Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is a building block of coenzyme A (CoA), which participates in many of your body’s reactions. This includes cell metabolism and DNA synthesis and repair. It is also involved in making hormones and cholesterols that impact your brain functions and nervous system. Pantothenic acid deficiency occurs when your body does not have enough of this vitamin to allow your basic processes to occur. When this happens many health conditions can arise. People who are deficient of this vitamin often show symptoms such as chronic fatigue, vomiting, cramping, a burning sensation in the feet and depression.
Pantothenic acid is an essential vitamin that can only be acquired through your diet. People with a poor digestive system usually require higher amounts of pantothenic acid in their diets. Women who are pregnant also have increased demand for this vitamin, putting them at higher risks for pantothenic acid deficiency. There are five common treatments for people with this condition:
1. Better Nutrition
Pantothenic acid deficiency is not a widespread occurrence because the vitamin is found in almost every type of food. The recommended daily allowance of this vitamin is 10 milligrams for an average adult, but women who are pregnant should take an additional 6 to 7 milligrams. Pantothenic acid can be found in red meats, fish, avocados, mushrooms, whole grains and sunflower seeds. Eating a balanced diet that includes all varieties of food is the best method to prevent and treat pantothenic acid deficiency.
2. Food Preparation
Pantothenic acid is highly heat sensitive and prolonged cooking or deep frying will diminish the vitamin content in your food. This vitamin is also lost through extensive food processing like storing, canning and thawing. Cooking after thawing can reduce the original vitamin content by 50%.
3. Alcohol and Smoking
Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking can impair the function of your digestive system, reducing its ability to isolate and absorb pantothenic acid from your food. Pantothenic acid also takes part in the body’s detoxification process. Exposing it to toxins in alcohol and smoke will increase its need for this vitamin.
4. Vitamin Supplements
Pantothenic acid supplement pills usually exist as vitamin B5 salts.
- Vitamin B5 calcium salt: Calcium pantothenate, also known as calpanate, galamila and pantholin
- Vitamin B5 sodium salt: Sodium pantothenate or panthoject
People who are deficient of pantothenic acid are often prescribed other B vitamins and vitamin C to help their absorption of pantothenic acid.
5. Royal Jelly
People usually do not consider royal jelly as food, but to bees, this is what sustains them. It is the richest source of pantothenic acid in nature. Every gram of royal jelly contains 200 milligrams of pantothenic acid, which is 20 times the amount you need per day. Royal jelly is mostly sold as an herbal supplement, and doctors recommend that people who have pantothenic acid deficiencies take 50 mg to 100 mg of royal jelly to supplement their diets.