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What is Calcium Pantothenate?

By Jami Yontz
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments
By irontoenail — On Jun 26, 2013

Apparently a while ago, when scientists gave some mice a calcium pantothenate deficiency, the mice started getting bad skin and losing their hair as a result.

Ever since then, the cosmetics industry has been putting vitamin B5 into their products and advertising about how great it is, even though it's complete nonsense. It doesn't do anything to put it on topically, and it's only going to be useful if you're suffering from such a deficiency that you're losing your hair anyway.

So, if you see any products advertising that they have B5 in them, you now know that has nothing to do with how good they are.

By indigomoth — On Jun 25, 2013

@Mor - My stepfather tends to boil his vegetables until they are practically gray and eventually his doctor told him that he needed to take a B vitamin supplement, because he just wasn't getting enough of them. I don't know if it was the B5 vitamin specifically, but it was definitely that group.

I think it's kind of silly to boil the vitamins out of your food and then take a supplement to get them afterwards, but he just won't stop cooking the vegetables for too long.

Personally, I think they taste better if they have only been lightly cooked, or steamed, which keeps more vitamins as well.

By Mor — On Jun 24, 2013

This is one of those water soluble B vitamins that often get lost in the cooking process because they leak into the water which is drained before you eat the food.

One way to keep more of it is to use water from cooking vegetables as stock for soups or stews, or when making drinks, instead of just using plain tap water.

Vitamin B5 isn't the only one you'll get if you drink the green water instead of throwing it out and you'll be healthier for it.

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