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Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

Pantothenic acid originates from the Greek word pantos, which means everywhere. As the word suggests, this vitamins is found in both plants and animals. Vitamin B5 is water-soluble and because it does not get stored in the body we depend on regular intake of the nutrient. Vitamin B5 is destroyed by heating and freezing.

Functions and importance for

  • Energy turnover
  • Building block of enzymes that are used to burn carbohydrate, fat, and protein
  • Nervous system. Involved in the synthesis of signaling substances (neurotransmitters)
  • Mental balance
  • Digestion. Involved in the production of bile acid
  • Involved in the synthesis of cholesterol and vitamin D
  • Involved in the synthesis and metabolism of steroid hormones such as sex hormones and corticosteroids
  • Reduction of fatigue and exhaustion

Deficiencies and poor utilisation may be caused by

  • Overconsumption of alcohol
  • Overconsumption of coffee
  • Poor intestinal flora

Deficiency symptoms

There are very limited accounts of human vitamin B5 deficiency symptoms in the official literature.

In cases of severe malnourishment or intake of synthetic diet the following may occur:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea

A vitamin B5 deficiency in swine may cause:

  • Reduced appetite, stunted growth or no growth, hair loss, reduced food utilisation, skin lesions etc.


Primarily brewer's yeast, liver, eggs, cod roe, fish, whole-grain, legumes, kernels, nuts, mushrooms, and other types of greens and fruit.

Content of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) in mg per 100 grams

Calf liver 8
Egg yolk 4.4
Oats 1.5
Veal/chicken 1
Broccoli 1


Recommended daily allowance (RDA)

Adults: 11 years of age and older: 6 mg
Children: 1-10 year of age: 2 mg

Increased need

Not described in official sources, as the vitamin is found in most foods, which means that the need is normally covered by means of the diet. Try reading the section: "Deficiencies and poor utilisation may be caused by"

Important information

Supplements should normally be taken together with other B vitamins and not together with antacids.

Overdosing - side effects

Ingestion of very large quantities may cause diarrhea.