Pantothenic Acid – a Very Amazing Vitamin
Most of us have very busy lives and deal with a good amount of stress on a regular basis. To keep up with this busy pace, your body requires a constant supply of B-vitamins. One particular B-Vitamin called pantothenic acid or Vitamin B5 is stored in the adrenal glands (your stress support glands) and is readily burned up under stress.
Whenever we use up a nutrient at a high rate, we create deficiencies. This imbalance creates symptoms which are manifested in the body. A lack of pantothenic acid creates a variety of symptoms one of which seems to be nasal congestion and increased sensitivities to allergens. Our son Tyler has had trouble with nasal congestion for over a year. He did not respond well to any of the allergy/sinus formulas I tried him on. The congestion was worse at night and made it hard for him to breathe when he slept. He also got very congested at school due to all the allergens in the air. I put him on 250 mg. of pantothenic acid at bedtime and his congestion cleared up and he was able to breathe clearly again. I give him an additional 250 mg. before going to school as well.
Here are results of a couple clinical observations:
Pantothenic acid supplementation may reduce allergic reactions, especially allergic rhinitis. Clinical observation: The majority of over 100 patients with allergic rhinitis who took 250mg of pantothenic acid twice daily had almost instant relief. [Martin W. On treating allergic disorders. Townsend Letter for Doctors Aug/Sept 1991: pp.670-1]
Clinical observation: A physician with allergies took 100mg at bedtime and found that his nasal stuffiness cleared in less than 15 minutes and that he stopped awakening at 4 or 5 AM with cough and mucous secretion. He subsequently found that many of his patients also noted significant relief of nasal congestion from supplementation. [Crook WG. Ann Allergy 49: pp.45-46, 1987]
Here are other symptoms of pantothenic acid (B5) deficiency…
- A lack of B5 tends to cause an allergy or sensitivity to citrus fruit. This allergic reaction creates an intense craving for these foods. I often find that people low in B5 will crave orange juice. They often find they have to clear their throat frequently after drinking it. Other foods in the citrus allergy group are lemons, lime, tangerines, grapefruit, pineapple, tomatoes and cantaloupe. When the levels of B5 improve in the body the cravings for these foods decrease as well as the sensitivity to them.
- Because pantothenic acid(B5) plays such a role in the health of the adrenal glands we find that a lack of this nutrient causes people to have excessive worry. People low in B5 will worry about little things that normally should not bother them, and they can worry excessively over bigger things. In addition B5 has been shown to be very useful in reducing the frequency and intensity of panic attacks.
- B5 plays an important role in the production of hydrochloric acid (HCL) the acid made in your stomach to help digest proteins. When people are under high stress they deplete this vitamin tend to have a lot of digestive problems and food allergies.
- B5 is needed for the conversion of proteins and carbohydrates into energy, so it is common to have low energy when B5 is deficient. Adrenal Fatigue is caused by excessive stress over a long period of time, combined with inadequate nutrition to support the stress. This condition is greatly benefited by the addition of B5. The formula Adrenal Support (#1507-0) supplies pantothenic acid (B5) along with nutrients needed to rebuild and strengthen tired adrenal glands.
- A lack of pantothenic acid is attributed to premature graying of the hair. Supplementing with this vitamin has been known to reduce or reverse premature graying.
- The use of pantothenic acid is considered valuable in arthritis. One study found that the pantothenic acid content of the blood of persons suffering from rheumatoid arthritis was lower than that in healthy individuals. In some cases, 1,000 mg administered daily was found effective in reducing the pain caused by arthritis.
- Vitamin B5 has been found to be very helpful in reducing acne. B5 works in the body with CoeEnzyme-A in the role of fat metabolism. Fats that don’t get broken down properly get deposited in your sebaceous (oil) glands and get secreted as sebum (oil). Oil is a fat in liquid form. One of the causes of acne is from the bacteria in your pores that feeds on this excess oil. Supplementing with pantothenic acid decreases this excess oil and helps clear up the acne. I have seen good results with this with our teenage son Harlow whom I gave 250 mg. twice daily to. His skin started clearing up significantly over the first 2 weeks of use.
- Pantothenic acid helps the immune system to fight infections
- A deficiency symptom of Vitamin B5 can cause burning foot syndrome in which a person feels a lack of feeling in their feet accompanied by burning pain and fatigue.
- Pantothenic acid is very helpful for those who suffer from low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) because it strengthens the adrenal glands which play a role in balancing insulin levels.
Pantothenic acid (B5) is readily available in whole foods but destroyed easily when foods are processed. B5 is water soluble so it is depleted in the body by excessive coffee drinking as well. Because it is easily lost in the urine it is best to divide your pantothenic acid dose into several smaller doses throughout the day. Doses of 250 mg. twice daily and up to 500 mg. 3 times daily have been used most commonly for the conditions listed above. Nature’s Sunshine has pantothenic acid in 250 mg. capsules (stock number # 1640-2). Whenever you take any B-vitamin it is recommended to take a full B-complex or multiple vitamin containing the B’s along with your additional B5. I recommend the B-Complex formula called Nutri-Calm (#1617-3) for those of you under stress that also have nervous tension. When deciding on your daily dose of pantothenic acid make sure to check how much you are getting from your B-complex of multiple as well. If you have questions concerning the use of this vitamin, please feel free to contact me.