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Stacy Wiegman, PharmD, Pharmacy, answeredVitamin B5 - also called pantothenic acid - is a vitamin found naturally in peas, beans, whole grains, meat and fish. This vitamin is important for aiding in the release of energy by cells and maintaining a healthy nervous system. Some people do not get enough of this vitamin in their diets and require a vitamin B5 supplement. You do not need a prescription to take a pantothenic acid supplement, which you ingest orally. It is relatively safe to take pantothenic acid and it is important for a complete and healthy diet.
- Pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5, is important to all forms of life. It is part of a molecule called coenzyme A, which is needed for many chemical reactions in cells. Vitamin B5 is needed for the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It is also involved in the creation of hormones and cholesterol.
- Vitamin B5 can be found in meats, liver, kidney, fish, shellfish, chicken, vegetables, legumes, yeast, eggs, milk, and whole grains. However, freezing, canning, refining, cooking, and processing may reduce the vitamin B5 content of food.
- In commercial supplements, vitamin B5 is available as D-pantothenic acid, dexpanthenol, or calcium pantothenate. Vitamin B5 is often used together with other B vitamins.
- Vitamin B5 deficiency is very rare and likely occurs in cases of severe, life-threatening malnutrition. Most people get enough vitamin B5 from food.
- Vitamin B5 has been studied for many health conditions. It has been taken by mouth, applied to the skin, and injected. However, clear benefits are lacking at this time.
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