Vitamin B5 (panthotenic acid)

Vitamin B5 is water-soluble vitamin which is found in a wide variety of food.
It has been named for the Greek word Panthos which means "everywhere".


It is an essential constituent of coenzyme A (CoA). This coenzyme is required by our bodies to release energy from the foods we eat (fats, carbohydrates, and protein) and for the synthesis of substances such as steroids.

It is also involved in the synthesis of the acyl carrier protein (ACP) needed to synthesize fatty acids.

The synthesis of vitamin B5 into Coenzyme A or acyl carrier protein requires the presence of a sulfured amino acid (methionine or cysteine). A lack of one of these amino acids could alterate the synthesis.

Vitamin B5 has anti-stress properties.

It is required for normal growth and development.

It plays a role in tissue generation and creation of antibodies stimulating wound healing.

Supplementation of up to two grams daily has been used successfully for people with rheumatoid arthritis.

We do not have enough information on this vitamin to establish with certitude our daily needs on vitamin B5.
We assume that 5 mg per day for an adult prevent from developing a deficiency.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for the French population
mg per day
Babies 0 to 1 year
Children 1 to 3 years
Children 4 to 6 years
Children 7 to 9 years
Teenager 10 to 12 years
Teenager 13 to 15 years
Teenager 16 to 19 years
Pregnant women
Nursing mothers

Deficiency symptoms
Being widely distributed in foods, a deficiency is rare.

The only cases known are those of malnourished prisoners of war. They were complaining about "burning feet" syndrome which responded to pantothenic acid supplementation.

Good vegetarian sources

Smaller amounts are found in fruits and vegetables.
Most of the vitamin is lost in the cooking water and is also destroyed by heat.

Realized by Laurence LIVERNAIS-SAETTEL, Dietitian.
© Copyright L. Livernais-Saettel 2000
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