Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

Vitamin B5 supports your adrenal glands, relieving stress and fatigue.

What are its health benefits?

Called the “anti-stress vitamin”, vitamin B5 also plays a role in the secretion of a number of hormones that assist the metabolism, help fight allergies and are beneficial in the maintenance of healthy skin and nerves. Like the other B-vitamins, its benefits include the release of energy as well as the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrates.

Tests have shown that another important vitamin B5 function is to help in the treatment of problem skin and acne, as well as to combat hair loss.

Do you have a deficiency?

If you notice that you don’t have much energy or that you’re suddenly gaining weight, you might be low on B5 (also known as pantothenic acid). Deficiency symptoms include:

A deficiency is rare, and people who demonstrate deficiency symptoms of Vitamin B5 are usually malnourished. Vitamin B5 supplements are usually diagnosed as treatment.

Other risk groups include pregnant women, women who use oral contraceptive pills, smokers, alcoholics, and those with high stress levels.

Find it in these foods

  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Mushrooms
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Chicken

Note that B5 is easily lost in cooking when exposed to acids, such as vinegar, or alkali, such as baking soda.

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA)

A typical dosage is 10mg. However, consult with your Clicks pharmacist first regarding the right dosage of daily oral supplements to make up for a vitamin B5 deficiency.

Know the overdose risks

While there is no danger of toxicity, side effects of an excessive intake of B5 can reportedly lead to diarrhoea and heartburn. It can also decrease the levels of other B-vitamins, especially vitamin B12.

Ensure you discuss dietary supplementation with your Clicks pharmacist to avoid the potential for side effects and adverse interactions with medications.

The accuracy of this information was checked and approved by Clicks' pharmacist Waheed Abdurahman in February 2015