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Pantothenic Acid: Essential and Abundant
If you’ve ever doubted that nature sustains and provides for human life, the essential vitamins and nutrients in our most basic foods are surely proof. For example, take Pantothenic acid. Also known as vitamin B5, Pantothenic acid is necessary to form coenzyme-A (CoA), which helps in activating and deactivating enzymes. The nutrient also plays a vital role in metabolizing and synthesizing the important elements in our food such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins. In addition, Pantothenic acid is absolutely imperative to guarantee a healthy pregnancy.
Like so many ancient and beloved words in the English language, the name of this nutrient is derived from the Greeks. Pantothen means “from everywhere.” This is more than apt seeing as trace amounts of Pantothenic acid, calcium pantothenate or its alchohol analog (provitamin panthenol) can be found in almost every eatable thing on the planet.
Although most meats (including fish and fish ovaries) and the honeybees’ consistently amazing royal jelly seem to have the highest concentration of Pantothenic acid, vegetables such as alfalfa, avocado, and broccoli contain a good amount. When farmers are fattening up their animals, they will feed them foods like wheat bran, rice, molasses and yeast, which are also good sources of this important acid.
Because Pantothenic acid is in such abundance, deficiencies are almost unheard of. Exceptions to this rule obviously include starvation victims and malnourished POWs. Nevertheless, a Pantothenic acid deficiency could easily result in a wide range of symptoms including fatigue, apathy, increased acne, increased diabetic ulceration and increased hair loss amongst others.
However, people can undoubtedly reduce the possibility of such deficiencies with a Pantothenic acid vitamin supplement. Pantothenol and calcium pantothenate are more stable forms of the vitamin and are better absorbed. Therefore, they are more often made into the dietary or multivitamin supplements available at any reliable health food store.
Of course, the scientific community and health-conscious consumers would always welcome more studies and experiments to cement the importance of Pantothenic acid. In the meantime, it is surely a safe bet to trust in nature’s provisions. Thankfully, Pantothenic acid is one of many vitamins readily available for consumption by humans and animals.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.