B5: Pantothenic Acid
Immune System Stimulant
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Animal studies using Pantothenic Acid have showed interesting protection from infection. Rats were divided into two groups, one with a diet containing Pantothenic Acid, and one with a diet deficient in Pantothenic Acid. Each group was exposed to a source of infection. The group whose diet was deficient in Pantothenic Acid showed a 100% infection rate. In the group whose diet supplied Pantothenic Acid, there was approximately a 2% infection rate (1). Pantothenic Acids helps to build antibodies for fighting infection, and can help the body withstand stressful conditions.
Pantothenic acid stimulates the adrenal cortex to produce cortisone and other adrenal hormones, which help produce healthy skin and nerves, as well as combating fatigue, depression, and insomnia. It participates in the production of energy, as well as the synthesizing of cholesterol and fatty acids. It helps maintain a healthy digestive tract. It can protect against the harmful effects of antibiotics. If you work at a job that exposes you to radiation, or if you have taken medical treatments which involved radioactive substances, Pantothenic acid can help protect against the cellular damage this radiation causes (2).
Vitamin B5 occurs in all living cells, both plant and animal. Therefore, it is rare for a person not to take in enough of it. However, it can be destroyed by too acidic or alkaline an environment, so if the body is too acidic due to too many animal products, or too much processed food, preserving this vitamin in the body is difficult. The RDA for Vitamin B5 is 6 milligrams (3), although the Heinz Handbook of Nutrition suggests 10 to 15 milligrams (2). No toxic effects have been reported with use. Folic acid helps the assimilation of Pantothenic Acid.
Sources of Vitamin B5:
Beef, brewer’s yeast, eggs, fresh vegetables, kidney, legumes, liver, mushrooms, nuts, pork, royal jelly, saltwater fish, torula yeast, whole rye flour, and whole wheat (4).
Ailments for which Vitamin B5 should be beneficial:
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(1) Rodale, J.I. (1970). The Encyclopedia for Healthful Living. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Books, p. 951.
(2) Dunne, Lavon J. (1990). Nutrition Almanac. New York: McGraw-Hill, p. 27.
(3) Personal Health Lifestyles. (2000). "Vitamin B5: Pantothenic Acid." Available Online: [http://www.healingwithnutrition.com/vitamin.html#VitaminB5].
Publications. (2000). "Vitamin B5: Pantothenic