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What Is Vitamin B-5 Good for?

By Sarah Terry

Also called pantothenate or pantothenic acid, vitamin B-5 is an essential nutrient for your body. Although you can get vitamin B-5 from many different foods, you can also take a supplement to correct a deficiency. Before taking a supplement, discuss your specific needs for vitamin B-5 with your healthcare provider.

Function of Vitamin B-5

Like other B vitamins, vitamin B-5 helps your body to metabolize carbohydrates and fats to turn them into energy, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center. Vitamin B-5 plays an important role in producing red blood cells, supporting gastrointestinal health, regulating your adrenal glands and synthesizing cholesterol. Vitamin B-5 also helps to produce the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Good for Cholesterol

High cholesterol and triglycerides put you at risk for heart disease and stroke, according to the American Heart Association. Taking pantethine, a form of pantothenic acid, will reduce your risk by lowering your levels. The University of Michigan Health System explains recommends that, to lower your cholesterol levels, you consume 300 milligrams of pantethine 2 to 4 times per day. To lower triglycerides you should take 300 milligrams of pantethine three times per day.

Good for Arthritis

Vitamin B-5 is found to be helpful in treating rheumatoid arthritis or RA. RA is a condition in which your immune system attacks your joints, causing pain and inflammation that can not only damage your joints, but your organs and your heart as well, according to the Arthritis Foundation. The University of Michigan Health System recommends that you take 2000 milligrams of vitamin B-5 per day to treat arthritis symptoms such as morning stiffness and pain.

Appropriate Dosage

Often labeled as pantothenic acid or calcium pantothenate, vitamin B-5 is included in most B-complex vitamin supplements. Although the recommended daily intake of vitamin B-5 for adults is just 5 milligrams, your doctor could recommend much higher doses to help treat specific health conditions, says the University of Maryland Medical Center.

People with high cholesterol or triglycerides might take up to 900 milligrams of vitamin B-5 daily, and people with rheumatoid arthritis could take up to 2,000 milligrams daily. These therapeutic dosages of vitamin B-5 are often divided into three separate doses in a day, notes the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Only take these high doses under the supervision of a physician, however.

Things to Consider

Taking a single B-complex vitamin can cause an imbalance of the other B vitamins, so you should take a supplement containing all the B-complex vitamins, advises the University of Maryland Medical Center. Also, taking vitamin B-5 can potentially interfere with certain other medications. Vitamin B-5 supplements could interact negatively with tetracycline antibiotics and cholinesterase inhibitors used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin B-5 supplements may not be safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women, warns the University of Michigan Health System.

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