Pantothenic acid

Description Pantothenic acid is also sometimes referred to as Vitamin B5. It is water soluble and part of the B-vitamins group. Pantothenic acid and calcium pantothenate (a more stable form of pantothenic acid) are available in the form of tablets and capsules, but they are found mainly in multivitamin and mineral preparations.
Function/ Used for Pantothenic acid forms part of two substances, co-enzyme A and the acyl carrier protein. These have key roles in the release of energy from foods.

Pantothenic acid is involved in the metabolism of protein and fat, and is also needed for healthy growth. It is important for mental performance, synthesis and metabolism of steroid hormones, vitamin D and some neurotransmitters, while reducing tiredness and fatigue.

Intake Recommended intake

EU NRV: 6mg


UK average daily intake

Requirements vary depending on age and gender. The UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey lists up-to-date intake requirements and average intakes1.

As a supplement Not generally available as a single supplement. Commonly available as part of a multivitamin and mineral formula.

Different multivitamin and minerals products will vary in the percentage NRVs they include. People should always check the label for information about a specific product.

Found in (dietary sources) Fortified breakfast cereal, wholegrains (such as brown rice and wholemeal bread), dairy products, liver, kidneys and eggs.
Deficiency Deficiency of pantothenic acid is extremely rare. Symptoms include poor muscle co-ordination, muscle cramps, numbness and tingling, painful burning feet, depression, fatigue, weakness, headache and loss of appetite.3
Precautions and contraindications None known.

Safe Upper Level (Guidance Level): 210mg total dietary intake per day2

Use in pregnancy and breastfeeding There is no evidence of adverse effects in pregnancy.
Interactions e.g. with other medications Excessive alcohol intake may increase requirement for pantothenic acid.

Oral contraceptives may also increase requirement for pantothenic acid.

Adequate amounts of all B vitamins are required for optimal functioning as deficiency or excess of one B vitamin may lead to abnormalities in the metabolism of another.3

Adverse effects No adverse effects, except for occasional diarrhoea, have been reported in humans.
References 1.

2.     Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals, 2003.

3.     Mason, P. Dietary Supplements. Pharmaceutical Press, London, 2001.