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Pantothenic Acid - Vitamin B5


Pantothenic acid is a water-soluble member of the B-complex vitamin group. It is stable in neutral conditions but readily destroyed by heat in alkaline or acidic conditions. It is a constituent of coenzyme A, plays a key role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and is therefore important for the maintenance and repair of all cells and tissue.

It is involved in reactions that supply energy, in the synthesis of such vital compounds as sterols (cholesterol), hormones (growth, stress and sex hormones), neurotransmitters acetylcholine), phospholipids (components of cell membranes), porphyrin (component of haemoglobin) and antibodies. It stimulates the adrenal glands and increases the production of cortisone for healthy nerves and skin. Pantothenic acid is released from coenzyme A in food by a series of enzyme reactions and then transported to the tissues, where resynthesis of the coenzyme occurs.

FOOD SOURCES

Blue cheese, brewer's yeast, meat and offal, corn, eggs, legumes, lentils, milk, molasses, peanuts, peas, rice, soybeans, sunflower seeds, vegetables, wheat germ, whole grain cereals. Pantothenic acid is synthesised by bacterial flora in the intestines. Up to 50% of food sources of pantothenic acid are lost during cooking and up to 80% is lost as a result of food processing and refining.

SUPPLEMENTATION

Calcium pantothenate as a part of a B-complex preparation. Only the dextro - (d) form has vitamin activity.

SIGNS OF DEFICIENCY

Abdominal pains, adrenal exhaustion, ‘burning’ feet, decreased antibody formation, duodenal ulcers, low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia), muscle cramps, restlessness, sensitivity to insulin, skin disorders, upper respiratory infections, vomiting. Deficiencies may occur when the body lacks the intestinal flora needed to synthesise pantothenic acid.

SIGNS OF TOXICITY

There are no known toxic effects.

DAILY REQUIREMENT

Approx. 10mg.

 

 

 

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