Vitamin B5 - The Importance of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) for Children
Posted on June 04 2021,
Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, is water-soluble like most other B vitamins. It is yellowish in color and is oily in appearance when viewed as a single ingredient. What is B5 vitamin good for? B5 is a component in the synthesis of a chemical compound known as coenzyme A (CoA), which helps support several metabolic functions, including the build-up of healthy fats in the body and breakdown of fatty acids. Vitamin B5 is found in many fruits and vegetables, and human intestinal bacteria can also produce B5. Your body's cells are equipped to save vitamin B5 in them via a recycling mechanism. However, pantothenic acid deficiency can still occur, causing a feeling of discomfort or unease. Symptoms of B5 deficiency include fatigue, insomnia, depression, irritability, and vomiting. (1)(2)
How Does Vitamin B5 Function in Your Child's Body?
What is vitamin B5 needed for? Like most other B vitamins, vitamin B5 helps turn food into energy in your body. Pantothenic acid plays a specific role in the breakdown of fats in your child's body, and this is majorly because of its role in the synthesis of coenzyme A (CoA) and acyl carrier protein. Additionally, B5 helps process carbohydrates and proteins in your child's body. It is also an essential nutrient for maintaining healthy skin and body tissues.
Scientific research has shown that vitamin B5 is readily absorbed in the body through dietary or supplemental sources. Most of the time B5 exists in the form of CoA or an acyl carrier protein called phosphopantetheine. Modes of active transport are used to deliver vitamin B5 absorbed in the intestine to the bloodstream. Red blood cells then carry the vitamin throughout the body so that it can carry out its many benefits that you'll read about below. Your child's body also produces pantothenic acid in its intestinal bacteria, although further research is needed to better understand how much your body can produce for itself. (3)
Why Do Children Need Vitamin B5?
B vitamins are essential for several functions in the body, and altogether they provide remarkable benefits for your child. Vitamin B5 is one of the essential B nutrients necessary for the breakdown of fats in the body, and uses of vitamin B5 are plentiful.
Some of the many benefits of pantothenic acid are listed below:
- Controls blood fat levels
- Improves hair health
- Prevents common acne (acne vulgaris)
Controls blood fat levels: Vitamin B5 has a major role in the breakdown of fats, which is why comprehensive studies have been conducted on dyslipidemia, a condition in which there is an abnormally high concentration of fat or lipids or low HDL levels ("good" cholesterol) in the blood. Several studies have revealed that taking large amounts of one form of vitamin B5 called pantethine significantly lowers fat levels in the blood. Breakdown and clearance of fats in the blood are likely due to low levels of coenzyme A (CoA).
Additional evidence through research has indicated an antioxidant effect of pantothenic acid because it reduces low-grade inflammation seen in the early stages of heart diseases. Vitamin B5's role in controlling blood fat levels contributes to heart healthy children and the prevention of heart diseases and conditions that may occur at later ages, like high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. (1)
Improves hair health: Many products developed for hair care contain vitamin B5 because of its moisturizing effect. Pantothenic acid also gives volume and shine to the hair by improving the texture and durability of hair follicles. One study revealed that a compound containing one form of vitamin B5 called panthenol was a useful agent for halting thinning hair. While this study did not prove that vitamin B5 can affect hair growth, additional research has found that vitamin B5 may contribute to healthy hair growth due to its role in protecting the adrenal glands and other important processes of the body. Pantothenic acid is a key nutrient that contributes to the healthy growth and maintenance of your child's hair! (4)
Prevents common acne: Does vitamin B5 help acne? It has long been theorized that pantothenic acid has helped prevent and reduce human acne. Studies have shown the benefits of vitamin B5 for skin. While further research is needed to determine the significance of this vitamin in preventing and treating acne as well as underlying reasons for its effectiveness, recent research has shown promise in the beneficial relationship between vitamin B5 and acne. In an eight-week-long, controlled study, people with mild to moderate common facial acne who took dietary supplements of pantothenic acid had reduced blemishes. (5)
What Are the Symptoms of Vitamin B5 Deficiency?
Deficiency of pantothenic acid is rare because of its presence in most foods. However, it has occurred in cases of severe malnutrition. People with genetic mutations in which pantothenic acid cannot be metabolized still rarely experience a deficiency of this vitamin. Below are some signs that your child lacks vitamin B5, and many of the symptoms of pantothenic acid deficiency will typically occur alongside other nutrient deficiencies. If you suspect that your child is deficient in vitamin B5, your pediatrician is the best resource in learning how to test for vitamin B deficiency and how to safely increase vitamin B5 through diet and supplements. (1)
Here are several signs and symptoms indicating that your child may be lacking vitamin B5:
- Numbness or burning sensation in hands or feet
- Hair loss
- Skin irritation
- Disturbed sleep
- Muscle cramps and stomach cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
Numbness and burning of limbs: Knowledge about pantothenic acid deficiency in humans comes from several sources – prisoners of war, controlled deficiency experiments, and the unintentional side effects produced by a pantothenic acid antagonist drug. During World War II, malnourished prisoners of war reported numbness and burning sensations in their feet, which were then remedied with pantothenic acid supplementation. (6)
Hair Loss: A case study from the early 1950s reported the benefits of topically using the alcohol provitamin form of pantothenic acid (dexpanthenol) for hair loss. Two studies reported that the use of a proprietary product containing pantothenic acid (60 mg/ capsule), vitamin B1, yeast, L-cystine, keratin, and PABA improved hair quality and slowed hair loss after four months of use in persons with diffuse effluvium capillorum and agnogenic structural alterations of hair. (6)
Skin Irritation: Deficiency of pantothenic acid is a barrier to normal skin function. Collagen is categorized into more than twenty functional types, all of which are important for the health of your epidermal cells. Research results suggest that pantothenic acid may regulate epidermal barrier function by its role in synthesizing important collagen types. Therefore, a severe deficiency of pantothenic acid may cause skin irritation for your child due to its impact on the production of collagen that contributes to healthy skin. (7)
How Much Vitamin B5 Do Your Children Need per Day?
Dosing recommendations for vitamin B5 are provided in the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) developed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB). DRI describes the optimal amount of nutrients a person needs per day. Vitamin B5 is not retained in the body over long periods of time as it is water-soluble, and excess is regularly excreted through urine. Therefore, your child must receive B5 in their daily diet and supplement routine to maintain sufficient amounts of the vitamin.
Below are amounts recommended for adequate intake (AI) of pantothenic acid for both children and adults. Recommended amounts of vitamin B5 are the same for both males and females. It should be noted that pregnant and lactating people may require additional amounts of this vitamin, and you should always check in with your physician to ensure you are receiving optimal nutrition while pregnant and during postpartum care. (3)(8)
|Age||Recommended Daily Amount in milligrams (mg)|
|0-6 months||1.7 mg|
|7-12 months||1.8 mg|
|1-3 years||2 mg|
|4-8 years||3 mg|
|9-13 years||4 mg|
|14-18 years||5 mg|
|19+ years||5 mg|
Should Your Child Take Vitamin B5 Supplements?
It is more than likely that your child will obtain a sufficient amount of vitamin B5 in their everyday diet. However, you might consider supplementing your child's diet with B-complex vitamins or multivitamins to ensure that they receive adequate vitamins and nutrients alongside vitamin B5, preventing side effects and negative health outcomes from nutrient deficiency. It is always recommended that you consult with your child's pediatrician or another medical professional to ensure that your child's specific nutritional needs are being met through diet and supplementation.
Foods That Are Rich in Vitamin B5
How can I get B5 naturally? Pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5, is found in small amounts in almost all living cells, so it is found in most plant and animal food sources. In fact, the word pantothenic is derived from the Greek root "pantos", which means "from everywhere." Pantothenic acid is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, animal meats, whole grains, milk products and oils. Your child is likely receiving enough of this vitamin through their everyday diet if they eat a good diversity of healthy, whole foods. Multivitamin or B-complex supplements are often given to children to ensure that they are receiving optimal amounts of several vitamins and minerals. Below are several foods that contain higher amounts of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). (1)(3)
|Food Name||Serving size||Milligrams (mg) per serving||% of daily value (DV)|
|Beef liver, boiled||3 oz||8.3 mg||166|
|Breakfast cereal, fortified||1 cup||5 mg||100|
|Shitake mushrooms, cooked, sliced||1/2 cup||1.6 mg||52|
|Sunflower seeds||1/4 cup||2.4 mg||48|
|Chicken breast, skinless, roasted||3 oz||1.3 mg||26|
|Avocados, raw||1/2 avocado||1.0 mg||20|
|White mushrooms, sliced||1/2 cup||0.8 mg||16|
|Egg, hard boiled||1 large egg||0.7 mg||14|
Risks and Side Effects of Vitamin B5
Is too much vitamin B5 bad for you? There are no known reports of pantothenic acid toxicity due to excess intake in humans. When doses of pantothenic acid supplements exceed around 10 grams, uncomfortable side effects, like diarrhea and gastrointestinal distress, might occur. As with any supplement or substance, there is a risk of vitamin B5 interfering with other substances your child might be taking. It is recommended that those who are prescribed medication for an illness or other condition consult with a physician to ensure minimal risk and side effects with the use of a vitamin B5 supplement. (1)
Pantothenic acid is water-soluble, and its major role is to work as a component of CoA in metabolizing fats or lipids in cells. Vitamin B5 is known for its benefits of controlling blood fat levels and contributing to hair and skin health. Like most other B vitamins, it is involved in several essential metabolic processes in the body and responsible for breaking down food into energy. Deficiency of pantothenic acid is rare because it is found in varying amounts in most food sources. Major sources of vitamin B5 include beef liver, fortified breakfast cereals, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, and chicken breast meat. Vitamin B5 supplements might be considered in the form of multivitamins or B-complex vitamins to ensure that your child is getting sufficient nutritional vitamins and minerals in their everyday diet. Dosing recommendations for pantothenic acid vary by age, health, and lifestyle factors. It is always recommended that you consult with a medical professional to establish the safest diet and supplementation routine for your entire family.
Disclaimer: The content of this blog post is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not use this information for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement and with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.