Why Your Blood Needs Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Why Your Blood Needs Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 is an essential nutrient that our body needs to function and work properly.

This vitamin is necessary for the production of red cells, synthesis of hormones, cholesterol, and the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Additionally, vitamin B5 helps to support the immune system, making it an important nutrient for overall health and well-being.

Have you ever wondered why your blood needs vitamin B5? Well, wonder no more you will find out in this post.

What is vitamin B5 and what does it do in the blood?

Vitamin B5, normally referred to as pantothenic acid is one of the 8 vitamins in B complex, it is a combination of pantoic acid and beta-alanine.

Vitamin B5 is found throughout all living cells and in most food sources in small amounts.

This water-soluble vitamin helps to produce energy by breaking down fats and carbohydrates in food.

However, it also supports the synthesis of fatty acids, cell membranes, neurotransmitters, hemoglobin and promotes healthy eyes and liver.

Benefits and functions of vitamin B5 in the blood

An adequate supply of vitamin B5 to your blood is important as it is incorporated into coenzyme A, a key player in metabolism.

The functions of vitamin B5 are:

  • Metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins
  • Produce cholesterol and bile salts
  • Synthesize cell membranes
  • Forming red blood cells, as well as sex and stress-related hormones
  • Normal mental performance
  • Biosynthesis of essential lipids, steroids, hormones, vitamin D, porphyrin, neurotransmitters

Why vitamin B5 is good for your blood

Adequate intakes of foods and dietary supplements that contains vitamin B5 is good for your body. Here are the reasons why your blood needs this essential vitamin.

Wound healing

Studies, primarily in cell models and animals suggest that vitamin B5 supplements may speed up wound healing, especially following surgery.

However, effects in humans regarding wound repair are not consistent.

High cholesterol and triglycerides

Several small human studies suggest that pantethine, a derivative of vitamin B5, may help reduce cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood of people with elevated blood lipids.

Pantothenic acid is not particularly effective in lowering serum cholesterol levels. Rather, oral doses of it’s metabolite, pantetheine, ranging from 500 to 1200 mg/d can lower total serum cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triacylglycerols, and raise HDL cholesterol.

Rheumatoid arthritis

In a study, researchers found that, blood levels of pantothenic acid in people with rheumatoid arthritis were lower than in healthy individuals.

On the basis of this finding, people with rheumatoid arthritis were given 50 mg of calcium pantothenate daily.

The blood levels of pantothenic acid increased to normal, and relief from rheumatoid symptoms was achieved in most cases.

Inflammatory conditions

Some studies suggests that pantothenic acid supplements might help to reduce symptoms of inflammatory conditions such as diabetes, ulceration, and acne.

What foods provides vitamin B5?

You can get recommended amounts of pantothenic acid by eating a variety of foods, the best sources are:

  • Avocado
  • Beef
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Chickpeas
  • Egg yolks
  • Kale
  • Lobster
  • Lentils

Bacteria in the gut can also produce some pantothenic acid but not enough to meet dietary needs.

What about vitamin B5 dietary supplements?

Vitamin B5 is available in dietary supplements containing only pantothenic acid, and in B-complex dietary supplements.

Pantothenic acid in dietary supplements is often in the form of calcium pantothenate.

Research has not shown that any form of pantothenic acid is better than the others.

Pure pantothenic acid is chemically not very stable. Supplements therefore usually contain calcium pantothenate, the most stable form, which is easily converted to free acid in the body.

Absorption and body stores

Pantothenic acid in food exists in the form of CoA, which are converted into pantetheine by
enzymes in the small intestine.
Pantetheine can be further metabolized to pantothenic acid.

The absorption happens by passive diffusion and by a saturable sodium-dependent active transport system, which is also the case for biotin.

Pantothenic acid is transported to tissues through the circulation of blood, where it is incorporated into erythrocytes. It is then fixed into CoA and ACP once again.

Are you getting enough vitamin B5?

Most people have no problem getting vitamin B5 from the diet, however, there are some group of individuals who are at risk of deficiency, including:

  • Alcoholics
  • Women on oral contraceptives
  • People with insufficient food intake
  • People with impaired absorption

What happens if you don’t get enough vitamin B5?

Pantothenic acid deficiency is very rare. Severe deficiency can cause:

  • Burning feet
  • Headaches
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Stomach pains
  • Heartburn
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

How much pantothenic acid do you need?

The amount of vitamin B5 you need in your blood depends on factors, such as age, gender, absorptivity and bioavailability.

The average daily recommended amounts of vitamin B5 are listed below in milligrams.

  • Birth to 6 months: 1.7 mg
  • Infants 7–12 months: 1.8 mg
  • Children 1–3 years: 2 mg
  • Children 4–8 years: 3 mg
  • Children 9–13 years: 4 mg
  • Teens 14–18 years: 5 mg
  • Adults 19+ years: 5 mg
  • Pregnant women: 6 mg
  • Breastfeeding women: 7 mg

Does vitamin B5 interact with any other medications?

Yes it does. Two drugs, omega-methyl pantothenate and calcium hopantenate, can produce deficiencies in pantothenic acid.

Neither of these medications is currently an FDA-approved drug product.

Oral contraceptives also interferes with vitamin B5 supplement.

A study reported that pantothenic acid levels were lower in females using oral contraceptives compared with females who were not.

Is vitamin B5 harmful to the blood?

Pantothenic acid is essentially considered to be non-toxic, and no cases of hypervitaminosis have ever been reported.

A daily intake of as much as 10 g produces only minor diarrhea. Pantothenate derivatives are not mutagenic in bacterial tests, however high doses can cause transient nausea.


Vitamin B5, is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for producing cholesterol, lipids, hormones, steroids, and metabolism of food substances.

You can get sufficient amounts of vitamin B5 from a diet by eating foods that contain this essential vitamin.

Eating foods rich in vitamin B5 prevents deficiencies and other related health problems that are likely to cause inflammatory conditions, cardiovascular diseases and clot failures.

Take vitamin B5 supplement if you are not getting enough from the diet. Although no reports has shown the side effects of vitamin B5, don’t forget to share your health concerns with a health care provider before buying any vitamin B5 supplement.

Related Post: Why Your Blood Needs Vitamin B3

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