Posted on June 07 2019
Have you heard of Pantothenic Acid? Otherwise known as Vitamin B5, this nutrient is absolutely essential to your wellbeing. However, it is often overlooked as an important ingredient for good health. This little known vitamin plays a significant role in the production of energy and the absorption of nutrients. As part of the B vitamin family, it deserves more time in the health spotlight!
The B vitamins are a family of essential nutrients that support many biological functions. Some of the more well-known B vitamins include Folate, Riboflavin, and Vitamin B12. You have probably heard of these before. They are well known for their importance to health and wellbeing. But did you know that the B vitamins work synergistically to protect your health? This means that you need to get an adequate supply of every single B vitamin in order to benefit your health as much as possible.
Playing a variety of roles in your body, B vitamins support your wellbeing through numerous functions. For example, B vitamins are essential for the production and use of cellular energy. This means that they can boost your stamina as well as your immune system. They also help the digestive process so that other nutrients can be absorbed and used properly. Asides from this, in various degrees the B vitamins can protect your cardiovascular health as well. So clearly they are a very important family of nutrients!
Getting all the B vitamins in adequate amounts is important. But whilst many people get enough Folate or Vitamin B12, few get enough Pantothenic Acid. Why is this? Well, mainly it is because most people simply aren’t aware that Pantothenic Acid exists! As obvious as it sounds, ignorance about a nutrient often leads to oversights. Many people lack enough Vitamin B5 in their diet because they do not know that they need it, or where to get it. How much do you know about this B vitamin? If you are anything like the majority of the population, you probably know less about it than you should. If so, it is time to get one step ahead of your nutritional needs. Understanding the role of Pantothenic Acid in the body, as well as what to eat to get it, will help you to protect your health naturally and effectively.
Uses of Pantothenic Acid.
One of the main roles of Pantothenic Acid in the body is to aid the absorption of nutrients. The B vitamins are all needed to ensure the proper breakdown of nutrients during the process of digestion. Without them, we would not be able to gain energy from the food we eat, leading to chronic fatigue and malnourishment. Fats, amino acids and carbohydrates are all digested with the aid of B vitamins. Alongside this, Pantothenic Acid can increase the production of Vitamin D, as well as the level of Zinc and Omega-3 fatty acids in the body. This is because it can act as a synthesiser to create many essential substances. These include fats, proteins, and antibodies. All this, and it can also synthesise neurotransmitters and red blood cells. So if you want to support the uptake of nutrients from your diet then you can rely on Vitamin B5 to help you.
Athletes are known to pay particular attention to their Vitamin B5 intake. Why should they be so interested in this vitamin? Well, Pantothenic Acid can help to tackle fatigue and promote long term endurance. Even during the physical stress of intense exercise, Vitamin B5 can help your body to keep going.
Asides from this, Pantothenic Acid also promotes oxygen uptake. It manages this by supporting the role of haemoglobin in red blood cells, so that oxygen can be transported around the body more easily. Efficient oxygen uptake is important for athletes, and for those who suffer from shortness of breath. But you don’t have to be serious about sport or fitness to benefit from this! Anyone can improve their wellbeing by combatting fatigue and promoting natural stamina. If you need to boost your energy levels, then getting enough Pantothenic Acid in your diet is a good idea.
But it is not just haemoglobin that Vitamin B5 supports. When it comes to cardiovascular health, Pantothenic Acid can also play a role in reducing cholesterol and blood pressure levels naturally and safely. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are increasingly common complaints in the modern world. They can lead to much more serious health problems, such as an increased risk of blood clots, strokes, and even heart failure. Research into ways to reduce these risks is ongoing and a huge concern for modern medical research. But this vitamin has been overlooked as a natural way to control cardiovascular health. As a bonus, Pantothenic Acid not only reduces levels of bad cholesterol, but also raises levels of good cholesterol.
Two benefits of Vitamin B5 actually combine to become more effective. Pantothenic Acid can boost the immune system whilst helping you to tackle stress. A weak immune system and ongoing stress are often connected, with one leading to or exacerbating the other. Think about it: when you get stressed, do you often get ill as well? This is because stress can actually weaken your immune system defences. On the other hand, a weak immune system that causes you to become ill can also increase your stress levels! This vicious cycle can be broken thanks to Pantothenic Acid.
This B vitamin encourages the production of antibodies. Antibodies are valuable proteins that allow the immune system to fight off bacteria and viruses that could make you ill. These antibodies also aid in the healing process so that your wounds heal over quickly and properly, without risk of infection. All this can be thanks to the power of Pantothenic Acid! But at the same time as supporting antibodies this B vitamin regulates stress hormones. It can prevent the overproduction of hormones that trigger emotional and physical stress. This protects your emotional and physical wellbeing. So Pantothenic Acid really does keep you in good shape, in mind, body and soul!
Getting Pantothenic Acid in Your Diet.
It is actually pretty rare to develop a Vitamin B5 deficiency. However, most people get less Pantothenic Acid than they should. Also if a deficiency does occur, it can cause a lot of problems. Common symptoms of Pantothenic Acid deficiency include fatigue, irritability, numbness, muscle cramps, and low mood. Whilst a deficiency of Vitamin B5 is rare, it is even rarer to get too much. Although if you do overdo it with Pantothenic Acid supplements you are likely to experience diarrhoea or other digestive complaints. It is a good idea to make yourself aware of the Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin B5. This is 10 mg a day for adult men and women. Now that you know that, what should you eat to meet your daily Pantothenic Acid needs?
Of any animal product, Liver is perhaps the richest source of Pantothenic Acid. Almost any animal liver can be guaranteed to be packed with this essential B vitamin. Liver is considered an unusual meat cut, and is not eaten very often in most modern diets. However, this cheap offal meat is dense with nutrient and has a unique flavour. It is often found in pâté’s and sausages. It is excellent when cooked and served with herbs and onions. Your best bet is chicken liver, which can provide you with over 80 per cent of your Vitamin B5 needs per 100 g. Consider replacing your usual meat dish with liver.
Mushrooms, particularly shiitake mushrooms, are an excellent plant source of this essential B vitamin. Usually you can be sure that per 100 g mushrooms will provide you with at least 10 to 15 per cent of your daily Vitamin B5 needs. Shiitake mushrooms are your best choice however, containing over 35 per cent of your RDA for Pantothenic Acid. Try cooking them in risottos, stir fries, and stews. Being low in calories but dense in protein, fibre, and nutrients, mushrooms are an excellent staple for any healthy diet.
Fish, as well as fish eggs, are known to be rich in Pantothenic Acid. As a heart healthy food, and a brain food, fish are worth including in a wellbeing boosting diet. Rich in protein and essential Omega-3 fatty acids, fish are also packed full of other B vitamins. Fish can include Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12 as well as B5. So if you want to ensure you get all your B vitamins then it is worth including fish in your diet once or twice a week. Although caviar is also rich in Pantothenic Acid, it is very expensive so can be considered a nutritious luxury!
Other Pantothenic Acid rich foods to consider include rice and wheat bran. These are also rich in Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B6 as well as B5. Whole grains such as whole grain bread and brown rice are worth eating instead of refined white bread or rice, which are stripped of many nutrients. Including a range of these foods in your diet on a regular basis can ensure you have enough Pantothenic Acid in your body to promote and protect your wellbeing effectively.