The main role of Vitamin B5 in our body is to generate energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins in our daily diet. It also helps in the formation of red blood cells, neurotransmitters and antibodies. Vitamin B5 contributes in improving the amount of haemoglobin, lowers the cholesterol when its level is high, and also helps in maintaining the blood pressure.
Vitamin B5 is required in adequate amount on a daily basis since it is water-soluble and cannot be stored in the body. This daily requirement differs for different age-groups. The infants should have a daily intake of 1.7 to 1.8 milligrams, children need to consume 2 to 4 mg per day and the adults require a daily consumption of 5 mg. Other than this, pregnant women need to have 6mg and breastfeeding mothers need to have 7 mg of Vitamin B5, every day.
Our body can be replenished with Vitamin B5 through our daily diet if we eat the right varieties of food which contain Vitamin B5. Some of the best natural sources of Vitamin B5 are yogurt, corn, eggs, cheese, liver, meat, peanuts, peas, soybeans etc. Some of the sources with smaller amounts of Vitamin B5 are avocado, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, beef, chicken, brewer’s yeast, milk etc.
When the body lacks Vitamin B5, it suffers from certain deficiency which show the following symptoms:
- Weakness sensation
- Burning foot syndrome where there is numbness, tingling and burning sensation and pain in the feet
- Elevated cholesterol levels and rapid heart beats
- Premature greying of the hair
- Hair loss
The main factor resulting in the depletion of Vitamin B5 in the body is improper digestion where the food is not broken down properly in a manner that the body can absorb the Vitamins in the food. Consumption of certain drugs and medicines may also deplete the vitamin content in the body. Caffeine, high blood pressure medicine and acid reflux medicines are some of the examples.
A high consumption of Vitamin B5 is not toxic, but when the supplemental doses are extremely high, then it leads to some dysfunction of our body mechanism. The worst symptom of its toxicity is the intestinal distress leading to diarrhoea. Some of the other symptoms are depression, drowsiness, lack of energy, memory loss and nausea.
Vitamin B5 helps in improving and curing various body conditions.
Adrenal insufficiency - inadequate amounts of steroid hormones produced
Burning foot syndrome - hot, painful, “pins and needles” sensation in the feet
Cataracts - a clouding of the lens inside the eye which leads to impaired vision
Osteoarthritis - blocked arteries
Hyperlipidemia - high fat content in blood
Alcoholism related conditions
The Vitamin B5 supplements also help in speeding up the healing of the wounds especially after surgery. It also maintains the fat levels in the blood.