Pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5, is a water-soluble essential vitamin that participates in many key biochemical reactions in the body. It enables your body to breakdown carbohydrates, proteins and fats from food, and converts them into energy. It also helps create hormones and neurotransmitters, and regulate the overall functions of your body. Normally, there is no need to worry about whether you are taking enough of this vitamin to meet your body’s needs. Pantothenic acid is found in almost every food, so deficiencies of this vitamin are quite rare. However, some groups of people have an increased demand for pantothenic acid and a supplementary dosage of pantothenic acid may be highly beneficial.
Pregnancy and Lactation
The most current recommended daily intake (%DV) for pantothenic acid is 10 mg for an average adult. It is recommended, however, that women who are pregnant or lactating take extra a supplementary dose of pantothenic acid. This is because of the rise in estrogen and progesterone levels during pregnancy. Estrogen inhibits the actions of this vitamin and high concentrations of estrogen in your blood will raise your body’s requirement for pantothenic acid. In addition, pantothenic acid uptake will occur during lactation, which also drains from the mother’s supply.
Contraceptives and Hormone Replacement Therapy
By the same note, an increase in estrogen levels can also be induced by birth control pills and estrogen replacement therapy for post menopausal women. Additional pantothenic acid is recommended for women who are on contraceptives or hormone replacement therapies.
Excessive use of alcohol can seriously impair your digestive system’s ability to isolate pantothenic acid from your food and transport it across the intestinal walls for absorption. Pantothenic acid also participates in the detoxification of alcohol in your liver. Increasing alcohol consumption leads to higher demand for pantothenic acid.
People who drink too much coffee or other caffeinated beverages will have a higher than normal uric acid concentration. Caffeinated drinks are also more likely to induce insulin production. Extra pantothenic acid is needed for the removal of uric acid and for insulin control.
If you have an acne breakout or if you have acne-prone skin, pantothenic acid can help you reduce sebum oil secretion from your sebaceous glands and help you heal faster. Usually an extra daily intake of 10 mg is enough to help alleviate acne problems.
High Blood Lipid and Cholesterol
Pantothenic acid has three derivatives that can effectively reduce the level of low-density cholesterol and triglyceride in your blood. People who have taken supplementary pantothenic acid showed significant improvements in their blood profile.
Gout and Rheumatoid Arthritis
Pantothenic acid has been found in some studies to reduce the swelling, inflammation and relieve the joint pain caused by arthritis. It has been used as a remedy to treat gout and rheumatoid arthritis for many years.
Anxiety and Depression
Pantothenic acid participates in the creation of anti-stress hormone in your adrenal gland. This hormone helps to control the amount of cortisol secreted into your blood, effectively preventing symptoms of excessive stress.