Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, is an antioxidant water-soluble vitamin needed to break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. This helps in cell building, maintaining normal growth and development of the central nervous system. It stimulates the adrenal glands and increases the production of cortisone and other adrenal hormones. It is essential for conversion of fatty and sugar to energy. It also helps guard against most physical and mental stresses and toxins and increases vitality. which means that it cannot be stored by the body and must be replenished every day. The main sources of this vitamin are whole grain bread and cereals, green vegetables,peas , beans, peanuts and egg yolk. It can be synthesised in the body by intestinal bacteria. A deficiency can cause chronic fatigue, hypoglycaemia, greying and loss of hair, mental depression, stomach disorders , blood and skin disorders.
The minimum daily requirement of this vitamin has not been established, but is estimated to be between 30 and 50 mg a day. The usual therapeutic doses are 50 to 200 mg. In some studies, 1,000 mg or more were given daily for six moths without side effects. It is useful in the treatment of insomnia, low blood pressure and hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar.