Vitamin B5 Deficiency

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 20/11/2023

Vitamins are organic substances that help your body to carry out an array of functions. Among the essential 13 vitamins, vitamin B5 plays a crucial role.

Also known as Pantothenic acid, vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin. It belongs to the B group of vitamins. Vitamin B5 plays an essential role in breaking down fats and carbohydrates to produce energy. It helps your nervous system function properly and maintain healthy skin, hair, eyes, and liver.

Hence, B vitamins, including vitamin B5, are critical for the body’s growth and development. In this article, we will discuss all about vitamin B5, how its deficiency affects you, and how you can overcome it to maintain a healthy body.

Why Does Your Body Need Vitamin B5?

Vitamin B5 performs the following functions for your body:

Converts food into glucose

Synthesises cholesterol

Helps in the formation of stress-related and sex hormones

Helps in the formation of red blood cells

Helps maintain a healthy digestive system

Assists your body in using other vitamins

Helps maintain healthy skin

Helps boost your immune system

Vitamin B5 Deficiency Symptoms

The other name for vitamin B5 is Pantothenate or pantothenic acid. It is derived from the Greek word “pantou”, which translates to ‘everywhere’.

Vitamin B5 pantothenic acid is found in small quantities in nearly all foods. This is the reason why vitamin B5 deficiency is rarely found in the developed parts of the world.

However, people lacking a healthy and varied diet may develop pantothenic acid deficiency diseases. Genetic mutations can also lead to a deficiency of the vitamin.

Vitamin B5 deficiency symptoms:

Sleep disorders



Stomach pains



Muscle cramps



Numbness in hands or feet



Respiratory infections

Causes of Vitamin B5 Deficiency

Vitamin B5/pantothenic acid deficiency is referred to as hypovitaminosis B5. It happens in cases of acute malnutrition.

Some gastrointestinal diseases also cause vitamin B5 deficiency. Additionally, the deficiency can occur due to genetic mutations where pantothenic acid is not metabolised.

This disorder is referred to as Pantothenate Kinase-Associated Neurodegeneration (PKAN).

Uses of Vitamin B5

Vitamins, including vitamin B5, are used in the treatment of the following health problems:

Yeast infections

Tongue infections


Rheumatoid arthritis

Respiratory disorders

Low blood pressure








Celiac disease

Chronic fatigue syndrome

Enlarged prostate


Heart failure

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)




How to Overcome Vitamin B5 Deficiency?

A balanced diet is the best way to overcome vitamin B5 deficiency. Here’s a table that gives a clear picture of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B5 for various age groups:

Age group  Daily intake amount (mg) 
6 months or less  1.7
7 months - 1 year  1.8 
1-3 years  2
4-8 years  3
9-13 years  4
14 years and above  5
Pregnant women  6
Lactating women  7

Food Sources of Vitamin B5

Vitamin B5 is found in most plants and animals. Here’s a list of foods that can help you get the vitamin:

Meat: Chicken, beef, pork, turkey, and animal organs like kidney and liver

Fish: Shellfish, lobster, and salmon

Dairy products: Milk, eggs, and yoghurt

Vegetables: Avocado, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms, broccoli, corn, and tomatoes

Grains: Cereals and whole grain bread

Legumes: Lentils and soybeans

Other foods that contain vitamin B5 include peanuts, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, and wheat germ.

Note: While pantothenic acid is present in most foods, it is lost in processing, like in freezing, canning, and milling. So, make sure you consume the foods fresh. Further, vitamin B5 is water soluble and hence excreted via urine. Since your body does not store it, you need to consume vitamin B5-rich foods regularly. You can also take vitamin B5 in a supplement form.

Wrapping Up

Vitamin B5 deficiency symptoms do not show in isolation. They appear due to other B complex vitamin deficiencies. People at risk of developing the deficiency include alcoholics, women on oral contraceptives, and people with impaired absorption or acute malnutrition.

Now that you know all about vitamin B deficiency, it is important to consume a balanced diet to avoid potential health issues.

Besides this, you should also consider buying a health insurance plan to ensure financial security during a health crisis. Medical insurance is an effective tool to tackle expensive medical bills without dipping into your savings.

There are several benefits of health insurance, such as ensuring you live without financial stress and can overcome medical challenges with access to the right healthcare.

So, visit the Tata AIG website today and buy a suitable health insurance plan!


What are the symptoms of vitamin B5 deficiency?

Sleep disorders, tiredness, irritability, stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, restlessness, etc., are some symptoms of vitamin B5 deficiency.

Who is most at risk for vitamin B5 deficiency?

People with a genetic mutation of the Pantothenate Kinase 2 (PANK2) genes are at risk of developing vitamin B5 deficiency diseases. This results in pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration. People suffering from acute malnutrition are also prone to developing vit B5 deficiency disease.

Is it safe to take pantothenic acid/ vitamin B5?

Yes, you can consume pantothenic acid/ vitamin B5 orally. Pantothenic acid is a water-soluble vitamin and is thus filtered by the urinary tract system. However, it is advised to consult a doctor before consuming oral supplements if you are already on some drugs.

How do you check vitamin B5 levels?

You can check vitamin B5 levels in the blood through a vitamin B5 test.

How do you treat vitamin B5 deficiency?

You can treat vitamin B5/ pantothenic acid deficiency disease by consuming a diet rich in vegetables, meat, milk, eggs, cereal grains, and legumes.

What does vitamin B5 do for the skin?

Vitamin B5 keeps your skin smooth, soft, and healthy. Its anti-inflammatory effect helps stimulate the healing process of your skin. Vitamin B5 also helps in reducing acne.

Can I take vitamin B5 supplements every day?

Yes. However, you should take vitamin B5 dietary supplements under the supervision of a healthcare provider. The vitamin may interact with other medications and lead to potential side effects. Having said that, doses equal to the recommended daily intake or moderately higher are generally considered safe by doctors.

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