet is rare, so there is no recommended daily intake for this vitamin. Often, pantothenic acid is included in B-complex multivitamins. Normal daily intake of pantothenic acid for adults is 4 to 7 milligrams.
Sources of Pantothenic Acid
* Peas and beans (except green beans) * Whole-grain cereals
Can You Have Too Much or Too Little?
Pantothenic acid does not usually cause any side effects, although pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should be careful to consume only the normal daily intake.