Vitamin B5, also called pantothenic acid, is vital to all forms of life. Its alternative name comes from the Greek word ‘pantos,’ which means ‘everywhere,’ as it is widespread in foods of both plant and animal origin and can be found throughout every living cell.
Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin and as well as a precursor for the biosynthesis of ‘coenzyme A’ (CoA), which is an essential cofactor in various biochemical reactions that sustain life
Vitamin B5 contributes to a healthy and stable mental performance, as well as the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
Causes of Vitamin B5 Deficiency
It is very rare for a naturally occurring vitamin B5 deficiency to be recorded in humans and has only been observed in cases of acute malnutrition.
Pantothenic acid deficiency does not happen isolated but alongside other B vitamin deficiencies.
Symptoms of vitamin B5 deficiency
In humans, Pantothenic acid deficiency has been induced experimentally through a co-administration of a pantothenic acid antagonist (omega-methylpantothenic acid) and a pantothenic acid-deficient diet.
People who participated in this experiment complained of fatigue, headache, insomnia, numbness, intestinal disturbances, and tingling of their hands and feet. These recorded symptoms could be linked to perturbations in CoA and lipid metabolism.
In a study carried out more recently, participants who fed only a diet that is pantothenic acid-free did not develop any clinical signs of deficiency, even though some of them appeared listless and reported experiencing fatigue.
Almost all reported symptoms are reversed immediately vitamin B5 is ingested again.
Almost all information that had to do with the consequences of a B5 deficiency has been gathered from animal experiments and include anemia, skin irritations, damage to adrenal glands, impaired glucose metabolism, and nerve damage.
These different symptoms reflect the various functions of pantothenic acid in its coenzyme forms.
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