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Vitamin B5 - Pantothenic acid

Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 traditionally belongs to the group of water-soluble B-complex vitamins.

Hypovitaminosis is not known in the normal human diet because this vitamin is very widespread in nature, it is an integral part of coenzyme A, which plays an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Pantothenic acid therapy is needed in alcoholics, people with diabetes, and women who use oral contraceptives.



Pantothenic acid was first identified by Williams in 1933 in the study of compounds required for yeast growth. Its name is derived from the Greek word “panthos”, which means “it is everywhere” and indicates its prevalence in nature. Pantothenic acid deficiency has been found to cause dermatitis in chickens. Elucidation of the biochemical function of this vitamin began in 1947, when Lipman and colleagues found that coenzyme contained in pantothenic acid (acetylcoenzyme A) was required for the acetylation of sulfanilamides.



Pantothenic acid occurs in free and bound form. In coenzyme A it is bound as pantothenic acid, in acyl-transfer protein as pantothenol. As part of the acyl-transfer protein, pantothenic acid is involved in the synthesis of fatty acids. Pantothenic acid is an optically active organic acid having one chiral center with R-configuration. This enantiomer is the D - (+) - pantothenic acid found in nature. The S-configuration has no vitamin action.

Pantothenic acid is a yellow oily liquid that is unstable and highly hygroscopic. It can be dissolved in water and the solution is thermolabile. Due to the instability and possible degradation of the insulation from natural material, today pantothenic acid is obtained exclusively synthetically.

Many pantothenic acid analogs have been researched with a desire to find anti-metabolites. The universal pantothenic acid antagonist is co-methyl-pantothenic acid (instead of the -COOH group it contains the -CH3 group at the end of the chain).



Pantothenic acid is widespread in food. Rich sources of this vitamin are meat, legumes, whole grains. Other important sources are eggs, milk, vegetables and fruits.



Following oral administration, pantothenic acid is rapidly and completely absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Bound pantothenic acid introduced through food is first converted to the free form by appropriate enzymes. As an integral part of coenzyme A, pantothenic acid is found in virtually all organisms.
High concentrations are found in the liver, adrenal glands, heart and kidneys.

Erythrocytes contain pantothenic acid in bound form in coenzyme A, while pantothenic acid circulates in the blood plasma bound to proteins. About 70 percent of pantothenic acid is excreted in the urine in unchanged form, everything else is excreted in the feces. 'Pantothenic acid is not broken down in the body, so intake and excretion are almost equal.



Pantothenic acid does not have any particular pharmacological effect. It is an integral part of coenzyme A, which is necessary in the metabolic processes of acetylation of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, as well as in the synthesis of sterols, steroid hormones and porphyrins.



Pantothenic acid deficiency is generally rare due to the frequency of this vitamin in many foods. However, if the deficiency occurs, it manifests itself in the form of neuromuscular disorders and adrenocortical insufficiency. Symptoms of pantothenic acid deficiency include: fatigue, depression, loss of appetite, cramps, indigestion and insomnia.

Deficiency of this vitamin is always accompanied by a deficiency of other B-complex vitamins. Although the use of pantothenic acid is not clearly defined, it is often an integral part of multivitamin preparations.



The recommended daily amounts of pantothenic acid according to the RDA have not been confirmed, but a daily intake of 4 to 7 mg for adults and adolescents and 3 to 4 mg for children is usually recommended. As a rule, these amounts can be taken into the body through diet.

The American Food and Nutrition Board adopted corrections to these values ​​in 1998 and recommends 5 mg / day for adult women and men, 6 mg / day for pregnant women, and 7 mg / day for breastfeeding mothers. Pantothenic acid is indicated in all forms of its hypovitaminosis, most often due to improper diet. The need for increased pantothenic acid intake usually occurs in pregnant women and alcoholics. Excessive amounts can be harmful to both the mother and the fetus.

The use of pantothenic acid in the form of a cream (2% dexpanthenol), which is applied directly to the injured area, has been shown to be very effective
in various dermatoses. Pantothenic acid has not been shown to be effective in the treatment of diabetic neuropathies, in the prevention and treatment of gray hair, in the improvement of mental abilities and in the prevention of arthritis and allergies.

There are no data on hypervitaminosis and toxic effects of pantothenic acid.



Neostigmine and other parasympathomimetics

Pantothenic acid in the form of dexpanthenol should not be administered concomitantly or for 12 hours after administration of the above medicinal products. Although the clinical significance of this interaction has not been confirmed, pantothenic acid is thought to potentiate the miotic effects of anticholinesterase in ophthalmic preparations.

Antibiotics, opiates, barbiturates

Allergic reactions of unknown cause have been observed in patients taking these medicines with dexpanthenol injections.

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