Pantothenic acid, also called vitamin B5, is a vitamin that is commonly found in animals and plants, including vegetables, legumes, cereal grains, meat, milk, and eggs. Apart from that, vitamin B5 is commercially available on market in the form of dexpanthenol, calcium pantothenate, and D-pantothenic acid. All B vitamins help the body convert food in the human body into glucose (fuel), which the body, in turn, utilizes to generate energy. Besides playing a role in the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates for energy, vitamin B5 is important in the manufacturing of red blood cells, as well as sex and stress-related hormones generated in the adrenal glands, which are basically small glands that exist on the top of the kidneys (Vitamin B5, 2017). Vitamin B5 is also significant in sustaining a healthy digestive tract, and it aids the body to utilize other vitamins, particularly B2 (also called riboflavin). It is sometimes called the "anti-stress" vitamin (Vitamin B5, 2017).
People take pantothenic acid for counteracting dietary deficiencies, allergies, asthma, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, yeast infections, autism, heart failure, alcoholism, baldness, carpal tunnel syndrome, celiac disease, convulsions, colitis, conjunctivitis, and cystitis (Pantothenic Acid, 2017). In addition, it is also consumed by mouth for depression, dandruff, diabetic nerve pain, tongue infections, grey hair, low blood sugar, muscular dystrophy, neuralgia, obesity, muscular cramps in the legs associated with pregnancy or alcoholism, headache, enhancing immune function, diabetic nerve pain, athletic performance, and so on (Pantothenic Acid, 2017).
Apart from all these, pantothenic acid is employed orally for rheumatoid arthritis, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), protection against mental and physical stress and anxiety, reducing susceptibility to colds and other infections, reducing adverse effects of thyroid therapy in congenital hypothyroidism, retarded growth, salicylate toxicity, shingles, chronic fatigue syndrome, skin disorders, reducing signs of aging, enlarged prostate, osteoarthritis, nerve pain, Parkinson's disease, stimulating adrenal glands, dizziness, and wound healing, and streptomycin neurotoxicity (Pantothenic Acid, 2017). Besides, people apply dexpanthenol, made from pantothenic acid to skin for various problems and infections such as itching, healing of mild eczemas, bites, insect stings, poison ivy, acne, and diaper rash. It is also used for the prevention and treatment of skin reactions to radiation therapy (Pantothenic Acid, 2017).
Pantothenic Acid, (2017). WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-853-pantothenic%20acid%20vitamin%20b5.aspx?activeingredientid=853&activeingredientname=pantothenic%20acid%20vitamin%20b5. Accessed on 13 March 2017.
Vitamin B5. (2017). University of Maryland Medical Centre. Retrieved from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b5-pantothenic-acid. Accessed on 13 March 2017.