Growing up, we have all heard that vitamins are very important for us, many do not even know and still doesn’t know the real importance of vitamins and why is it essential as a part of our daily diet. Vitamins are basically compounds that are necessary for normal growth and body function that our bodies cannot make on its own, so in order for us to obtain it, we have to consume foods that are enriched with vitamins. One such vitamin that is important in our everyday lives is Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5.
Pantothenic acid, popularly known as vitamin B5, is one of the eight (8) B vitamins that is important for us. Vitamin B5 is a water soluble vitamin which basically means that the body doesn’t store it, it is execreted in the urine, so vitamin B5 should be consumed on a daily basis which is found in nearly every food type in small quantities and is said to be one of the least known vitamins.
Pantothenic, derived from the Greek word pantothen which means “from everywhere”. Not getting enough of this vitamin can lead to vitamin B5 deficiency which is rare in recent times. This essential vitamin is needed to break down fats, carbohydrates and proteins from foods consumed, in the process our bodies use them for energy. Foods that are a good source of vitamin B5 are namely: broccoli, avocados, tomatoes, whole grains, porridge, meats, cauliflower, mushrooms, grapefruit, celery, cucumbers, asparagus, eggs, sweet potato, corn turnip greens and bell peppers.
Not consuming these foods can make you deficient, symptoms of deficiency include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, tiredness, numbness, muscle cramps and sleep problems, even though they can also be symptoms of other illnesses, getting sufficient amount of vitamin B5 may be beneficial in treating or preventing the following health conditions, eye disease like cataract, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and lowers cholesterol among others.
Discovered by Roger J. Williams in 1931 while he was studying essential nutrients, the name pantothenic acid was given to the active substance in 1933 but was isolated in 1938, he later established the structure of the vitamin in 1940. During those times, research showed that pantothenic acid was essential for growth and is necessary to maintain a good health.
One of the rarest symptoms of vitamin B5 deficiency is burning foot syndrome, where tingling, numbness and burning accompanied by a shooting pain in the feet have shown to be a definite symptom of deficiency.
In order to have a deficient free life, we must eat foods that are healthy, and thus protect us from a variety of health conditions, healthy diet gives us longer lives, this vitamin can also be found in supplements or by itself in capsule forms.