About Vitamin B5: A Guide to Usage and Dosage

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH

Introduction to Pantothenic Acid

About Vitamin B5 and foodThere are so many vitamins constantly in the media.  B12 is one we hear about often, but have you ever heard about vitamin b5? In this article, you will not only learn about vitamin b5, but all about vitamin b5 benefits. The term “Pantos” means “everywhere” in Greek. It is from this term that the name for Pantothenic Acid, more commonly known as Vitamin B5, is derived. The thing about Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid, is that it is a form of vitamin manufactured by plants. Mammals do not manufacture this vitamin intrinsically. But, fortunately, we can obtain substantial amounts of this acid in our diet. If our bodies do not have enough of this acid, we can develop a rare form of disease called Pantothenic Acid deficiency.  So, what is the true importance about vitamin b5 and how can its deficiency impact your health?  Keep reading to learn more about vitamin b5 and find out answers to these questions,

The recommended daily dosage has yet to be established. However, some scientists have given an estimation with regards to the safe and adequate daily dietary intake as follows:


Dosage level

Infants below 6 months

2 mg

Infants 6 to 12 months

3 mg

Children 1 to 3 years

3 mg

Children 4 to 6 years

3 to 4 mg

Children 7 to 10 years

4 to 5 mg

Children 11 years and above

4 to 7 mg

What type of food should we eat to obtain adequate levels of Pantothenic Acid? Doctors say that Brewer’s yeast, torula (nutritional) yeast and calf liver are excellent sources of Pantothenic Acid. In addition, we can also eat peanuts, split peas, pecan nuts, oatmeal, mushrooms, soybeans, buckwheat, sunflower seeds, red chilli peppers, avocados, lentils, cashew nuts and other whole grains and nuts.

About Vitamin B5 Properties

When Pantothenic Acid enters our bodies, it forms a substance called Pantethine. Pantethine is a more stable disulfide form (or double bonded) of Pantothenic Acid. It is also a more active metabolic substrate that is converted into an enzyme called “Co-Enzyme A” (CoA). CoA plays a critical role in the metabolism and breakdown of the three essential micronutrients: namely proteins, carbohydrates and fats.  Learn about vitamin b5 and what it does for the body below.

CoA is also a cofactor in more than 70 enzymatic pathways which including the following:

  1. Fatty acid oxidation
  2. Carbohydrate metabolism
  3. Pyruvate degradation
  4. Amino acid catabolism
  5. Heme synthesis
  6. Acetylcholine synthesis
  7. Phase II detoxification acetylation

CoA is also responsible for the initial steps of cholesterol synthesis and all downstream metabolites of cholesterol including steroids, Vitamin D and bile acids.

About Vitamin B5 and how the body utilizes itAs such, we can see that CoA is a very important enzyme. It also helps to break down the carbon skeleton of most amino acids, which are metabolized to pyruvate and enter the TCA cycle.

CoA directs acetyl groups to form all polyisoprenoid compounds, which include ubiquinone (CoQ10), squalene and cholesterol. Our bodies also need CoA for the transportation of long chain fatty acids into the mitochondria where fats are converted into energy.

In a nutshell, CoA is the basis for the production of hemoglobin, bile, sex and adrenal steroids, cholesterol, and a few brain chemicals and neurotransmitters.

We can consume Pantothenic Acid through dietary means. However, it must be noted that the more active form of Pantethine or its reduced-SH form Pantethine that contains the SH molecule necessary for enzyme activity cannot be obtained by consuming whole foods.

When we compare Pantethine with Pantothenic Acid, Pantethine is by far more active when it comes to the production of CoA. This hypothesis has been proven true by many clinical trials. Although taking Pantothenic Acid as a supplement will ultimately lead to the creation of CoA, researchers have pointed out that Pantethine creates twice as much CoA than Pantothenic Acid. This is because the structure of Pantethine is closer to the CoA production pathway.

Pantothenic Acid also has its own benefits. It enhances adrenal function and inflammatory response modulation. Both Pantothenic Acid as well as Pantethine should be considered one synergistic unit and not mutually exclusive nutrients.

Therapeutic Usage

About Vitamin B5 and your bones

Many people have been using Pantethine as a supplement to treat cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, colitis and Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Sometimes, it is also used as an “anti-stress” nutrient.

Pantethine is also well known for its effectiveness in reducing total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride level, while at the same time raising the good HDL cholesterol.

Pantothenic acid, on the other hand, is ideal for enhancing adrenal functions and reducing reliance on steroids. It also reduces elevated uric acid levels frequently associated with gout and reduces inflammatory response. Sometimes, it can be used as a substitute for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Lipid Profile Dysfunction

About 40 percent of Americans suffer from abnormal lipid dysfunction. As such, the recent focus has been on the use of Pantethine as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of this illness. Taking Pantethine orally is effective for reducing and normalizing a variety of risk factors in patients with hypercholesterolemia, arteriosclerosis, and diabetes.

About Vitamin B5 and B3 or niacin.In the past, taking niacin or Vitamin B3 would give the same effect. However, today we know that niacin can lead to inflammations in the liver and possibly raise blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Furthermore, the high doses of niacin required for therapeutic effect often lead to an intolerable flush. But, so far, Pantothenic Acid and Pantethine do not have any of such negative side effects.

While the exact mechanism of Pantethine is in normalizing parameters associated with dyslipidemia is not clear, clinical studies have proven that when pantethine is added to cultured cells, it causes an 80% inhibition in cholesterol synthesis, most likely inhibiting the activity of HMG-CoA reductase.

Pantethine can also boost the production of enzymes that helps to break down blood fats. It helps to enhance Vitamin E’s action and prevents cholesterol from building up in the blood. Pantethine also increases the amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which in turn stabilizes the cellular membrane. Furthermore, it also enhances the production of Coenzyme Q10, leading to stronger cardiac contraction force and increasing the efficiency of energy generation.

Over the years, numerous studies have validated the use of Pantethine in managing an abnormal lipid profile.

In a study, 30 patients with dyslipidemia were examined. They were all given 900 mg of Pantethine daily. Six patients in the subgroup of type IIa dyslipidemia reported a decrease in total cholesterol level by 26%, triglycerides by 28%, “bad” LDL-cholesterol by 38%, very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol by 28%, and Apo-B by 16%. At the same time, their “good” HDL-cholesterol was increased by 34%. Another nine patients with type IIb dyslipidemia experienced a decrease of 25% in total cholesterol, 49% for triglycerides, 33% for LDL-cholesterol, 44% for VLDL-cholesterol, and 11% for Apo-B. At the same time, there was a significant increase in their HDL-cholesterol by 43%. Another 15 individuals with type IV dyslipidemia reported that their total cholesterol decreased by 13%, triglycerides by 68%, VLDL-cholesterol by 53%, and Apo-B by 18%. At the same time, their HDL cholesterol was increased by 25%.

In another case, a double-blind placebo-controlled study was conducted on 29 patients with high cholesterol and triglycerides for a period of 8 weeks. They were given Pantethine at 300 mg 3 times daily. After eight weeks, the subjects reported a 30% reduction in blood triglycerides, a 13.5% reduction in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and a 10% rise in HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

Bertolini et al. treated seven children and 65 adults who suffered from hypercholesterolemia or other diseases associated with hypertriglyceridemia (types IIa and IIb of Fredrickson’s classification). Pantethine at 900 mg for children and 1,200 mg for adults were given daily for a period of 3 years. The children reported a 20% reduction in total cholesterol and a 27% decrease in LDL-cholesterol. The adults with type IIa hyperlipoproteinemia reported a 25% decrease in total cholesterol, a 39% decrease in LDL-cholesterol, a 34% decrease in Apo-B, and a slight increase in HDL-cholesterol. In the adult patients with type IIb hyperlipoproteinemia, total cholesterol was reduced by 19.8%, LDL-cholesterol by 37%, triglycerides by 31%, and Apo-B by 6%. In this subgroup, a 23% increase of HDL-cholesterol and a 15% increase in apolipoprotein A-I were also observed.

Learn about Vitamin B5 and its effect on metabolic syndrome.Donati et al. also tested the effectiveness and tolerability of Pantethine in 31 patients with dyslipidemia undergoing chronic hemodialysis. These patients were given 600 to 1,200 mg of Pantethine daily for a period of 9 months. The results revealed a significant improvement in total blood cholesterol for patients with basal hypercholesterolemia and a highly significant reduction of serum triglycerides for the entire group. However, their HDL-cholesterol or total Apo-A did not increase.

In another separate study, 600 mg/day of Pantethine was given to 37 hypercholesterolemic and/or hypertriglyceridemic patients for a three-month period. Out of all 37 patients, 21 of them were diabetic. After Pantethine was given to these patients, their total cholesterol, triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and apolipoprotein B (Apo-B) was decreased. At the same time, there was an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and apolipoprotein A (Apo-A) in all the groups. When Pantethine was not given to these patients, a reversal in the improvement of these parameters was observed.

Later on, a one year follow-up trial was again conducted in 24 patients with established dyslipidemia of Fredrickson’s types IIa, IIb, and IV, alone or associated with diabetes mellitus. Blood lipid assays revealed consistent reductions in total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and Apo-B, along with an increase of HDL-cholesterol and Apo-A in individuals with types IIa and IIb dyslipidemia. The results were equally favorable in patients with uncomplicated dyslipidemia and in those with associated diabetes mellitus. A marked reduction in triglycerides was also observed in the patients with Fredrickson’s type IV dyslipidemia.

In another experiment conducted by Binaghi et al., he used 24 hypercholesterolemic perimenopausal women as his subjects. The women were supplemented with 900 mg/day of Pantethine. After 16 weeks, they reported an efficacy rate of about 80% with significant reductions in total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and LDL/HDL ratios.

Many other studies have proven the effectiveness of using Pantethine to improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels in people with diabetes. The results were all encouraging. In one study, oral administration of Pantethine given to 31 diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia led to a decrease in their cholesterol level from a mean value of 236 mg/dl to 217 mg/dl (10% reduction). Their HDL-cholesterol level was also increased from a mean value of 40 mg/dl to 43 mg/dl (5% increase).

Adrenal Function Enhancement

Cortisol from stress: Learn about Vitamin B5 affect on stressSo, how about vitamin b5 and its impact of my adrenal glands? Well, our adrenal glands need Pantothenic Acid to manufacture anti-inflammatory hormones such as cortisol. Pantothenic Acid is therefore a potent natural treatment for inflammatory related ailments such as arthritis, colitis, and allergies. As such, we can deduce that inflammatory and infectious processes lead to cardiovascular disease. The use of Pantothenic Acid has indeed been broadening.

Pantethine seems to exert an influence over some indicators of adrenal function. Several animal experiments have shown that a lack of Pantothenic Acid will affect adrenal cortex function, most likely due to the reduction of adrenal corticosteroids. When Pantethine or CoA is injected into animals, there is a marked increase in steroidogenous effect.

During a study about vitamin b5, it was reported that Pantethine was given to 20 humans with a variety of clinical diseases to buffer the increase in 24-hour urination 17-hydroxycorticosteroids and plasma 11-hydroxycorticosteroids stimulated by a loading dose of adrenocorticotropic hormone.

We all know that Pantothenic Acid is an important nutrient to maintain an optimum adrenal function. When the adrenal glands fail to function, our bodies will not be able to produce progesterone. This will result in estrogen dominance that can lead to cancer of the ovarian, breast and cervical systems.

People who are taking steroids such as prednisone for treating health conditions such as asthma and autoimmune disease should reduce their medication dosage. With the help of Pantothenic Acid, they can be slowly be weaned of their dependency on anti-inflammatory drugs.

Therapeutic Dosage



Colitis and Crohn’s disease

900 mg daily of both Pantethine and Pantothenic Acid to reduce inflammation.


Pantothenic Acid (in the form of calcium pantothenate) 200 mg four times a day

Autoimmune and Allergic Disorders

200 to 400 mg a day of both Pantethine and Pantothenic Acid

Wound healing

900 mg of Pantothenic Acid daily

Stress and adrenal gland enhancement

200 to 400 mg a day of both Pantethine and Pantothenic Acid

Cholesterol, triglycerides stabilization

400 to 1,200 mg daily of both Pantethine and Pantothenic Acid

Get the facts about Vitamin B5 dosage.Is there anything that should worry me or concern me about vitamin b5 and its use in my life? An alert to those using Pantethine and Pantothenic Acid for adrenal fatigue recovery: While both are good nutrients, the timing and dosage of their use, either in combination or in sequence, can have very different and sometimes paradoxical outcomes. This is especially true and more prevalent the more advanced the adrenal fatigue is. Both nutrients can synergistically affect each other. They often potentiate the properties of other natural compounds as well. At times, they may trigger paradoxical reactions when concurrently used with other natural compounds. Such compounds include other vitamins, herbs, and glandulars. One can feel more anxious, “wired”, or even experience crashes when both are taken in such cases. Always consult a qualified and experienced adrenal fatigue recovery health care professional.

In addition, more caution should be exercised for young children, pregnant or nursing women or people with serious liver or kidney disease as the safe level dosage has yet to be established.

Dr. Lam’s Key Question

In general, alkalized water helps support the immune system. As for children, small amounts should be ok, but best to consult your pediatrician.

About vitamin B5

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I just finished session 2 of the yoga and I love it. I have back problems from wearing a vest all the time and patrolling with the duty belt. All that weight gives me back pain, but these exercises are helping me stretch my back out too so it’s a double plus. You don’t realize how much wear and tear you put on your body until you try to relax it. I have horrible tension problems with my shoulders so having to consciously remind myself to bring my shoulders down is also good for muscle memory. Anyways, just wanted to say thanks guys. I’m enjoying the tutorials very much. Love and light to you all, have a good day.


  • Joey says:


    I noticed that in the spring time when my allergies start I get very bad itchy, red, swollen eyes that I cannot stop itching. Also a very stuffy nose that is also running and feel just horrible.

    Over the counter antihistamines seemed to work for a day if not less.

    The only thing that seemed to work was” Avamys corticosteroid” fluticasone furoate nasal spray.

    It seemed to make me tired and dry feeling around the nose area. So I thought I would also try to resort to more natural ways.

    So I was reading on the internet reviews and came to try Vitamin B5(pantothenic acid) and was taking anywhere from 1500mg to 3000mg and it seem.

    Thank God I felt it work about 1 hr after I took the vitamin B5. I noticed one brand was better than another or maybe it was just a coincidence.

    I started to get my allergies about 5 years ago and typically between May and end of June. As I kept taking the vitamin B5 it seemed like I needed more some days that other.

    So my question is since you were saying Pantethine is somewhat better than pantothenic acid(vitamin B5) or that you can interchange them accordingly, is there a certain dosage that these should be taken together?

    Like how much of each should one take or the ratio of Pantethine and pantothenic acid should be used?

    Thank you

    • Dr.Lam says:

      The dosage can range from 50-1000 mg or much more. Each person is different.

      Dr. Lam

  • Debbie Bistricky says:

    According to saliva cortisol testing I have low, high, normal and high pattern of cortisol throughout the day. Would taking pantethine in the morning be of any benefit? Also, I have low DHEA, would 7 Keto help?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Treating lab numbers is a common clinical mistake. Correlation with symptoms is key or it can backfire easily.
      Click 7 Adrenal Fatigue Recovery Mistakes for more information.
      Click Laboratory Testing for more information.

      After reading the above, if you sent me your detailed history and current symptoms thru the ask the doctor section of my site, I will be able to give you a more specific reply in confidence.

      Dr Lam

  • Patricia Edwards says:

    I read with interest the uses for pantothene but no one mentions anything similar to my experience. I am now 68 years old but in my early thirties I was suffering from a lot of pain in my left hip. A friend gave me a pot of pantothene which I took, quite forgetting my pain. Then I ran out and shortly after my pain was back, needless to say I have taken them right up till about a year ago, with no problems at all. Now I have had pain in my right hip and I took pantothene again, it worked quickly even though I am now an old lady. 31.12.16

  • Yma says:

    What is the difference between acid and Pantothenic_acid

  • Wyandotte says:

    Hi. About using pantothenic acid (and other vitamins) it may be helpful to look at a vitamin’s functions in terms of Chinese medicine (socalled “traditional” Chinese medicine, which is not really all that traditional, but that is another story, a political one).

    I have read that Vitamin B5 is helpful in the following ways:

    *regulates Qi
    *relieves liver Qi constraint
    *harmonizes the liver-spleen-stomach
    *raises clear Yang
    *clears and eliminates damp heat
    *clears heat from the liver

    As far as the Five Stages of Energy Transformation (a.k.a. “Five Phases”) are concerned, Vitamin B-5 is “Fire” energy. Vitamin B-3 and Vitamin C also belong in this category.

    So, a Dr. who understands both styles of medicine to some degree could be helpful. Really, western scientific medicine and Chinese medicine go together so very well.

    Thank you.

  • Ralph says:

    Should pantothenic Acid be used for hyperadrenia or overactive adrenals? Or is it just for hypoadrenia or underactive adrenals?

    • Dr.Lam says:

      vit B5 is a vitamin that can support adrenal health generally but should not be considered a medication for specific adrenal conditions. The effect is highly dose dependent.

      Dr Lam

  • Crisseda H. Evans says:

    Very informative article. I am presently receiving Radiation treatments for Plazmacytoma and I am taking the blood thinner Lovenox. Would taking the Pantethine interfere with the Radiation process?
    Thank you,
    C.H. Evans

  • Teri says:

    You recommend taking both pantethine and pantothenic acid for adrenal fatigue but you said to stay away from herbs but you have recommended herbs in other articles. I am currently taking Ashwanganda and have taken other herbs for adrenal support i.e. rhodiola, ginseng etc. Are you saying to not take herbs and adaptogens at all while taking pantothenic acid or to take them couple of hours apart? Also, I what are you thoughts on pregnenolone as I have read some positive informative articles on pregnenolone for adrenal problems.

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Here is an article on pregnenolone that will explain your concern. Click Adrenal Fatigue & Hormone Therapy for more information. As far as adaptogen is concern, it does have its place but caution is advised. Because AFS is complex, your thought process should evolve the parameters upon which each compound is use, and that requires deep understanding of their chemical and physiological properties. There is no good or bad supplement. Its a matter of whether you know how to properly use it or not. The best supplement can do damage if not properly deployed. I regret there is no simple answer if that is what you are looking for because everyone is different. What works for one may not work for another. Always consult your doctor prior to embarking on any self navigation. Avoid these mistakes:
      Click 7 Adrenal Fatigue Recovery Mistakes for more information.

      Dr Lam

  • Heather says:

    I read the doses above for adrenal fatigue. I also take a whole food vitamin C up to 2000mg per day in divided doses. I have recently come off hydrocortisone to do another saliva test. What is the best time of the day and what should be taken or not taken with Panthethine/pantothenic acid? I currently take a B complex vitamin, but it only contains 100mg of Panthethine. Thank you!

    • Dr.Lam says:

      Morning is the best time to take B vitmains including pantethine. It can be taken with food or empty stomach. Do not rely too much on saliva test. Click Laboratory Testing for more information.

      Dr Lam

  • Paula says:

    What’s the best way to determine the pantethine levels in one’s body?


    You recommended Pantothenic Acid once, Sjogren’s syndrome and high cholesterol, it worked, where can I buy?

  • Cindy says:

    If I am low in Pantethine are there any symptoms that I should be looking out for?

    • Newsletter says:

      Low pantethine on its own does not usually produce specific symptoms unless it is very very low in which case other vitamin Bs are likely low and you can have issues with vitamin B deficiency as a group. That is quite rare.

      Dr Lam.

  • Ruthie says:

    I used pantethine in conjunction with several other supplements to help my adrenals rebuild and repair. this stuff really helped me