Also indexed as: Calcium Pantothenate, Pantethine, Vitamin
Pantothenic acid, also called vitamin B5, is a water-soluble vitamin involved in the
Kreb’s cycle of energy production and is needed to make the neurotransmitter
acetylcholine. It is also essential in producing, transporting, and releasing energy from
fats. Synthesis of cholesterol (needed to manufacture vitamin D and steroid hormones) depends on pantothenic
acid. Pantothenic acid also activates the adrenal glands.1 Pantethine—a
byproduct of pantothenic acid—has been reported to lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Where is it found?
Liver, yeast, and salmon have high concentrations of pantothenic acid, but most other
foods, including vegetables, dairy, eggs, grains, and meat, also provide some pantothenic
Pantothenic acid or
pantethine have been used in connection with the following conditions
(refer to the individual health concern for complete information):
Who is likely to be deficient?
Pantothenic acid deficiencies may occur in people with alcoholism but are generally believed to be rare.
How much is usually taken?
Most people do not need to supplement with pantothenic acid. However, the 10–25 mg
found in many multivitamin supplements might
improve pantothenic acid status. So-called primitive human diets provided greater amounts of
this nutrient than is found in modern diets. Most cholesterol researchers using pantethine
have given people 300 mg three times per day (total 900 mg).
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Are there any side effects or interactions?
No serious side effects have been reported, even at intakes of up to 10,000 mg (10 grams)
per day. Very large amounts of pantothenic acid (several grams per day) can cause diarrhea.
Pantothenic acid works together with vitamin
B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin B3 to help make the fuel our bodies run
There is one report of a 76-year-old woman who developed a life-threatening condition
(eosinophilic pleuropericardial effusion) while taking 300 mg of pantothenic acid per day and
10 mg of biotin per day.2 However, it is not clear whether the vitamins caused the
Are there any drug
Certain medicines may interact with pantothenic acid. Refer to drug interactions for a list of those medicines.
1. Fidanza A. Therapeutic action of pantothenic acid. Int J Vitam
Nutr Res 1983;suppl 24:53–67 [review].
2. Debourdeau PM, Djezzar S, Estival JL, et al. Life-threatening
eosinophilic pleuropericardial effusion related to vitamins B5 and H. Ann
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It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience,
or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur
in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over
the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or chemist
for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in