What is B5? 

Vitamin B5 is also known as Pantothenic Acid. An organic compound, part of the vitamin B complex, essential in animal metabolism. Found in all living cells and tissues, in animals it occurs in the combined form called coenzyme A, which promotes many reactions necessary for growth and well-being. Since it is synthesized by bacteria normally in the human intestine, deficiency leading to disease does not occur. B5 is sometimes referred to as Panthenol or Calcium Pantothenate. It has been shown to help metabolize fats as well as break down sebum.  

What is it?

Pantothenic acid, also called vitamin B5, is a water-soluble vitamin involved in the Kreb’s cycle of energy production and is needed to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It is also essential in producing, transporting, and releasing energy from fats. Synthesis of cholesterol (needed to manufacture vitamin D and steroid hormones) depends on pantothenic acid. Pantothenic acid also activates the adrenal glands.1 Pantethine—a by-product of pantothenic acid—has been reported to lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. 

Where is it found?

Liver, yeast, and salmon have high concentrations of pantothenic acid, but most other foods, including vegetables, dairy, eggs, grains, and meat, also provide some pantothenic acid.

Over the years the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris has been extensively studied including, the structure and function of the pilosebaceous follicle, the physiology of sebum, microflora in acne vulgaris, and abnormal follicular keratinization, considered to be one of the earliest events in acne formation. Despite the concerted effort of many scientists, internists, pathologists and dermatologists, the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris remains largely elusive. 

In this paper, approach this problem from a different perspective. Clinical observations suggest that acne vulgaris may be closely related to the consumption of diets, which are rich in fat content. This impression is by no means novel. Textbooks do briefly mention this correlation though, more often than not, it is dismissed as irrelevant. However, my observations have led to quite the contrary conclusions. Not only is the fat content of food closely related to acne vulgaris but it forms some sort of linear relationship with the disease process. The more fat the patient consumes, the more severe will be the acne process. 

This observation is in line with the opinion of many dermatologists that chocolate, which is composed mainly of the creamy part of milk, and has a high degree of fat content, is bad for acne. Significantly, in this group of patients, any deliberate attempt in trying to avoid a fatty diet over a period of weeks, if not days, will often result in important compound, cholesterol, which in turn is basically synthesized from units of acetyl-CoA. In the synthetic process, the body naturally is always trying not only to reach for a normal level of androgens, but an optimal level, so as to allow the body to function at its best. However, this is not always possible, and the normal level reached may not represent the optimal level. 

This is natures flexible way of dealing with shortage of essential dietary elements in any form to achieve a level that is just enough to manage the present situation, leaving a variable degree of shortage from the optimal level. In the present instance, in the two groups of boys, one group may have a normal level of androgens that is falling short of the optimum. One possible explanation for this is that there is a lack of basic building blocks, the acetyl-CoAs, which deter the body from operating at peak efficiency. 

If this is a viable possibility, it suggests that a plentiful supply or a deficiency of acetyl-CoA in the body may play a role in the acne process. this is certainly possible. Aside from its role in the synthesis of the sex hormones, acetyl-CoA, of which coenzyme-A is the important component, it is also important in fatty acid metabolism as an acetyl carrier in the lengthening and degradation of long chain fatty acids by adding or removing acyl groups in the metabolic process. 

Acne vulgaris is related to lipid metabolism as well as the sex hormones, both of which have a lot to do with Coenzyme-A. This relationship provides a reasonable ground to link up the acne process to Coenzyme-A and to investigate the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris along this line. 

The Importance of Coenzyme-A:   

In trying to link acne vulgaris to Coenzyme-A, it is important to have a hypothesis supporting some basic facts. A closer look at Coenzyme-A may provide the evidence. A Sharing scenario; As a coenzyme active in both fatty acid metabolism and sex hormone synthesis, Coenzyme-A is shared between two different metabolic processes. This is not uncommon in biochemical reactions in metabolism, where a coenzyme is often shared among a number of reactions. 

Coenzyme-A is arguably the most important coenzyme in the body, and when a coenzyme is involved in the metabolic process to such an extent as this, it becomes legitimate to ask if a shortage and deficiency is possible. To answer this, a brief look at the structure of Coenzyme-A is warranted. Coenzyme-A is formed from adenosine triphosphate, cysteine, and pantothenic acid. Of these pantothenic acid is the only component that is a vitamin, and must be provided from our dietary intake. Could there be an insufficient intake of pantothenic acid resulting in a deficiency in Coenzyme-A, which would leave the body unable to cope with all the reactions, that it has to perform with that all-important coenzyme? Conventional wisdom does not think so. 

It is suggested that pantothenic acid, being ubiquitous, can be had from whatever kind of food that is taken in, and that there is no question as to its deficiency in our body. However, a deficiency is still possible. After all, when so many reactions are dependent on the same agent, its demand must be tremendous. Shortage under such circumstances is not entirely impossible.

"Pantethine, and for that matter, Coenzyme A, are but the active forms that pantothenic acid takes once it gets into the body system. They are probably a little more efficient than calcium pantothenate, the commonly available commercial form of pantothenic acid, but they are much more expensive. If  look up pantethine, will find that it is the disulfide dimer of pantetheine, the derivative of which is an intermediate in the conversion of pantothenic acid to coenzyme A. As such, weight for weight, no matter if it is pantothenic acid, or pantethine taking, end up with approximately the same number of Coenzyme A molecules that they generate. Though with calcium pantothenate, have the added calcium mo;ecule there, making the molecular weight slightly higher, which means that have to take a slightly bigger dose of calcium pantothenate than pantethine in order to generate the same number of Coenzyme A in the body." 

B5 often gives a initial breakout (a temporary increase of acne), if correct because deeper acne or sebum is pushed/removed out of the skin or something like that. Some people see a breakout and quit without knowing how effective B5 might have been in their bodies. 

If B5 is working, it lowers the amount of oil/sebum on the skin, which can also cause dry skin. In case oil reduction happened very quickly, something like 4 days, also noticed a change in acne. It maybe became more liquid 

Vitamin B5 Basics: 

Vitamin B5, also known as Pantothenic Acid, is the anti-stress vitamin (water-soluble) and stamina enhancer. This vitamin plays an important role in production of adrenal hormones (adrenal glands). It is required for the formation of antibodies (immune system), and helps to convert carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy. Vitamin B5 is a component of coenzyme A, which is needed to carry out metabolic functions. Additionally, Vitamin B5 helps to produce neurotransmitters required for proper nerve and muscle performance. A deficiency of Pantothenic acid may cause fatigue, psoriasis, and headache. Vitamin B5 is often used to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis; swelling, pain, and stiffness. 

Dosage Guidelines: 

Vitamin B5 is available alone as calcium panthothenate (8% calcium, 92% pantothenic acid). However, to avoid vitamin B imbalance, take a B-complex formula that includes Vitamin B5 or with other B vitamins. 

D-panthenol is applied in almost all types of cosmetic preparations. It cares hair, skin and nails. It is the provitamin of d-pantothenic acid(vitamin b5), which plays a key role in the human intermediary metabolism. Deficiency of vitamin b5 can result in many dermatological disorders.  

Skin care: Deep penetrating moisturizer, stimulates epithelisation(fibroblast proliferation and normal keratinization), wound healing effect, anti-inflammatory effect.  

Hair care: Long lasting moisturizer, prevents hair damage, thickens hair, improves luster and sheen.  

Nail care: Improves hydration, imparts flexibility. 


Vitamin B5, also called pantothenic acid, is one of eight water-soluble B vitamins. All B vitamins help the body to convert carbohydrates into glucose (sugar), which is "burned" to produce energy. These B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, are essential in the breakdown of fats and protein. B complex vitamins also play an important role in maintaining muscle tone in the gastrointestinal tract and promoting the health of the nervous system, skin, hair, eyes, mouth, and liver. 

In addition to playing a role in the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates for energy, Vitamin B5 is critical to the manufacture of red blood cells as well as sex and stress-related hormones produced in the adrenal glands (small glands that sit atop of the kidneys). Vitamin B5 is also important in maintaining a healthy digestive tract and it helps the body use other vitamins (particularly B2 [riboflavin]) more effectively. It is sometimes referred to as the "anti-stress" vitamin because it is believed to enhance the activity of the immune system and improve the body's ability to withstand stressful conditions.  

Pantethine, an active stable form of vitamin B5, has been gaining attention in recent years as a possible treatment for high cholesterol. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings, however. Panthanol, another form of vitamin B5, is often found in hair care products because of the belief that it makes hair more manageable, softer, and shinier.  

Vitamin B5 Research Abstracts: 

Acetylcholine synthesis 

1. Effects of ethanol and pantothenic acid on brain acetylcholine synthesis. 

Measurements of brain acetylcholine (ACh) synthesis from precursor [14C]-pyruvate, pantothenic acid (PA) concentration in the brain, and blood ethanol (EtOH) concentration were made in rats treated with either ethanol (5-6 g kg-1 body wt daily) alone or ethanol with PA supplementation (100-200 mg kg-1 body wt daily). EtOH with or without PA was administered orally by either Lieber-Decarli liquid diet for 4 weeks and 4 months or by oral intubation for 1 and 4 days. Matched controls were given either ethanol-free liquid diet or saline. 2. ACh synthesis in the brain of rats treated with ethanol alone for 4 months was significantly (P less than 0.01) inhibited. PA concentration of the brain was diminished to 7.0% of the control value. 3. PA concentration in the brain of rats treated with ethanol plus PA for 4 months was three times that of rats treated with ethanol alone. ACh synthesis in rats with ethanol and PA supplementation was also significantly (P less than 0.01) higher. 4. There was no difference in blood EtOH concentration between rats treated with ethanol with or without PA supplement. 5. The EtOH effect on ACh synthesis and PA concentration in the brain was observed in the chronic treatments but not in the acute treatments. 6. Data suggest that chronic ethanol exposure may decrease ACh synthesis by depleting PA, a precursor for the synthesis of acetyl CoA. Acetyl CoA is an essential substrate for ACh synthesis. 

Transport and metabolism: 

2. Pantothenic acid transport and metabolism in the central nervous system. 

The mechanisms by which pantothenic acid (PA) enters and leaves brain, choroid plexus, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were investigated by injecting [3H]PA either intravenously or intraventricularly into adult rabbits. [3H]PA, either alone or together with unlabeled PA, was infused at a constant rate into conscious rabbits. At 180 min, [3H]PA readily entered CSF, choroid plexus, and brain. In brain, CSF, and plasma, greater than 90% of the 3H was associated with [3H]PA. The addition of 200 mumol/kg PA to the infusion syringe decreased the penetration of [3H]PA into brain and CSF by approximately 70%. Two hours after the intraventricular injection of [3H]PA, [3H]PA was rapidly cleared from the CSF by a probenecid-sensitive mechanism. No metabolism of the [3H]PA occurred in brain. However, 18 h after the intraventricular injection of 37 microCi (34 nmol) of [3H]PA, approximately 40% of the 3H remaining in forebrain was converted to [3H]CoA. These results show that PA enters and leaves CSF and brain by saturable transport systems. However, [3H]PA is very slowly converted to [3H]CoA in brain in vivo. 

3.Pantothenic acid protects jurkat cells against ultraviolet light-induced apoptosis: 

Human leukemic T lymphocytes (Jurkat cells) were induced to undergo apoptosis by brief irradiation with ultraviolet C light (254 nm). This was accompanied by accumulation of lipid peroxidation products in the form of conjugated dienes, a decrease of total glutathione content, and a shift of its redox state towards the oxidized form. Preincubation of the cells with 1 mM pantothenate resulted in a significant elevation of total glutathione content of the cells, reaching its maximum level, 160% of the control, after 3 h. Similar increase was observed after preincubation with 5 mM N-acetylcysteine, a known precursor of glutathione. Both pantothenic acid and N-acetylcysteine alleviated the ultraviolet-induced decrease of glutathione content, diminished lipid peroxidation, and partly protected the cells against apoptosis produced by ultraviolet irradiation. 

4. Pantothenic acid and its derivatives protect Ehrlich ascites tumor cells against lipid peroxidation. 

Preincubation of Ehrlich ascites tumor cells at 22 or 32 degrees C, but not at 0 degree C, with pantothenic acid, 4'-phosphopantothenic acid, pantothenol, or pantethine reduced lipid peroxidation (measured by production of thiobarbituric acid-reactive compounds) induced by the Fenton reaction (Fe2+ + H2O2) and partly protected the plasma membrane against the leakiness to cytoplasmic proteins produced by the same reagent. Pantothenic acid and its derivatives did not inhibit (Fe2+ + H2O2)-induced peroxidation of phospholipid multilamellar vesicles, thus indicating that their effect on the cells was not due to the scavenging mechanism. Homopantothenic acid and its 4'-phosphate ester (which are not precursors of CoA) neither protected Ehrlich ascites tumor cells against lipid peroxidation nor prevented plasma membrane leakiness under the same conditions. Incubation of the cells with pantothenic acid, 4'-phosphopantothenic acid, pantothenol, or pantethine significantly increased the amount of cellular CoA and potentiated incorporation of added palmitate into phospholipids and cholesterol esters. It is concluded that pantothenic acid and its related compounds protect the plasma membrane of Ehrlich ascites tumor cells against the damage by oxygen free radicals due to increasing cellular level of CoA. The latter compound may act by diminishing propagation of lipid peroxidation and promoting repair mechanisms, mainly the synthesis of phospholipids. 

This study aimed at testing human skin wound healing improvement by a 21-day supplementation of 1.0 g ascorbic acid (AA) and 0.2 g pantothenic acid (PA). 49 patients undergoing surgery for tattoos, by the successive resections procedure, entered a double-blind, prospective and randomized study. Tests performed on both skin and scars determined: hydroxyproline concentrations, number of fibroblasts, trace element contents and mechanical properties. In the 18 supplemented patients, it was shown that in skin (day 8) Fe increased (p < 0.05) and Mn decreased (p < 0.05); in scars (day 21), Cu (p = 0.07) and Mn (p < 0.01) decreased, and Mg (p < 0.05) increased; the mechanical properties of scars in group A were significantly correlated to their contents in Fe, Cu and Zn, whereas no correlation was shown in group B. In blood, AA increased after surgery with supplementation, whereas it decreased in controls. Although no major improvement of the would healing process could be documented in this study, our results suggest that the benefit of AA and PA supplementation could be due to the variations of the trace elements, as they are correlated to mechanical properties of the scars.

Pantothenic Acid:

Pantothenic acid, one of the water soluble B-vitamins, is essential in the body as a constituent of coenzyme A. Together with mercaptoethylamine, pantothenic acid makes up pantetheine. Pantetheine and adenosine-3',5'-diphosphate combine to give coenzyme A, which is important for synthesis of:

  • Fatty acids
  • Polyketides
  • Terpenoids
  • Steroids

"Pure pantothenic acid is a viscous hygroscopic oil that is chemically not very stable." In supplements it is usually included as calcium pantothenate (a solid, highly water soluble salt) or as pantothenol (an alcohol Fig.2).

Did You Know? coenzyme A (coenzyme of acetylation) is required for many acyl group transfer reaction pathways.

In order to analyze the possible role of pantothenic acid (PA) and ascorbic acid (AA) in wound healing processes, the effects of these vitamins upon the growth of fibroblasts, obtained from human fetal skin or foreskin, were studied. Cell proliferation, protein synthesis and protein release were evaluated. The rate of cell growth remained identical when PA or AA were added to the culture medium. PA increased the basal incorporation of 14C proline into precipitated material while AA did not modify this action. However, when cultures were incubated with PA and AA, the release of intracellular protein into the culture medium increased.


The effect of pantothenic acid supplementation and deficiency on wound healing was investigated over a one month postoperative period in rabbits. The supplemented group was injected with pentothenate (20 mg/kg of body weight/24 h) for three weeks and compared to a placebo group (0.5 ml of distilled water). Deficient animals were fed with a pantothenate free diet also for three weeks. These three experimental groups were matched against a control group. The degree of wound healing was determined by the mean of postoperative breaking strength and wound fibroblast population changes. Pantothenic acid urinary excretion measured by gas chromatography served as control of pantothenate consumption. With regard to these three parameters no significant difference has been found between placebo and controls. The average urinary elimination in the pantothenic acid group was significantly higher as far as the pantothenate supplemented group was concerned, while the deficient group showed no significant decrease when compared to controls. Chronic pre- and postoperative pantothenic acid supplementation significantly increased aponeurosis strength after surgery; it improved slightly, but not significantly the strength of the skin. Furthermore, the fibroblast content of the scar became significantly greater during the fibroblast proliferation phase after pantothenic supplementation. These data suggest that pantothenic acid induces an accelerating effect of the normal healing process. The mechanism responsible for this improvement seems to be an increase in cellular multiplication during the first postoperative period. But the exact intimate mechanism of the beneficial effect of pantothenate remains unclear.


Chemical Structures:

Pantothenic acid is also known as vitamin B5. Pantothenic acid is formed from ß-alanine and pantoic acid. Pantothenate is required for synthesis of CoA



Coenzyme A

and is a component of the acyl carrier protein (ACP) domain of fatty acid synthase. Pantothenate is, therefore, required for the metabolism of carbohydrate via the TCA cycle and all fats and proteins. At least 70 enzymes have been identified as requiring CoA or ACP derivatives for their function. The  biosynthesis of CoA is  summarized in the following diagram:


Deficiency of pantothenic acid is extremely rare due to its widespread distribution in whole grain cereals, legumes and meat. Symptoms of pantothenate deficiency are difficult to assess since they are subtle and resemble those of other B vitamin deficiencies.

Pantothenic Acid in the Body:

As part of coenzyme A, panthothenic acid is essential for:

  • Cellular metabolism
  • Production of:
    • Sterols such as cholesterol
    • Hormones
    • Neurotransmitters (e.g. acetylcholine)
    • Phospholipids
    • Porphyrin (constituent of haemoglobin)
    • Antibodies

The root of pantothenic acid is panthos, meaning everywhere, which is just where this vitamin is. If you eat at all, you won't get a deficiency. Like every other vitamin and mineral, coffee washes pantothenic acid out of your body. B5 also aids in changing fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into energy. Pantothenic acid helps your adrenal glands to function properly. This is especially important because your adrenals are what help you cope with stress effectively. When you have too much B5, which can really only happen if you are taking supplements, you get diarrhea. Other than that, there are no effects of too much pantothenic acid. There isn't even really an established RDA, because every normal person (meaning without any severe relevant health problems) gets enough.





Vitamin E is a mixture of several related compounds known as tocopherols. The a-tocopherol molecule is the most potent of the tocopherols. Vitamin E is absorbed from the intestines packaged in chylomicrons. It is delivered to the tissues via chylomicron transport and then to the liver through chylomicron remnant uptake. The liver can export vitamin E in VLDLs. Due to its lipophilic nature, vitamin E accumulates in cellular membranes, fat deposits and other circulating lipoproteins. The major site of vitamin E storage is in adipose tissue.

The major function of vitamin E is to act as a natural antioxidant by scavenging free radicals and molecular oxygen. In particular vitamin E is important for preventing peroxidation of polyunsaturated membrane fatty acids. The vitamins E and C are interrelated in their antioxidant capabilities. Active a-tocopherol can be regenerated by interaction with vitamin C following scavenge of a peroxy free radical. Alternatively, a-tocopherol can scavenge two peroxy free radicals and then be conjugated to glucuronate for excretion in the bile.



Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, is water-soluble and is used to make neurotransmitter acetylcholine and works in the Kreb’s cycle of energy production. It also helps release, produce, and transport energy from fats. Pantothetic acid also plays a crucial role in synthesizing cholesterol and in activating adrenal glands. A byproduct of pantothenic acid, Pantethine, has shown to lower levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood. 

pantothenic acid deficiency is very rare unless specifically engineered for the purposes of biochemical investigations. 

Along with other B vitamins, pantothenic acid is required for converting food to energy, building red blood cells, making bile, and synthesizing fats, adrenal gland steroids, antibodies, acetylcholine and other neurotransmitters. Pantothenic acid in dexpanthenol lotions and creams relieves the pain of burns, cuts, and abrasions, reduces skin inflammations, and speeds wound healing.

Vitamin B5:  Pantothenic Acid

Immune System Stimulant:  

Animal studies using Pantothenic Acid have showed interesting protection from infection.  Rats were divided into two groups, one with a diet containing Pantothenic Acid, and one with a diet deficient in Pantothenic Acid.  Each group was exposed to a source of infection.  The group whose diet was deficient in Pantothenic Acid showed a 100% infection rate.  In the group whose diet supplied Pantothenic Acid, there was approximately a 2% infection rate .  Pantothenic Acids helps to build antibodies for fighting infection, and can help the body withstand stressful conditions.  

Pantothenic acid stimulates the adrenal cortex to produce cortisone and other adrenal hormones, which help produce healthy skin and nerves, as well as combating fatigue, depression, and insomnia.  It participates in the production of energy, as well as the synthesizing of cholesterol and fatty acids.  It helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.  It can protect against the harmful effects of antibiotics.  If you work at a job that exposes you to radiation, or if you have taken medical treatments which involved radioactive substances, Pantothenic acid can help protect against the cellular damage this radiation causes .  

Vitamin B5 occurs in all living cells, both plant and animal.  Therefore, it is rare for a person not to take in enough of it.  However, it can be destroyed by too acidic or alkaline an environment, so if the body is too acidic due to too many animal products, or too much processed food, preserving this vitamin in the body is difficult.  The RDA for Vitamin B5 is 6 milligrams , although the Heinz Handbook of Nutrition suggests 10 to 15 milligrams .  No toxic effects have been reported with use.  Folic acid helps the assimilation of Pantothenic Acid.