Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) Deficiency Symptoms

The deficiency symptoms of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) include fatigue, burning feet, depression, insomnia, irritability, muscle cramps, stomach pains, upper respiratory infections and sometimes vomiting.

Often, other B-complex vitamins such as vitamin B6 or B12 get much more attention as compared to vitamin B5 but this doesn’t make it less important for the body. Human body needs pantothenic acid to build stamina, fight stress, improve mood, metabolize macro-nutrients and lower inflammation.

Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Here is what happens to the body in the absence of pantothenic acid:

Poor Skin Health

Pantothenic acid, a member of the B-complex family is required for the regulation of epithelial barrier function, that is, it protects the skin from environmental toxins. It makes the skin soft and supple and further improves the overall skin texture.

Insufficiency of this important vitamin makes the skin prone to damage. The skin loses its moisture in the absence of pantothenic acid and becomes rough and scaly.

Moreover, the clearance of acne and its lesions are delayed when pantothenic acid level is low in the body. Hence, adequate intake of pantothenic acid is vital for a healthy skin. (1)

Fatigue or Tiredness

A very interesting study observed that individuals with pantothenic acid deficiency complained of fatigue and tiredness.

Pantothenic acid helps the body in metabolizing macro-nutrients from the food we eat, which include carbohydrate, proteins and fat. It then converts them into energy, that is used by the body for its overall functioning.

As a result, when the level of pantothenic acid goes down, your energy to perform daily activities also reduces and you tend to get tired easily. (2)

Causes Adrenal Insufficiency

Human body needs pantothenic acid, that helps the adrenal glands to make stress hormones during physical and psychological stress.

These hormones help in the management of depression, anxiety, fatigue, migraines and headache. They further help in battling stress and regulating appetite, mood and body temperature.

Deficiency of pantothenic acid has a negative impact on the structure of adrenal glands and it reduces the ability of adrenal cells to produce stress hormones.

Without pantothenic acid, the body is unable to cope with stress and survival becomes difficult. Hence, a balanced intake of pantothenic acid along with other B-complex vitamins is essential for overall wellbeing.

Increases Inflammation

Inflammatory compounds play a causative role in the onset of various diseases. Pantothenic acid is a natural antioxidant, which suppresses the production of inflammatory compounds and reduces the overall inflammation.

Such a protective mechanism is hampered in the absence of pantothenic acid. Without this important vitamin, it becomes difficult for the body to fight against diseases. The level of inflammation and oxidative stress in the body goes up as the level of pantothenic acid decreases. (3)

Causes Fat Accumulation

Co-enzyme A is required for the breakdown of fat into its simple form. Pantothenic acid is required for the production of Co-enzyme A.

Insufficiency of this vitamin affects the production Co-enzyme A, which in turn leads to accumulation of fat in the tissues and liver.

This can affect the structure and function of the liver and may lead to fatty liver. Correcting the level of pantothenic acid prevents accumulation of fat and reverses the entire damage. (4)

Other Symptoms of Pantothenic Acid Deficiency

  • Muscle cramps
  • Inability to sleep
  • Burning feet
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stomach ache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle numbness or tingling

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Sneha Sadhwani

Dt. Sneha Sadhwani Sewlani (B.Sc. Food Science & Nutrition, PG in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics) is Clinical Nutritionist & Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Lifestyle Coach. She has expertise in clinical nutrition and 4 years’ experience working as Clinical Nutritionist and Dietician. She has been associated as a nutritionist with LTMG Hospital and S. L. Raheja Fortis Institute in Mumbai.She has also her own private practice where she offers a wide range of different programs, including weight loss, weight gain, diabetes management, diet plan according to diseases and much more through her in-person and online consultation.Sneha strongly believes that a healthy diet and lifestyle modifications are the best ways to prevent and treat diseases. She says, “Eating healthy is an art, be an artist of your own mind and body”.

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