Health Benefits of Vitamin B5

Health Benefits of Vitamin B5

Health Benefits of Vitamin B5:

The Anti-Stress Factor

Vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin of the B complex group. Also known as pantothenic acid, it was discovered in 1933 by Roger Williams. Tissue extracts from a variety of biological materials provided a growth factor for yeast. This growth factor was identified as pantothenic acid, derived from the Greek word pantos, meaning 'everywhere'. It was first recognised as essential for rats, dogs, pigs, pigeons, and chicks. Williams isolated this vitamin in 1939 and later synthesised it(prepared it through chemical processes).

Pantothenic acid is a pale yellow, oily liquid which is not crystallised, but its calcium salt crystallises readily and this is the form in which it is generally available. This vitamin is not destroyed in neutral solutions, but is liable to rapid destruction in acid and alkaline mediums. It is also liable to destruction by food- processing techniques, caffeine, sulphur drugs, sleeping pills, and alcohol. Pantothenic acid is absorbed from the alimentary tract, and excreted in urine and mother's milk.

Pantothenic acid is a part of the enzyme system which plays a vital role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and in the synthesis of amino acids and fatty acids. It is also essential for the formation of porphyrin, the pigment portion of the haemoglobin molecule of the red blood cells.

This vitamin is involved in all the vital functions of the body. It stimulates the adrenal glands and increases production of cortisone and other adrenal hormones. It is primarily used as an anti-stress factor and protects against most physical and mental stresses and toxins. Pantothenic acid increases vitality, wards off infections, and speeds recovery from ill health. It helps in maintaining the normal growth and development of the central nervous system. This vitamin prevents premature ageing. It also provides protection against any damage caused by excessive radiation.