Vitamin B5 is also known as pantothenic acid. Like all other B vitamins, pathogenic acid is a water-soluble vitamin. Keep reading to learn more about this essential vitamin including where to find it, and how it supports our health.
Role of Vitamin B5 in the Body
Pantothenic acid is another vitamin that plays a role in converting food we eat into energy for our bodies to use. Our bodies use pathogenic acid to build coenzyme A (CoA), which is especially important for the breakdown, and building, of fats.
How Much Vitamin B5 Do I Need?
Our bodies need different amounts of pathogenic acid. Health Canada recommends healthy people over the age of 14 consume 5 milligrams of vitamin B5 each day, while children between 9 and 13 consume 4 milligrams daily.
Pregnant and lactating people need to consume more pathogenic acid than the typical recommendations. You can find a complete list of adequate intakes on Health Canada’s website.
Am I at Risk of Deficiency?
Vitamin B5 is found in a wide variety of foods. This means that vitamin B5 deficiency is quite rare in Canada and the United States.
Unlike many other vitamins, there are not many people at-risk of pantothenic acid deficiency. However, one population with a higher risk of deficiency are people with pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN).
Although our risk of developing B5 deficiency is rare, it’s not impossible. Some signs and symptoms of deficiency include,
- Burning hands and feet
- Nausea and vomiting
- Appetite loss
- Problems sleeping
- Stomach pain
Can I Have Too Much Vitamin B5?
Unlike some other vitamins, large amounts of vitamin B5 are rare. However, consuming too much at once can lead to unpleasant side effects such as stomach pain and diarrhoea.
Where Can I Find Vitamin B5?
As I briefly mentioned earlier, pantothenic acid can be found in a variety of animal and plant-based foods, which is why deficiency is very rare. However, some of the best sources of the vitamin include,
- Sunflower seeds
- Russet potatoes
- Shiitake mushrooms
Pantothenic acid isn’t just found in foods. It can also be found in a range of dietary supplements available in your local pharmacy. This includes individual supplements, B-complex supplements and multivitamins.
Interaction with Other Medications
Another unique characteristic of vitamin B5, is that it is not known to interact with any medications. Although it does not interact with any medications, its still important to discuss supplements with your doctor or registered dietitian before starting new ones.
For more on the role of vitamins and minerals in promoting health and supporting our bodies, check out the Micronutrient Monday series.
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