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Vitamin B5 is one of my favorite vitamins. Sometimes you’ll see it written as pantothenic acid, and sometimes you’ll see it written as pantathene.
Because B5 is so diverse in so many foods, a lot of doctors just completely dismiss the possibility that Vitamin B5 might even be deficient. However, in my experience it is a very, very common deficiency, much more common than the textbooks will talk about.
Vitamin B5 is important in the production of antibodies. So if you’ve ever had an antibody test, especially those of you might’ve had antibody tests done for food allergies. Generally when doctors are measuring immune responses, they’re going to measure your antibody responses.
Vitamin B5 is necessary to make cholesterol. Remember how critical cholesterol is. If you haven’t heard me talk in depth about cholesterol, you should go back and review my crash course on cholesterol here:
Vitamin B5 is necessary to form cortisol. Now why is that so important? Cortisol is your body’s firetruck, right? It’s your body’s way of fighting inflammation. So anytime you have inflammation, your body should respond by producing more cortisol to control that inflammation so that it doesn’t come completely overtake your life. We want our body’s natural ability to control that inflammation to be intact. And in my opinion that’s one of the most important functions of Vitamin B5.
You also need vitamin B5 to get energy from carbs, fat and protein. It’s part of how we break these things down. You’ve got to have vitamin B five to drive energetics, to drive the energy production from the food that you eat. So if you’re finding yourself chronically tired or chronically hungry, these might be symptoms that your B five is not up to par.
Acetylcholine is one of the main neurotransmitters or neurochemicals.
Think of this as a brain chemical, but it’s not just the brain, but also the central nervous system, and the peripheral nervous system. It’s a brain and nervous system chemical that allows your nerve cells to communicate. So it allows for talking between your nerves. Without that, you’re kind of out of business, right? And again, you’ve got to have vitamin B5 to form that acetylcholine.
You also need vitamin B5 to form another neurochemical. This one’s very important: epinephrine. Epinephrine is also known as adrenaline, so most of you probably heard of adrenaline before. You need adrenaline or epinephrine in order to produce noradrenaline, and you also need it in order to produce dopamine.
Those are your predominant functions of Vitamin B5.