When folks talk about vitamin B, they’re really talking about eight different B vitamins in total. They include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. While all of these B vitamins have a lot in common, there are also some major differences between them. So today, let’s talk about vitamin B5 – also known as pantothenic acid.
What’s so special about Vitamin B5?
Well, B vitamins help your body transform the food you eat – mainly carbs – into the fuel your body needs – aka glucose. Your body then uses that glucose to produce the energy it needs to carry out a bunch of the functions that keep you alive.
These B vitamins are famous. They’re commonly called the B-complex vitamins, and they’re really helpful when it comes breaking down, using, and storing fats and proteins. The B vitamins are vital in terms of keeping your hair, liver, eyes, nervous system, and skin healthy.1
Now, all B vitamins – including B5 – are water-soluble. That means your body can’t store them long-term, and you need to get them from outside sources – like food.
And while B5 plays an important role in breaking down fats and carbohydrates for energy, it’s also a massive helper to your body in the making of red blood cells. Not only that, but B5 helps your adrenal glands create the right amount of sex and stress-related hormones.2
Furthermore, the B5 vitamin can also make a real difference in the proper maintenance of a healthy digestive tract.
And vitamin B5 lends a hand to other vitamins in your diet, too.
For instance, it helps your body process riboflavin (also called vitamin B2).3 And, for the record, riboflavin plays a big part in the production of energy, maintaining proper cellular function and growth, and in the metabolism of fats.4
Another helpful aspect of B5 is that it can help synthesize cholesterol.5 You might be wondering what the word synthesize even means…
Basically, it’s the process of fusing together different pieces to make a new whole.
It’s sort of like cooking or baking… you take two parts – like egg whites and sugar – and mix (or synthesize) them together. The two separate ingredients become one white, fluffy meringue. It’s an entirely new substance made from different original pieces.
So with cholesterol, your body starts out with different enzymes and mixes them together to form cholesterol. This new substance can then be put to good use as one of the main building blocks for most of your cell membranes.
You should know, though, that B5 deficiency is rare, but it can happen. And when it does you might feel some of the following symptoms –
How can you tell if you’re vitamin B5 deficient?
The following could be signs that your Vitamin B5 levels are low –
- Inability to sleep
- Mood Swings
- Stomach discomfort
So, if you start to notice any of the signs above, it might be a good time to check in with your family doctor.
The Benefits of Getting Your Vitamin B5
If you do start to mind your B5 intake, you’ll find there are several potential benefits.
– There are a number of ways in which vitamin B5 can help you maintain a good level of energy. Again, this includes B5’s ability to help convert the food you eat into chemical energy. Another responsibility of B5 is to help with red blood cell production.7
Furthermore, B5 helps you synthesize hormones in your adrenal gland. All of these functions help raise your energy level and keep your body operating in a healthy way.
– Vitamin B5 is also a potential aid when it comes to supporting a healthier cholesterol profile. In fact, a recent study shows B5 can significantly lower your total cholesterol and, more importantly, your LDL (or bad cholesterol).8
– Another wonderful use for Vitamin B5 may be to support the healing of wounds and injuries … especially after a surgical procedure. Turns out, B5 might also be a component that can help accelerate the regular healing process by increasing cellular multiplication after surgery.9
Now that you know all that B5 can do for you, don’t you want to know the best sources of B5?
The Best Plant Paradox-friendly Vitamin B5 Foods
There’s more really good news about B5. Turns out, pantothenic acid (B5) is actually named after the Greek word “pantothen” – this means from everywhere. It’s a name that refers to the presence of B5 in a large variety of foods. So, there’s a lot to choose from.
– Duck is delicious and a surprisingly good source of B5. Just a 3.5 oz serving of duck yields a little over 1.5 mg of pantothenic acid.10
And considering the recommended daily dose of B5 is 5 mg, with duck for dinner, you’re well on your way to meeting your body’s requirement.11
– Avocados are one of the healthiest foods you can put in your stomach. In fact, just ½ of a California avocado can give you 1 mg of B5.12 And I suggest eating an avocado every single day, in fact, check out this delicious recipe:
– Mushrooms are not only tasty, but they’re a great meat substitute for anyone who prefers a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. And, just 1 cup of chopped, raw mushrooms can provide over 1 mg of pantothenic acid.13
– Fish is one of the best sources of vitamin B5. In fact, a 3 oz. cut of delicious wild-caught fish can deliver up to 2 mg of B5.14
– Believe it or not, just 1 cup of this bright green, cruciferous veggie yields almost 1 whole mg of Vitamin B5.15
So, the next time you’re fixing dinner and thinking about how to get a little more B5 on your plate, start with the foods listed here. Not only are they good for you, they can all be the star of your savory dinner.
In the end …
You want to treat your body right. And it may seem like there’s a ton to remember when it comes to how to keep yourself – and your family – healthy. While there are several different kinds of vitamin B, if you can remind yourself to make a little room in your diet for vitamin B5, you’ll be one big step closer to a healthier body.