It is almost impossible to know what all of the different vitamins that are found in the body are used for. It can be especially difficult for people who are not medical professionals, because some vitamins can be referred to by a variety of names, making it even more confusing. A good example of this is vitamin B5, which is commonly known as pantothenic acid.
Vitamin B5 is a water soluble vitamin that is involved in the Kreb’s cycle of energy production which is responsible for metabolizing fats, proteins and carbohydrates, and turning them into energy. Vitamin B5 is also used in the synthesis of cholesterol which is needed to manufacture vitamin D. The use of vitamin B5 has been reported to reduce blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 has been linked to the reduction in stress, because it is closely related to the adrenal cortex function. This vitamin has become increasingly popular as a nutritional supplement because it is thought to boost energy and increase athletic performance. It is also used to alleviate arthritis, keep your hair looking shiny and healthy, and generally enhance health.
You can find vitamin B5 naturally in liver, yeast and salmon. These three foods have a very high concentration of pantothenic acid, however most other foods, including dairy, eggs, grain, vegetables and meat contain some as well.
It is believed that a deficiency in vitamin B5 is rare, but may occur in alcoholics more often. If you are deficient in vitamin B5, you might experience frequent infection, abdominal pains, sleep disturbances, fatigue and neurological symptoms such as tingling in the extremities, and muscle weakness. People who are under a great deal of stress may also be at a greater risk of a vitamin B5 deficiency. Also, if you are eating a diet that is high in refined and processed foods and low in whole foods, you may not be receiving enough vitamin B5 from natural sources.
Since vitamin B5 is found widely in most foods, the chance of being seriously deficient will typically only occur in severely malnourished individuals. There is little reason to supplement with vitamin B5, and the 10-25 mg that is generally found in multivitamins should be enough to keep pantothenic acid levels normal. If you are using vitamin B5 to control cholesterol, you should only do so under a doctor’s supervision, as higher doses will be necessary.