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Pantothenic acid, or pantothenate, is one of the thirteen essential vitamins, and also one of the eight B vitamins, Vitamin B5. Essential vitamins need to be present in the diet because the human body cannot make the nutrients on its own, or in sufficient amounts to sustain normal and healthy bodily functions.1 Pantothenic acid is considered an essential vitamin due to its many physiological health benefits, and along with being essential it is also water-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins like Vitamin C and the eight B vitamins dissolve in water and are not stored in the liver or fatty-tissue like with fat-soluble vitamins.1 Since water-soluble vitamins are easily flushed out of the body it is uncommon to develop toxic side effects.
Benefits of Pantothenic Acid – There are many
The name pantothenic acid is derived from the Greek word “pantos”, which translates to “everywhere” as this essential nutrient is found in almost all plant and animal tissue.1
Pantothenic acid is involved in the creation of coenzyme A, which is an enzyme involved in many important bodily reactions, most notably metabolic reactions like glycolysis and citric acid cycle.1,2 Coenzyme A is needed to metabolize energy such as glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids from dietary sources.1 Pantothenic acid is needed for appropriate and proper metabolism of food.
As pantothenic acid is a B vitamin, it is also known for having healthful benefits for skin and hair such as having moisturizing effects.2 Research also shows that pantothenic acid may even help promote wound healing and balance cholesterol levels.2
The different forms of Pantothenic Acid
There are a variety of different forms of pantothenic acid. This nutrient is most commonly found in its coenzyme form, coenzyme A (CoA), which is also the form in which the human body stores this vitamin.2 Coenzyme A and acetyl carrier protein are the forms of pantothenic acid that are mostly found in food sources.4 These forms must be broken down into pantothenic acid before the body is able to absorb the nutrient.4
Pantothenol and calcium pantothenate are stable forms of pantothenic acid, and due to their stability, are typically found in nutrition supplements.2 These forms also need to be converted into pantothenic acid for nutrient absorption.2