Vitamin B5

Pantothenic Acid or vitamin B5 is an important vitamin known to help in providing our bodies with energy we need from the food we consume. The main function of B5 is to break down fats [1]. Although deficiency is rare, in cases of severe deficiency, extreme tiredness (anemia), irritability, restlessness, stomach pain, heartburn, diarrhea, nausea, loss of appetite, and burning and numbing of hands and feet, were observed [1]. In general, studies are being conducted on vitamin B5 to observe changes in cholesterol and in reducing triglyceride levels [1]. For example, a  study has shown that those who followed a lifestyle change along with 600 mg/day for 8 weeks then 900 mg/day for 8 weeks had significantly lower levels total cholesterol and LDL (“bad cholesterol) which is more than the effects observed with only the therapeutic lifestyle change [4]. So far, the results of these studies are promising but more research is needed to fully understand its potential alone.


Recommended Intakes

Based on the recommended intakes set by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) and presented by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this table shows the Adequate Intakes for pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Adequate Intake (AI) is the intake that is needed to ensure nutritional adequacy [4].

For adults, 5 mg per day is the daily average intake [3].

Sources of Vitamin B5

Food →B5 can be found in numerous food source, some of them include:

  • Fish
  • Meats 
  • Shellfish
  • Chicken
  • Vegetables
  • Yeast
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Whole grains


As a supplement, B5 can be available as D-pantothenic acid, dexpanthenol or calcium 

pantothenate. It is over used with other B vitamins [5]. 

Specifically, studies with dexpanthenol have shown to be beneficial against sinus infections as evidence that nose sprays containing dexpanthenol may be beneficial to those with chronic sinus after their surgery. Additionally, vitamin B5 in dexpanthenol is often in eye drops and gels that reduce pain and inflammation and treat dry eyes [5]. 

B5 Deficiency and Safety

As mentioned above, deficiency is rare and in cases of supplements are usually given. Typically, deficiency occurs in cases of severe, life threatening cases of malnutrition [5]. 

Be sure to consult your health professional before taking any unknown supplements but with what we know about B5 so far, there have been no cases of harm from consumption. There have been no known cases of overdose and it is safe overall [2]. 


With its importance in food digestion and energy, vitamin B5 is crucial for normal body function. We know that it works with the other B vitamins and most foods are able to provide for this vitamin. More research is needed on its primary uses but research so far has been promising.



  1. Office of Dietary Supplements - Pantothenic Acid [Internet]. NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; [cited 2020Dec31]. Available from: 
  2. Pantothenate Uses, Side Effects & Warnings [Internet]. [cited 2020Dec31]. Available from:
  3. Pantothenic Acid [Internet]. Linus Pauling Institute. 2020 [cited 2020Dec31]. Available from:
  4. Rumberger JA, Napolitano J, Azumano I, Kamiya T, Evans M. Pantethine, a derivative of vitamin B5 used as a nutritional supplement, favorably alters low-density lipoprotein cholesterol metabolism in low– to moderate–cardiovascular risk North American subjects: a triple-blinded placebo and diet-controlled investigation. Nutrition Research. 2011Aug31;31(8):608–15.
  5. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) [Internet]. [cited 2020Dec31]. Available from: