Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, is required for producing energy in the body and keeping the nervous system healthy. Vitamin B5 can be used in weight loss to help in breaking down fats and carbohydrates, two main causes of increased weight. Several foods have been found to be rich in vitamin B5; however, most people never require taking a vitamin B5 supplement because deficiencies are rare.
Role in the Body
A major functions of vitamin B5 is releasing energy from fats, which it does by breaking down fat and burning carbohydrates for energy. In addition to this, pantothenic acid is also required for maintaining healthy digestion and speeding up the healing process in case of injuries. It is also known as the anti-stress vitamin. Vitamin B5 is helpful in increasing good cholesterol while reducing bad cholesterol levels in the body. Vitamin B5 helps in the production of vitamin D, red blood cells and sex hormones that are required for normal functioning of reproductive processes and the adrenal glands.
According to Vitamins Nutrition, some independent researchers have found that vitamin B5 can be helpful in inducing weight loss in obese patients by increasing the breakdown of fats. However, for this to occur, the dosage of vitamin B5 must be high, which cannot be achieved through food products. Nutritional therapist Dr. Marilyn Glenville has also reported on an increased fat metabolism that occurs with pantothenic acid.
Natural food products that are a rich source of vitamin B5 include meat, fish, poultry, wheat products, beans and green vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli and spinach. Vitamin B5 deficiency is rare so you don't need to take any supplements however, a multi-vitamin supplement can help in fulfilling the body's daily requirement of the vitamin.
While a vitamin B5 deficiency is rare, a deficiency of this vitamin could result in depression, weakness, fatigue and loss of appetite. Vitamin B5 deficiency is common for those who consume excessive quantities of alcohol.
Since vitamin B5 is a water soluble vitamin, there are no side effects of taking it in large doses since excess vitamin gets released from the body during excretion. Every person is different, so if you notice any side effects when taking vitamin B5 you should stop taking the vitamin and consult with your doctor.