What is vitamin B5?

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is one of eight B vitamins and an essential nutrient that is naturally present in a wide variety of plant and animal foods.

The main function of this water-soluble B vitamin is in the synthesis of coenzyme A (CoA) and acyl carrier protein which aids fatty acid synthesis. Vitamin B5 helps turn the food you eat into the energy you need. It’s important for many functions in the body, especially making and breaking down fats. It’s absorbed in the intestine and delivered directly into the bloodstream by the red blood cells.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) benefits

  • Helps fatty acid synthesis
  • Promotes a healthy digestive tract
  • Helps synthesize cholesterol
  • Creates energy

How much vitamin B5 do you need per day?

  • Adult Women: 5 mg
  • Adult Men: 5 mg
  • Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women: 6-7mg

Natural sources of vitamin B5

  • Beef
  • Poultry
  • Organ meats
  • Seafood
  • Eggs 
  • Milk
  • Mushrooms (especially shiitakes)
  • Avocados
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Whole grains, such as whole wheat, brown rice, and oats
  • Peanuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Chickpeas

Learn about vitamin B5 deficiency symptoms.

Further reading: National Institutes of Health (1),(2)