Also known as Vitamin B5, pantothenic acid is essential for a number of basic bodily functions -from growth to reproduction. It participates in the continual breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins from food. This vitamin also produces numerous enzymes and helps maintain precise communication between the central nervous system and the brain. A deficiency of pantothenic acid is quite rare in humans because a large number of foods contain this vitamin. In fact, the name is derived from the Greek pantos, meaning everywhere. Even so, a supplement may be needed to get the higher doses of pantothenic acid recommended for the treatment of specific ailments. Pantothenic acid comes in two forms: calcium pantothenate and pantethine. The former is widely used for treating ailments from stress to heartburn, while pantethine is mainly recommended for lowering blood cholesterol levels in those who don’t respond to other natural treatments. Many multivitamin and Vitamin B complex supplements contain pantothenic acid.

*No RDA for Vitamin B5 has been established. Amounts listed are based on the Food and Nutrition Board’s Safe and Adequate Daily Amounts.

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