Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Pantothenic acid (or vitamin B5) is a water-soluble vitamin and part of what is known as the B-complex group. Its major roles in the body are to help with energy production and the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates from the foods we eat. It also aids in forming hormones that are needed in the body.

How much do I need?

  • 5 milligrams per day is needed for both males and females over 14 years of age.
  • Pregnant women need 6 milligrams per day. Women who are breast feeding need 7 milligrams per day.

Food Sources of Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic acid is rich in a variety of foods including liver and kidney, yeast, egg yolk, and broccoli. Fish, shellfish, chicken, milk, yogurt, legumes, mushrooms, avocado, and sweet potatoes are also good sources. Whole grains can be a good source, but processing may result in a 35-75% loss.

What happens if I don't get enough?

Pantothenic acid is found in a lot of foods which makes a shortage of this nutrient very uncommon. If levels are low it is usually because of malnutrition and a lack in many other necessary nutrients.

Can I get too much?

It is difficult to get too much pantothenic acid from the foods we eat. Rarely, diarrhea and water retention will occur with excessive amounts.

Learn more about Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) in CSU Extension's fact sheet Water-Soluble Vitamins: B-Complex and Vitamin C.