The Top Pantothenic Acid Benefits?
You probably already know that we love our B vitamins at Athletic Greens. And, you guessed it, pantothenic acid benefits health precisely because it’s another one of those B vitamins.
It’s vitamin B5 to be more precise and, like all B group vitamins, it’s water soluble. This means you can take it safely in large doses.
More importantly, it’s vital for a range of bodily processes including metabolism and cellular energy production, and must be obtained from food.
Fortunately, it’s not too hard to find. It’s readily available in whole foods, such as eggs, shellfish, organ meats, legumes, mushrooms, and a variety of vegetables. In fact, its name is based on the Greek word ‘pantos’, meaning ‘everywhere’, referring to its ubiquity in the human diet.
It’s ‘everywhere’ in the body, too, suggesting its importance for health. Few cellular functions are actually able to run effectively without it.
One of the main places in the body you’ll find pantothenic acid is in human breast milk. Again, this proves how vital it is for life itself. The levels present in breast milk appear to reflect the nutritional status of the mother at the time.
Is Energy Boosting The Main Pantothenic Acid Benefit?
In Athletic Greens, we get our pantothenic acid in the form of calcium pantonthenate. It has a well-earned reputation for boosting energy, being the famous precursor to coenzyme A (CoA).
This is a vital enzyme that you may have read about elsewhere on Athletic Greens. It helps us produce energy - and sustain life. More specifically, this enzyme is involved in shuttling fatty acids into cells, where they’re used by the mitochondria to produce energy.
Because of this, pantothenic acid is strongly linked to metabolism, energy levels, the correct use of fats, and cardiovascular health. It has also been shown to exert important ‘downstream’ effects on hormonal function and tissue repair.
Most commonly though, you will find it sold in B Vitamin complexes as part of an energy boosting or stress relieving formula. In Athletic Greens, it seems to work well alongside other supplements – more about that later.
The Other Key Pantothenic Acid Benefits
You already know about the benefits of pantothenic acid in energy production. This, plus its role in other key bodily processes are described in more detail below, as we look at how this vitamin is used to promote human health:
→ For stress
Unfortunately, another of the most well-known uses of pantothenic acid - for combatting stress - has the least amount of quality research behind it.
However, there’s a clear physiological link between pantothenic acid and adrenal function - the glands that produce stress hormones.
Pantothenic acid helps the body use fats in various ways, one of which is to produce hormones. Deficiency can result in a lack of ‘substrate’ to create adrenal hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine.
Deficiency of pantothenic acid is also linked to damage of the adrenal glands.
→ For skin health
It’s not entirely clear why pantothenic acid combats acne and skin lesions, but deficiency is linked to increased blemishes.
Supplementation with pantothenic acid, in combination with other B group vitamins and carnitine, has been proven to reduce breakouts.
It also has legendary wound-healing powers, encouraging new cell growth and collagen-like factors to develop in the skin.
→ For lowering high cholesterol and blood lipids
A derivative of pantothenic acid, pantethine, has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and overall risk of cardiovascular disease. It is medically-approved for this purpose in Japan.
→ For athletic performance
Pantothenic acid makes for speedy athletes! Thanks to its role in the production of CoA (which enables us to ‘burn’ fats for fuel), it may support efficient metabolism and energetic output, according to a 2010 study.
Other Possible Pantothenic Acid Benefits
As well as the main pantothenic acid benefits described above, there are other possible uses of this supplement that require further research.
The scientific evidence is not yet clear, but there are encouraging signs for the use of this vitamin in the following areas:
Blood sugar support
Diseases of the nervous system
Premature greying of the hair
Each of these conditions has been linked to pantothenic acid deficiency, according to a recent study by the Linus Pauling Institute, at Oregon State University.
How To Safely Enjoy Pantothenic Acid Benefits
General dosage recommendations sit between 50 and 250 mg per day. However, much higher doses are used to treat high cholesterol, stress, and for wound healing.
It appears to be very safe to use and no toxic levels have been established for supplemental pantothenic acid.
Why Supplement With Pantothenic Acid?
Pantothenic acid is commonly used as a stress reliever and to relieve fatigue. In fact, it has been shown to work reasonably quickly to relieve adrenal fatigue, especially if it’s mild.
Because this vitamin is water soluble, you can mega-dose safely with it for especially rapid results – up to 5 g per day for instance. If in doubt, check with your medical professional or nutritionist.
Pantothenic acid also has a reputation as something of a ‘heart hero’, well backed up by research.
It is proven to lower LDL cholesterol and reduce total risk for cardiovascular disease, with secondary benefits for athletic performance and energy levels being theoretically likely.
Its critical role in the function of Coenzyme A means that it may be useful for a variety of conditions – notably skin problems, as well as stress states and cholesterol management (already mentioned above).
While it is readily available in the types of foods mentioned in the introduction, vegetarians and vegans may experience a pantothenic acid deficiency and may benefit from supplementing.
Pantothenic acid is included in Athletic Greens because of the benefits for bodily functions described and due to its widespread potential use.
It works well alongside the rhodiola, eleuthero, and ashwagandha in Athletic Greens to help the body adapt to stress. It may also work well with zinc and grapeseed extract for wound healing and treating skin conditions such as acne.
You get all of these in a single dose of Athletic Greens.