For growth and reproduction, the majority of animal species have a dietary requirement between 5 and 15 mg pantothenic acid per kg (2.3 to 6.8 mg per lb) of diet. Swine pantothenic acid requirements (NRC, 1998) range from 7.0 to 12.0 mg per kg (3.2 to 5.5 mg per lb) of diet. The highest requirement at 12 mg per kg (5.5 mg per lb) of diet is for young pigs and breeding animals. A low ambient temperature has been reported to increase the requirement (Blair and Newsome, 1985). Apparently there is a wide variation in pantothenic acid requirements among breeds and among animals within the same breed. In a study utilizing German Landrace pigs, Roth-Maier and Kirchgessner (1977) suggested an optimum requirement of 9 mg pantothenic acid per kg of feed for market pigs based on growth, feed consumption and efficiency. In 1957, Barnhart et al. found no significant difference in rate of gain, daily feed consumed or feed:gain between weanling pigs fed varying levels of pantothenic acid ranging from 2 to 7 mg per lb of a purified corn-soybean oil meal-based ration. The rations were fed from a body weight of approximately 25 to 100 lbs. Data from Michigan suggest that for one-half of growing pigs studied, 9.13 mg pantothenic acid per kg (4.2 mg per lb) of diet was sufficient for growth, whereas the remaining half required more than this but less than 13.5 mg per kg (6.1 mg per lb) (Luecke et al., 1953). After evaluating levels of 5, 7.5, 10, 12.5 and 15.0 mg of supplemental calcium pantothenate, Stothers et al. (1955) suggested a pantothenic acid requirement of 12.5 mg calcium pantothenate per kg of dry matter of a synthetic milk for optimum growth and feed efficiency in baby pigs.
High fat levels may increase the pantothenic acid requirement (Sewell et al., 1962) of swine while high dietary protein has been suggested to decrease the requirement (Luecke et al., 1952). Pigs fed a diet deficient in pantothenic acid and high in fat failed to gain weight, exhibited a lower feed efficiency and developed deficiency signs more quickly than those fed diets low in fat (Sewell et al., 1962). Nelson and Evans (1945) found that rats deficient in pantothenic acid fed a high-protein diet excreted more pantothenic acid and had accelerated growth and survival rates in comparison with rats fed a low-protein diet. The superiority of the high-protein diet may be due to the decreased level of dietary carbohydrate, which would presumably require CoA for metabolism. Pond et al. (1960) investigated the effect of dietary protein, fat and pantothenic acid on the performance of growing-finishing swine. In a 2x2x2 factorial experiment, pigs were fed dietary treatment combinations of high or low protein, high fat or no added fat, with different levels of pantothenic acid contained in the basal ration. Although less than the NRC recommendations were calculated to be present in the low-protein rations, level of pantothenic acid had no effect on any of the performance criteria measured.
It has been suggested that antibiotics may have a sparing effect on the pantothenic acid requirement of animals. A dietary level of 22 mg Aureomycin per kg (10 mg per lb) for weanling pigs (McKigney et al., 1957) and 10 mg procaine penicillin per kg (4.5 mg per lb) to turkey poults (Slinger and Pepper, 1954) reduced the pantothenic acid requirement for these species. Palm et al. (1968) fed young swine (weaned at three weeks) from three to nine weeks of age a conventional corn-soybean meal diet (18% protein) which was adequate in all vitamins but pantothenic acid. In addition, the diet contained 100 mg chlortetracycline, 110 mg sulfamethazone and 55 mg procaine penicillin per kg. The basal diet contained 4.26 to 8.09 mg of pantothenic acid per kg. No pantothenic acid deficiency signs were present, and rate and efficiency of gain were not improved by the supplementation of calcium pantothenate. These authors suggested that the minimum pantothenic acid requirement for young pigs is less than 13.2 mg per kg of diet. Certain amounts of B complex vitamins (including pantothenic acid) are synthesized in the large intestine of swine. It is doubtful, however, whether much benefit is derived as only limited pantothenic acid absorption occurs in the large intestine, with greatest benefit being in animals that practice coprophagy (Friesecke, 1975).
Interrelationships between other vitamins and pantothenic acid requirements are known, for example, that among pantothenic acid and vitamin B12, ascorbic acid and biotin (Scott et al., 1982). A fivefold increase in CoA content of liver was found in B12-deficient chicks and rats. Also, there have been suggestions of a possible interrelationship between folic acid and biotin with pantothenate. Both vitamins were found necessary for pantothenic acid utilization in the rat (Wright and Welch, 1943). The inclusion of biotin in the diet of a pantothenic acid-deficient pig was effective in prolonging the life of the pig, but caused the pantothenic acid deficiency signs to appear in half the time (Colby et al., 1948).