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Pantothenic Acid - What is It and What Does It Do?

Pantothenic Acid - What is It and What Does It Do?

Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an essential role in human metabolism.

Pantothenic acid is involved in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. It also plays a role in synthesizing coenzyme A (CoA), which is involved in various chemical reactions in the body, such as the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol.

As with all B vitamins, pantothenic acid can also play an important role in energy production. It helps the body convert carbohydrates into glucose, which is then used for energy.

Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 is also involved in producing hormones and hemoglobin. Because of these diverse functions, pantothenic acid is sometimes referred to as the "anti-stress" vitamin. 

Potential health benefits of pantothenic acid

Potential health benefits of pantothenic acid 

Pantothenic acid may have different potential health benefits, including: 

  • Support energy levels - The body may use pantothenic acid to metabolize carbohydrates and lipids, which are the main sources of energy in the body.*
  • May support skin health - Some studies suggest that pantothenic acid may improve acne by reducing inflammation.* (study
  • May provide support for stress - this vitamin is involved in hormone production. It is also thought that it may help reduce stress levels in specific populations (study). 
  • May support digestion - This vitamin plays a role in the production of stomach acids, which may help with digestion. A study conducted on mammals linked that potential support to the ability of pantothenic acid to help break down carbs.* (study)

When was pantothenic acid discovered?

Pantothenic acid was first isolated in 1931 by Roger J. Williams. It gets its name from the Greek word "pantos", which means "everywhere", because it can be found in almost all foods. Small amounts of pantothenic acid are also synthesized by gut bacteria.

Pantothenic acid may also be involved with the Krebs cycle.

What is the krebs cycle?

The krebs cycle is a process that helps produce energy in the body. It takes place in the mitochondria, and it involves a series of chemical reactions that convert food into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the body's main source of energy.

Food rich in pantothenic acid navy beans

Food rich in pantothenic acid

Some good sources of pantothenic acid include:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
  • Legumes such as navy beans, lentils, and black beans
  • Nuts

Pantothenic acid deficiency is rare but can occur in specific populations.

As always, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements. Get professional advice if you think you might need a pantothenic acid supplement or are already taking one to ensure you're not exceeding the amounts you may need.

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