Vitamin B5 (panthothenic acid), is one of the B-complex vitamins that’s known for a number of positive effects. Since its discovery in 1919, it’s been deemed an essential nutrient. Since the human body cannot produce it, we need to consume it through our diet and through supplementation.

This vitamin is essential when metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. When users take a cholinergic supplement stack, they should be consuming additional vitamin B5. This is because it’s a necessary component when synthesizing acetylcholine. It’s also used to produce coenzyme-A.

All B vitamins are water soluble, which means our bodies do not store them. Not only does this vitamin play a role in the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats for energy, but it also helps manufacture red blood cells, as well as stress and sex-related hormones.

This vitamin is found in small quantities across a wide range of foods. You will typically find the highest concentrations in eggs, legumes, whole-grain cereal, yogurt, meat, and avocado. Due to excessive processing, a good portion of vitamin B5 is removed from many natural food sources (particularly in the Western diet).

The Effects of Vitamin B5

As mentioned, vitamin B5 is essential for the synthesis of acetylcholine. It metabolizes choline, allowing acetylcholine to be produced. Our brains use acetylcholine for a number of cognitive processes, including memory encoding, increased neuroplasticity, and increased levels of concentration.

Whenever taking certain nootropics (particularly racetams), it’s recommended that you also take a choline supplement. In terms of vitamin B5, it’s recommended whenever you’re taking a choline supplement. This will allow you to experience the full benefits of your stack.

When you do not consume enough vitamin B5, you may not notice significant changes when taking an acetylcholine precursor. When taking a racetam such as Piracetam, low levels of vitamin B5 could lead to headaches. This occurs because there’s not enough acetylcholine to meet the demands of your neurons.

Although vitamin B5 is known for its effects on acetylcholine, it is involved in a number of other important effects as well. When in its CoA form, vitamin B5 helps extract energy from starches, sugars, and fats. Athletes tend to have higher levels of vitamin B5, which is more than likely due to sustained energy,

Vitamins B5 is also used to create fat, since cholesterol, fatty acids, and sphingosine all depend on this vitamin for their synthesis. Basically, this supplement contributes to the chemical structure of fat. In specific situations, vitamin B5 also helps modify the function and shape of proteins.

The Benefits of Vitamin B5

When adding vitamin B5 to your stack, you can create a wide variety of benefits. This is especially the case when taking cholinergic compounds, such as choline supplements and racetams. When you take vitamin B5 you can help increase levels of focus, improve your memory, and reduce brain fog.

When acetylcholine levels are increased (with the help of vitamin B5), your brain becomes more plastic. This means that new connections are made and adapted. Since the aging population tends to have lower levels of acetylcholine, vitamin B5 is beneficial for elderly individuals.

This is especially true when experiencing age-related memory loss. It also has the potential to slow down the progressive nature of an aging brain (possibly reducing one’s risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia). It’s important to take proactive measures whenever possible.

When focusing on reducing one’s cholesterol, vitamin B5 can help. Triglycerides are fats that are located in the blood. When levels are high, there tends to be a higher amounts of ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) in our system. Studies have shown that vitamin B5 helps to reduce these levels, while boosting ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL).

When taking vitamin B5, you can also increase healing speed. A few studies have supported this effect, especially after someone has been involved in surgery. Vitamin B5 was found to increase healing speed. In order to maximize healing benefits, you should also take vitamin C with your vitamin B5 supplement.

Vitamin B5 is used to treat acne, allergies, asthma, ADHD, yeast infections, respiratory conditions, celiac disease, convulsions, heart failure, and depression. It’s also taken orally for Parkinson’s, arthritis, nerve pain, PMS, anxiety, and to stimulate adrenal glands.

Although vitamin B5 deficiencies are not as common today, there are some cases. To treat deficiencies, supplementation is suggested. If you are currently deficient, you may be experiencing weakness, fatigue, or even ‘burning foot syndrome.’ This is where your feet tingle, burn, or go numb. In this case, supplementing with other B vitamins is recommended (especially vitamin B1 and B3).

What Side-Effects Should I Be Concerned About?

When taking vitamin B5, there are no associated dangers. With that being said, you should be mindful of a few concerns. Most users will not experience any negative effects. When taking vitamin B5 at extremely high doses, you may experience diarrhea or increase your risk of bleeding.

If you begin to experience any side-effects, stop taking this vitamin. Speak with your doctor if you’re concerned with any negative symptoms. If you’re taking Tetracycline, avoid taking vitamin B5. The same is true if you’re currently on antibiotics or taking any treatment drugs for Alzheimer’s, speak to your doctor about possible interactions. This is especially the case for cholinesterase inhibitors.

What Is the Recommended Dosage?

When taking vitamin B5, it’s recommended that you take approximately 5 mg daily. This dose is accordingly to the guidelines of the FDA. Doses higher than 5 mg have been determined to be safe. If you’re pregnant or breast feeding, you’re advised to take 6 to 7 mg per day.

When taking vitamin B5, it’s recommended that you do so with other B complex vitamins. Take this supplement after eating, with water. If you’re attempting to treat a specific condition, speak with your healthcare provider. When treating specific conditions, doses may be significantly increased.

If you’re taking choline supplements such as Alpha GPC, it’s recommended that you do so through a 1:2 ratio. If you take 200 mg of Citicoline for instance, take 100 mg of vitamin B5. This is substantially higher than the FDA recommended amount, however doses this high do not create toxicity effects.