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Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
All the cells in your body need vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid. It is a water-soluble B vitamin that is converted by the body into a compound called coenzyme A, which your body needs to change food into energy. Vitamin B5 is also known as the "antistress" vitamin because it supports the healthy functioning of your adrenal glands, the organs that help your body cope with all types of stress. Vitamin B5 is needed for proper nerve and muscle action, and it is vital to maintaining a healthy immune system. It also seems to help decrease the painful symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Pantothenic acid gets its name from the Greek work pantos, meaning "everywhere," because it is available in a wide variety of foods. A lot of vitamin B5 is lost in processing, so fresh meats, vegetables, and whole unprocessed grains have more vitamin B5 than refined, canned, and frozen food. The best sources are brewer's yeast, whole-grain breads and cereals, mushrooms, liver, dried beans and peas, avocados, fish, chicken, nuts (pecans, hazelnuts), peanuts, cauliflower, milk and cheese, potatoes, oranges, bananas, and eggs.
Vitamin B5 is included in most B-complex vitamins. It is also available in single supplement form as calcium pantothenate, which is 92 percent pantothenic acid and 8 percent calcium. It is available in 100-, 250-, and 500- mg capsules.
How to Take It
For general adrenal support or stress relief, 250 to 500 mg daily is probably adequate. For treating rheumatoid arthritis, 1,000 mg twice daily (2,000 mg a day) is the recommended amount. To lower blood lipid levels (cholesterol or triglycerides), the recommended dose of pantethine is 300 mg three times daily (900 mg a day). Take with water, preferably after eating, or according to your health care provider's recommendation.
There are no known interactions or side effects associated with taking vitamin B5 supplements. It is recommended that you take vitamin B5 along with other B vitamins to reduce the possibility of a B-vitamin imbalance in your system.
No harmful drug interactions have been reported.
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