VITAMIN B5 (PANTOTHENIC ACID) – The Anti-Stress Factor
Vitamin B6 (Pantothenic Acid) is a water-soluble vitamin and is destroyed by alcohol, caffeine, and food processing techniques, sleeping pills and sulphur drugs. It is excreted in mother’s milk and urine.
Functions in the Body
This vitamin is involved in all the vital functions of the body. It is a part of the enzyme system and aids in the synthesis of amino acids and fatty acids and metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. It protects against most physical and mental stresses and toxins. It prevents premature ageing and provides protection against excessive radiation.
Normal growth and development of Central Nervous System are maintained by it. Pantothenic acid also wards off infections, speeds recovery from ill health and increases vitality.
It is found in extensive quantities in food. Peanuts, mushrooms, soybeans and flour, eggs, liver and yeast are good sources of pantothenic acid. Fruits are poor sources of this vitamin.
(RDA – Men – 10mg, Women – 10mg, Children – 5.5mg)
Deficiency of Pantothenic acid can cause dizziness, irritability, graying and loss of hair, duodenal ulcers, chronic fatigue, mental depression, muscular weakness and increase in infections. This may further lead to low blood sugar, low blood pressure, constipation, burning and painful feet, exhaustion, duodenal ulcers, sleeplessness and muscle cramps.
Healing and Therapeutic Properties
1. Stress – To meet the demands of stress, pantothenic acid has been found valuable. There are no toxic effects.
2. Arthritis – Administered daily doses were found effective in reducing the pain caused by arthritis.
3. Infections – Pantothenic acid protects the liver during infections. The addition of pantothenic acid to antibiotics for treating infections, increases antibodies in the body, minimizes the chances of drug-resistant organisms and reduces the risk of untoward reaction.
4. Premature Graying – Pantothenic acid is one of the 3 anti-graying hair vitamins. When all the 3 vitamins are taken simultaneously natural color of the hair can be restored.
5. Skin Disorders – For sunburn and old-age dermatitis, administration of pantothenic acid either orally, application externally or by injection is helpful.