Last updated: March 21, 2017
Within the family of b-vitamins, one of the more obscure is vitamin B5. Like other b-vitamins, this essential nutrient is vital for enzymatic actions throughout the body and deficiency can create significant health problems.
One of the primary roles for vitamin B5 is the formation of co-enzyme A (COA), which heavily regulates energy metabolism and mental stamina . Another mechanism for vitamin B5 is acetylcholine synthesis. Studies suggest without adequate levels of B5, the brain is unable to create this important neurotransmitter .
Deficiency of vitamin B5 can lead to fatigue and mood disorders, such as depression and irritability. Although most people consume enough vitamin B5 in their diet, a b-complex (including B5) can be highly beneficial.
Also Known As
Pantothenic acid, Panthenol, Pantothenate, Dexpanthenol, Pantothenylalcohol
Editors’ Thoughts on Vitamin B5
Given my diet is high in whole foods and vegetables, I see little need for me to personally supplement with vitamin B5 (or a b-complex for that matter).
However, not everyone can maintain such a strict diet as me and there are few side effects of too much vitamin B5 so I wouldn’t suggest against it either.
Currently, I get some supplemental vitamin B5 in the form of calcium pantothenate in the Qualia product.
Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor
Benefits of Vitamin B5
For people who are deficient in vitamin B5, the benefits are plenty. Because this essential nutrient is vital in so many enzymatic actions, it is safe to say the entire human system will start having problems without it!
That being said, there are many food sources with vitamin B5 and so we will focus on the benefits a healthy person might experience using additional B5. For starters, this vitamin is vital for the synthesis of acetylcholine (useful in both the nervous system and the brain) .
In a 2003 study in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, research indicated that vitamin B5 was imperative for acetylcholine production via the coenzyme A molecule . Because acetylcholine is responsible for memory formation and learning ability, it is probably that vitamin B5 supplementation may aid in these cognitive factors.
Consequently, the importance of acetylcholine for neuroprotection (from age related neurological decline) may also benefit from vitamin B5 supplementation. We suspect those deficient in B5 will have a higher likelihood for neurodegenerative diseases as verified by studies conducted Dr. Con Stough at Swinburne University .
Side Effects of Vitamin B5
Most of the side effects of vitamin B5 are related to gastrointestinal discomfort, such as diarrhea. There are also risks associated with taking vitamin B5 because of the interactions with other prescription drugs. Make sure to consult your doctor if you are taking a high quantity of prescription drugs.
Vitamin B5 Dosage
The daily recommended intake for vitamin B5 is 10 mg, but you can take doses up to 50 mg. It is best to consume vitamin B5 via food (such as avocados), but a B5 supplement can help at the right dosage.
How and Where to Buy Vitamin B5
Like most b-vitamins, it is possible to buy vitamin B5 from any local grocery or health food store. Most of these stores will be more expensive and probably not provide the most bioavailable (well absorbed) form of this b-vitamin, however.
One alternative is to buy vitamin B5 online. If you search via Amazon, there are a number of reputable brands that provide vitamin B5. You can find one here.
Alternatively, there are B-complex products that have B5 or other nootropics (such as Qualia), which have adequate supplementation doses.