Another vitamin from the B-series is Vitamin B5. It is also known as pantothenic acid and mainly takes care of all skin needs. Not for nothing it is used again and again gladly for the treatment of acne. We have dealt with the subject once and collected everything on the dosage, effect and scientific significance of the vitamin.

What is Vitamin B5?

Pantothenic acid was first discovered in 1931 by Roger John Williams, who experimented with yeast and observed its growth. This vitamin is not only called pantothenic acid, but also has other chemical names, since it can be formed from beta-alanine. It can also be briefly described as a yellowish liquid, which can also be obtained in the form of an odourless, white solid. The vitamin is mainly found in animal foods, but can also be found in some plant foods. In the body it mainly takes over the task of building up coenzyme A, but is also involved in the biosynthesis of other substances. It is formed from the provitamin dexpanthenol. Further characteristics are its heat sensitivity and that it is water-soluble, like all other B vitamins. It is therefore advisable not to cook the food, as this destroys the vitamins. Losses are estimated at up to 30 percent.

Vitamin B acne

What are the symptoms of a Vitamin B5 deficiency?

People who suffer from a Vitamin B5 deficiency do not have problems recently because they have a Vitamin B5 deficiency. Before this happens, the body must already be somewhat attacked. Typical symptoms of a deficiency, however, are fatigue depression and insomnia. Furthermore, the deficiency leads to an immune deficiency and thus greater vulnerability of the body. It can also lead to anemia, muscle aches and often to stomach pain. A symptom that is typical for a direct deficiency is the burning of the feet, which only occurs when a deficiency has existed for several months. The so-called ‘Burning-Feet-Syndrome’ starts with tingling and numbness in the toes and later extends to a regular burning of the feet. Today this deficiency has become relatively rare, but during the Second World War it was common for many soldiers. Another accompanying symptomatology of pantothenic acid deficiency occurred in the form of muscle tension and nerve irritation. Groups at risk of deficiency are alcoholics, diabetics and dialysis patients.

Fatigue Depression Insomnia

How does Vitamin B5 work and when can it help me?

It plays a major role in the build-up and breakdown of various substances, for example it is involved in

  • is decisive for the degradation of fats, carbohydrates
  • synthesizes cholesterol
  • helps in the formation of steroid hormones
  • is made from dexpanthenol (itself a provitamin)
  • has a special significance in the treatment of acne

Due to the latter point it is often used in a higher dosage for good treatment of this skin disorder.

Vitamin B5 breakdown of fat carbohydrates

Where is Vitamin B5 contained?

In order to rule out a deficiency as far as possible, a direct supply of pantothenic acid can be controlled by a good and healthy diet. The body can therefore obtain any amount of the vitamin from food. Below is a small list of 10 foods that in any case contain Vitamin B5, each including the content (per 100 grams of the food):

  • Chicken liver (7.2 mg)
  • Chick peas (1,3 mg)
  • Chicken egg (1 mg per egg)
  • Camembert (0.7 mg)
  • Bread/roll (0.5 mg)
  • Semi-hard cheese (0,3 mg)
  • Milk (0.35 mg)
  • Tofu (0,07 mg)
  • Pork muscle meat (0,7 mg)
  • Oat flakes (1.1 mg)

Overall, it can also be said that it is found in many vegetables, nuts and fruit.

Vitamin B5 milk bread oatmeal

What is the daily Vitamin B5 requirement for men and women?

The daily requirement does not depend on sex and is estimated at up to 6 micrograms per day. For pregnant women and nursing mothers, the requirement is not higher and can be set just as high. For children, the value is reduced to 4 mg, while infants up to the age of 4 months can manage with 2 mg per day. Age is also irrelevant for adults.

Is there a Vitamin B5 overdose?

Although it is very rare for an overdose to occur, those who take Vitamin B5 over and over again over a period of several months and thus exceed the dose usually suffer from intestinal disorders such as diarrhoea. However, this is only the case with a daily dosage of about 10 grams. Thus the recommended value is exceeded by more than a thousand times and leads to said problems, which are never so serious, however, that further difficulties arise.

Are there any support products?

If you take additional vitamins, you will usually not be able to avoid this vitamin. It is often part of combination products that are freely available on the market. However, if you have problems with your skin, you will often eat it in the form of other products as well. For example, it is additionally contained in numerous shampoos, can be used as dexpanthenol in creams to treat wounds or to tackle acne. The effect of this is, however, always under discussion. Another use – the purpose of which can be disputed – is the use in energy drinks. Those who additionally take the vitamin usually receive it in the form of tablets, but it can also be purchased as a capsule.

Scientific quality characteristics

Especially because of its effect against acne, the vitamin is always in the discussion. It is used for treatment both in tablet form (in 500 mg dosage) and as an ingredient within skin care products to get acne under control. There are no studies which should prove the effect. In addition, the treatment with the vitamin is always controversial. However, since it has the property of forming a coenzyme, it is said to have a good effect. Here it is mostly tried out, since it works differently for everyone. Some have quite advantages by the use, with others however it does not work at all. However, the excessive use against acne should be taken with caution, because it can also turn into the opposite. The effect on autism is also controversial. The vitamin is supposedly said to improve the condition, although we would like to note here that autism is not a deficiency, but a developmental disorder and therefore the effect of Vitamin B5 in this regard doubt.

External source references
  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/vitamin-watch-what-does-b5-do
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-853/pantothenic-acid-vitamin-b5
  3. https://www.simplysupplements.co.uk/healthylife/supplements/vitamin-b5-benefits
Nutritional and Supplement Specialist | Website

He's an athlete, through and through. Together with Jana he supports our team with texts on fitness, nutrition, health and dietary supplements. The latter because he has gained some experience in the past and is always ready to try something new. He loves triathlon. His goal is to be at the Ironman in the USA by 2020 at the latest.