- Pantothenic acid is a vitamin, also known as vitamin B5. It is widely found in both plants and animals including meat, vegetables, cereal grains, legumes, eggs, and milk.
- Vitamin B5 is commercially available as D-pantothenic acid, as well as dexpanthenol and calcium pantothenate, which are chemicals made in the lab from D-pantothenic acid.
- Pantothenic acid is frequently used in combination with other B vitamins in vitamin B complex formulations. Vitamin B complex generally includes vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin/niacinamide), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), and folic acid. However, some products do not contain all of these ingredients and some may include others, such as biotin, para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), Choline Bitartrate, and inositol.
- Pantothenic acid has a long list of uses, although there isn’t enough scientific evidence to determine whether it is effective for most of these uses. People take pantothenic acid for treating dietary deficiencies, acne, alcoholism, allergies, baldness, asthma, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, burning feet syndrome, yeast infections, heart failure, carpal tunnel syndrome, respiratory disorders, celiac disease, colitis, conjunctivitis, convulsions, and cystitis. It is also taken by mouth for dandruff, depression, diabetic nerve pain, enhancing immune function, improving athletic performance, tongue infections, gray hair, headache, hyperactivity, low blood sugar, trouble sleeping (insomnia), irritability, low blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, muscular cramps in the legs associated with pregnancy or alcoholism, neuralgia, and obesity.
- Pantothenic acid is also used orally for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, nerve pain, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), enlarged prostate, protection against mental and physical stress and anxiety, reducing adverse effects of thyroid therapy in congenital hypothyroidism, reducing signs of aging, reducing susceptibility to colds and other infections, retarded growth, shingles, skin disorders, stimulating adrenal glands, chronic fatigue syndrome, salicylate toxicity, streptomycin neurotoxicity, dizziness, and wound healing.
- People apply dexpanthenol, which is made from pantothenic acid, to the skin for itching, promoting healing of mild eczemas and other skin conditions, insect stings, bites, poison ivy, diaper rash, and acne. It is also applied topically for preventing and treating skin reactions to radiation therapy.
Pantothenic acid deficiency. Taking pantothenic acid by mouth prevents and treats pantothenic acid deficiency.
- Avoid use if hypersensitive to pantothenic acid.
- In high doses, pantothenic acid may inhibit the absorption of biotin produced by the microflora in the large intestine.
- Diarrhea may occur with large doses of pantothenic acid. Allergic contact dermatitis has been reported with topical use of dexpanthenol.
- A meta-analysis from 1966 to 2002 recorded an adverse reaction rate of 1.4 per 100 subjects. The majority of these reactions were mild GI complaints.
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Source:web article, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version; www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/853.html