Vitamins, Minerals and Dietary Supplements
What is pantothenic acid?
Pantothenic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that belongs
to the family of B-complex vitamins. Besides being present
in a number of food sources, it is also produced in the human
body by bacteria in the intestines. Since it is not stored
in body fat, after the body uses what it needs, any excess
pantothenic acid is excreted via urine or sweat.
we need it?
Pantothenic acid provides an essential role in cellular metabolism
and participates in the release of energy from carbohydrates,
fats, and proteins. It is also essential for the synthesis
of cholesterol, steroids and fatty acids, and aids in the
utilization of other vitamins, especially riboflavin.
Studies have shown pantothenic acid to reduce blood cholesterol
levels in diabetic patients. Other studies have shown it to
stimulate the adrenal glands and increase the production of
cortisone and other adrenal hormones important for healthy
skin and nerves. Pantothenic acid may also play a protective
role against hair loss and rheumatoid arthritis.
pantothenic acid should I take?
According to the National Academy of Sciences, the recommended
daily allowance (RDA) for pantothenic acid is as follows:
- Adult men: between 4-7 milligrams/day
- Adult women: between 4-7 milligrams/day
- Children aged 7-10: between 4-5 milligrams/day
- Infants: 3 milligrams/day
- Pregnant/lactating women: between 4-7 milligrams/day
some good sources of pantothenic acid?
Whole grains, beans, milk and eggs are considered excellent
sources of pantothenic acid. Other sources include broccoli,
cabbage, and white and sweet potatoes.
happen if I don't get enough pantothenic acid?
Because pantothenic acid is produced naturally by the body,
deficiency is rare. Symptoms of deficiency include upset stomach,
increased risk of upper respiratory infections, fatigue, irritability,
burning sensations in the feet and sleep disorders.
happen if I take too much?
Because it is water-soluble, the body usually excretes any
excess pantothenic acid through sweat or urine. However, very
high dosages (>6 grams per day) may cause diarrhea in humans
and have been shown to cause liver damage in rats.
- Fry PC, Fox HM, Tao HG. Metabolic response to a pantothenic acid
deficient diet in humans. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) 1976;22(4):339-46.
- Tahiliani AG, Beinlich CJ. Pantothenic acid in health and
disease. Vitam Horm 1991;46:165-228.
- Borets VM, Lis MA, Pyrochkin VM, Kishkovich VP, Butkevich
ND. Therapeutic efficacy of pantothenic acid preparations
in ischemic heart disease patients. Vopr Pitan Mar/Apr 1987;(2):15-7.
- Fidanza A. Therapeutic action of pantothenic acid.
Int J Vit Nutr Res 1983;suppl 24:53Ð67 (review).
- Recommended Dietary Allowances, 10th ed. Washington,
D.C.: National Academy Press, 1989.
- American Herbal Products Association. Botanical
Safety Handbook. CRC Press, 1997.