VITAMIN B5 Pantothenate is of interest to me. As a functional medical consultant, we commonly see this deficiency in our clients with GI related issues and in myself. As a person who has recovered from Crohn’s, colitis, IBS, IBD, RA and a host of serious issues, including what we think was an umbilical hernia at birth, my live blood work was SCARY! Leaky gut and issues surrounding my absorption has me interested in this B vitamin, not many talk about.

What is the message recommending or promoting?

I do not personally read any advertisements for supplements so I felt I would take the time to delve into a vitamin of less interest to others and especially interesting to me. B5 (Pantothenic Acid) is a less common deficiency. It performs RBC production, sex and stress-related hormones, immune function, healthy digestion and helps other vitamins. You can gain this nutrient from meat, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lentils, egg yolks, milk, sweet potatoes, seeds, nuts, wheat germ and salmon. Symptoms of deficiency include: stress tolerance, wound healing issues, skin problems and fatigue.

What problem is this recommendation intended to solve? Is it, in your opinion, an important problem?

Deficiency in B5 are serious, according to nutrient function lists. B5 and vitamin C have sparing affects on each other. This component of Coenzyme A is a cofactor in over 70 enzymatic pathways. B5 is essential to the production of energy from food in the form of ATP. Deficiencies affect hormones, adrenals and oxygen utilization and much more.

What questions are being asked about this problem (by the author, or in the research cited)? And what questions are not being asked?

All the topics are covered in this article by the author regarding B5, I can think of. My only hope and prayer is that clinical trials and studies are performed to explain the issues in the gut microbiome affecting people and figuring out a way to heal the gut in order to avoid this deficiency. More research is needed currently to explain why people like me can consume enough and have grossly deficient levels.

What might be some important consequences of accepting these conclusions (for society, the environment etc)

This overlooked nutrient may be a key to understanding digestive permeability and leaky gut syndromes. Seeing this pattern and increasing the whole foods people can tolerate to increase absorption, can improve people’s nutritional status. Ignoring the importance of B5 pantothenate makes no sense and we are grateful for functional micronutrient testing to properly identify deficiencies.

What kinds of evidence are being used to answer these questions? How does it relate to other evidence on this topic, if you know.

There appear to be a lot of animal tests showing various issues from deficiencies including, gray hair, lowering testosterone etc. The nutrient was identified in 1933 and that seems not that long ago, however seems to be not as researched as some other nutrients.

What kinds of assumptions are being made about the problem?

It appears that because B5 has so many affects, is a cofactor of or a precurser to so many actions, it is critical to keep levels stable through dietary means, supplementation when necessary and monitor regularly after a deficiency is identified.

What can you tell about the author’s approach to nutrition science? What might be missing?

The author, Gregory S. Kelly ND appears to be very sensible and offers whole food sources, clearly stating the background and history of the nutrient and what is a way and how much to get daily. The sourced references are extensive and the symptoms from deficiency too extensive to list. My only complaint is why so many animal studies? We have so many GI problems in the US that people wait months to even see a doctor and they need to see a nutrition professional, get their levels checked and heal leaky gut with food, not colonoscopies and risky surgical and other procedures. I intent to publish my before and after blood work and hope to inspire more research on leaky gut.

Are the conclusions well reasoned and warranted by the evidence? Explain.

I do not believe there has been enough clinical studies performed to fully understand the issues with B5 pantothenate deficiency. The article is thorough and was published in 2011.