Vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants are chemical compounds, whose primary function is to maintain the health of the body in humans through food, and one of these micronutrients is vitamin B5.

In this article, we explain what vitamin B5 is and what its usefulness is in human health.

What is vitamin B5?

Vitamin B5 or also called pantothenic acid , is an essential B vitamin that is characterized by being water soluble and which must be obtained through the consumption of various types of foods of animal and vegetable origin. (1)

Likewise, pantothenic acid is necessary to form enzymes such as coenzyme A (acetyl coa) , which is considered very essential in metabolic reactions and synthesis of macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the body. (two)

Note: Vitamin B5 belongs to the vitamin B complex , made up of 8 vitamins, including vitamins: B1 ( thiamin ), B2 ( riboflavin ), B3 ( niacin ), B6 ​​( pyridoxine ), B8 (biotin), B9 ( folic acid ) and B12 ( cobalamin ). 

What is the B5 for?

Vitamin B5 has interesting therapeutic properties, which favor the health of the individual. Here we mention its main functions:

1. Helps transform food into energy

Pantothenic acid combined with the action of vitamin b8 (biotin), favors the metabolism of food in the production of fatty acids , essential molecules in the production of energy.

Thus, substances such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats are metabolized with the participation of vitamin B5. 

2. Protects cells against oxidative damage

Vitamin B5 has been attributed an antioxidant property , which allows it to combat free radical molecules that may be causing premature aging, preventing oxidative damage in healthy cells.

To highlight: This protection can prevent the appearance of many malignant pathologies , including cancer.

3. It is involved in the production of hormones

We have already mentioned that vitamin B5 is a precursor for the biosynthesis of coenzyme A (CoA), which is essential in a variety of biochemical reactions that occur within the organism and support human life.

This coenzyme A is involved in the synthesis of many organic chemicals , including steroidal hormones such as progesterone and testosterone. 

You should know: Certain scientific information describes that vitamin B5 is involved in the production of other hormones of the adrenal glands and in the maintenance of the immune system. (3)

4. Prevents respiratory and skin diseases

Vitamin B5 has been associated with strengthening the human immune system , especially in the production of antibodies, which are proteins that are part of the immune system that when they recognize pathogenic microorganisms for the body such as viruses and bacteria or their toxins, they neutralize them. (4)

Note: Vitamin B5, by strengthening the immune system, protects the body from contracting respiratory diseases that can be chronic, as well as skin conditions .

Where is vitamin B5 found?

Fortunately for the human race, vitamin B5 is found in many foods in our daily diet and we need relatively little of it to maintain our minimum daily requirements. Here are some foods that provide vitamin B5:

1. Meats and seafood

One of the safest and most important sources of vitamin B5 are meat products and seafood.

This item can include beef or pork, poultry , but its viscera such as liver or kidney can also be included. For example, for every 100 grams of chicken liver, we get more than 80% of the recommended daily amount.

On the other hand, seafood is another option to obtain vitamin B5 . The literature indicates that they can provide between 20 and 35% of the daily requirements for an adult person.  

To highlight: International standards for the minimum daily intake of vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, are established at 5 mg/day for men and women in adulthood. (5)

2. Eggs and milk

Like meat and seafood products, sturgeon eggs (caviar) offer a good amount of vitamin B5 to supplement the minimum daily amount required by an adult. It is estimated that 100 grams of this food provide 35% of the daily needs for pantothenic acid.

As for the most popular food in the world, milk, especially its presentation in the form of whey, can provide 56% of the minimum requirements in the same proportion.

3. Vegetables and vegetables

Among the vegetables and vegetables, avocado, broccoli , spinach , mushrooms or tomatoes stand out , which have a high content of vitamin B5. 

You should know: Avocado can provide up to 15% of the daily needs, for each edible portion of 100 grams of vitamin B5, as well as mushrooms can give you up to 35% of the amount you need in the same proportion.

4. Legumes, whole grains and yeast

Other plant species that stand out with a high content of vitamin B5 are lentils , chickpeas, wheat , brown rice and yeast .

Note: Whole grains such as rice can provide an amount equivalent to 74% of your daily needs, while lentils can reach a 21% contribution of this vitamin in an edible portion of 100 grams. (6)

Key Findings

  • Vitamin B5 is an essential B vitamin for the body.
  • Vitamin B5 is obtained through the consumption of foods of plant and animal origin .
  • The synthetic form of vitamin B5 is called calcium pantothenate , which is given as a supplement under medical supervision.
  • Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid prevents many pathologies such as oxidative damage, is involved in the metabolism of macronutrients and strengthens the immune system.
  • Vitamin B5 is water soluble, excess is excreted in the urine and is not stored by the body.

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