Vitamin B5: what it is for, where to find it and symptoms of lack

Vitamin B5: what it is for, where to find it and symptoms of lack


Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, is essential for the proper functioning of the body’s metabolism, because it helps transform fat and carbohydrates in food into energy.

This vitamin is also essential for the production and balance of hormones and cholesterol in the body, in addition to being important for the production of red blood cells, which are the blood cells that transport oxygen throughout the body, helping to prevent tiredness and fatigue.

Vitamin B5 can be found in various foods, such as beef, chicken, liver, potatoes and whole grains, for example. Furthermore, this vitamin can also be found in the form of supplements, such as pantothenic acid or calcium pantothenate, and is recommended by a doctor or nutritionist in cases of vitamin B5 deficiency.

Illustrative image number 1

What is it for

Vitamin B5 is essential for maintaining health, performing the following functions:

  • Produces energy and maintains the proper functioning of the metabolism;
  • Produces and balances some hormones and cholesterol;
  • Promotes the healing of wounds and surgeries;
  • Reduces tiredness and fatigue;
  • Improves symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, such as pain and morning stiffness.

As vitamin B5 is easily found in different foods, people who eat a healthy and varied diet have adequate consumption of this nutrient.

Foods rich in vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 can be found in good quantities in wheat bran, avocado, sunflower seeds, liver, cheese, mushrooms and salmon, for example. Check out other foods rich in vitamin B5.

Recommended daily amount

The recommended daily amount of vitamin B5 may vary according to age and stage of life, as described in the following table:

Pregnant women should consume 6 mg of vitamin B5 per day and women who are breastfeeding need to ingest 7 mg of this vitamin per day.

When supplementation is indicated

In some situations, such as the use of contraceptive pills, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages, people with kidney failure or celiac disease, for example, the diet cannot provide adequate amounts of vitamin B5, resulting in a deficiency of this nutrient in the body.

In these cases, vitamin B5 supplementation may be recommended by a nutritionist or doctor, with the recommended intake of 100 to 500 mg of this vitamin per day, which can be found in the form of calcium pantothenate, pantothenic acid or even in multivitamins.

Symptoms of a lack of vitamin B5

As vitamin B5 participates in several processes in the body, its lack can lead to the development of some signs and symptoms, the main ones being:

  • Insomnia;
  • Burning sensation in the feet;
  • Tingling in hands and feet;
  • Muscle weakness;
  • Irritability;
  • Muscle cramp;
  • Nausea;
  • Headache.

Additionally, vitamin B5 deficiency can also cause hypoglycemia, decreased appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, and depression.

We regularly update our content with the latest scientific information, so that it maintains an exceptional level of quality.

  • BRASIL INTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE DO BRASIL. Fully recognized functions of nutrients: B vitamins. 2018. Available at: <>. Accessed on March 31, 2022
  • HARVARD SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH. The Nutrition Source: pantothenic Acid – vitamin B5. Available at: <>. Accessed on March 31, 2022
  • NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals: Pantothenic Acid. Available at: <>. Accessed on March 31, 2022