The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which provides scientific advice to assist policy makers, has confirmed that clear health benefits have been established for the dietary intake of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) in contributing to:
- Normal energy-yielding metabolism
- Normal mental performance
- Normal synthesis and metabolism of steroid hormones, vitamin D and some neurotransmitters
- The reduction of tiredness and fatigue.
Since vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) occurs to some extent in all foods, it’s generally assumed that deficiency is extremely rare. The truth is it probably happens in conjunction with deficiencies in other B vitamins.
Groups at risk of deficiency are alcoholics, women on oral contraceptives, people with insufficient food intake (the elderly, post-operative), and people with impaired absorption (due to certain internistic diseases).
Symptoms of a vitamin B5 deficiency can include fatigue, insomnia, depression, irritability, vomiting, stomach pains, burning feet and upper respiratory infections.