Calcium pantothenate, also known as vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin found in most foods. It is naturally produced in the body by bacteria in the intestines, but people must supplement their intake by either absorbing the vitamin through the ingestion of food or by taking a vitamin B complex. Calcium pantothenate is essential for the body’s production of hormones, energy production, fat storage, and many other bodily processes.
While produced naturally, this substance is not stored in the body, so people must obtain vitamin B5 from food or supplements each day. Pantothenic acid is found in many foods and is easily obtained, but the vitamin is usually lost in the heating or freezing process. Vinegar and baking soda also destroy the vitamin. Vitamin B5 is found in most meats, egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver, kidney, vegetables, whole grains, royal jelly, and legumes. Grains are not always a good source, as a large amount of the pantothenic acid is lost during the milling process. Cereals, yogurt, and avocados are also good sources of B5.
The body uses this vitamin to metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for energy. It is involved in both the manufacturing vitamin D and the synthesis of coenzyme A. Through the synthesis of coenzyme A, fat is stored in the body and protein is created for use. Calcium pantothenate is used in the production of hormones, such as steroid and sex hormones. It also plays a role in the body’s responses to stress by aiding in the adrenal glands hormone production. Vitamin B has shown to be beneficial for those suffering from allergies or skin conditions.
Vitamin B5 deficiency symptoms include depression, fatigue, and headaches. Some people report sleeplessness, nausea and cramping. A nutritionist will recommend that a vitamin B complex supplement be taken so that the person does not develop a vitamin imbalance. The recommended daily intake of B5 is five milligrams, and many nutritionists will recommend taking vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E supplements along with a B-complex.
Alcoholics and those in continuous stressful situations may need to increase their intake of B5, but a deficiency of calcium pantothenate is extremely rare since most people absorb the recommended amount through food each day. Increasing a person's intake of calcium pantothenate has been shown to be helpful for athletes who want to maximize their energy output or people with various health conditions. Those with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, hyperlipidemia and adrenal failure have benefited from additional amounts of B5 in their diet.