Fundamentals of Human Nutrition/Pantothenic acid
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8.7 Pantothenic Acid
Pantothenic acid can be alternatively known as vitamin B5, panthenol and pantothenate. This vitamin has a molecular weight of 476.56 and is the amide formed between pantoate and beta-alanine. They are found in small quantities in nearly every food,hence its name which was derived from a greek word 'pantothen' (meaning everywhere). Pantothenic acid is found throughout living cells in the form of co-enzyme A (CoA),a vital component of co-enzyme A in numerous chemical reaction (Ravipors, 2011). CoA is required for chemical reactions that generate energy from food (fats, carbohydrates and proteins). The synthesis of essential fats, cholesterol and steroid hormones requires CoA, as does the synthesis of neurotransmitter, acetylcholine and the hormone, melatonin (Gropper S.S, et al., 2009).
Pantothenic acid is abundant in the food supply, though the richest sources include meat products particularly organ meats (liver, kidney, heart), fish, and egg yolks. Relative to animal muscle, humans store twice as much pantothenic acid in their muscles (Kimura S. et al. 1980). Plant sources of pantothenic acid include whole grains, particularly in the hull of cereal grains. It is found in almost all vegetables such as broccoli and avocados. Brewers yeast and wheat germ are good sources, as is royal jelly (Combs G.F., 2008).
Pantothenic acid is found in nearly every food. Good sources of pantothenic acid include liver, kidney, egg yolks, shellfish, yeast, avocado, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, and whole grains. However, it is sensitive to food processing. Refining whole grains, freezing, and canning food may result in a 35% to 75% loss. It is, however, fairly stable in cooking.
Pantothenic acid is a water-soluble B vitamin essential for growth. It is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, lipids, steroid hormones, and hemoglobin. It is part of the chemical structure of coenzyme A, making it a critical vitamin in metabolism, specifically the TCA cycle of cellular respiration. Found in all living cells, some health functions of Pantothenic acid include: • Synthesize cholesterol • Form red blood cells • Form stress and sex hormones • Break down all macronutrients (Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) for energy Pantothenic acid is also used in some shampoos to restore natural color to graying hair.
There is not enough evidence for an RDA for Pantothenic acid. Below is a list of the Adequate Intake (AI) based on age.
• Age 0-6 months: 1.7 milligrams per day (mg/day) • Age 7-12 months 1.8 mg/day • Age 1-3 years: 2 mg/day • Age 4-8 years: 3 mg/day • Age 9-13 years: 4 mg/day • Age 14 and older: 5 mg/day
Deficiency in this B vitamin is rare, since it is found in nearly all foods. Those at risk for deficiency are individuals with severe alcoholism. Heavy alcohol consumption interferes with the metabolic processing of pantothenic acid. Deficiency in Pantothenic most likely occurs in conjunction with other B vitamins. However, soldiers in Japan during WWII were effectively relieved of the burning sensation of their feet by pantothenic acid supplementation, not by other B vitamins. Signs and symptoms include neurological disturbances, gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, depression, and burning feet.
No UL for this vitamin has been established. No toxic effects have been reported. However, diarrhea can result in intakes of 20g/day of calcium D-pantothenate. In experiments done with mice, the LD50 was 10 g/kg, resulting in death from respiratory failure.
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