What is pantothenic acid?
What is pantothenic acid?
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5) is one of the eight B vitamins.
Like the other complex B vitamins, vitamin B-5 plays a vital role in helping the human body maintain good health.
One of its main functions is to convert fats, protein, and carbohydrates into energy, which is a process called oxidation.
Vitamin B-5 has also been found to help a range of health conditions, including:
It’s also known for its role in maintaining healthy hair, skin, and eyes.
You can buy a vitamin B-5 or even a complex B supplement, but you can also find this vitamin in natural sources.
Natural sources generally include the foods you eat on a daily basis, such as:
- white and sweet potatoes
- whole grain cereals
- dairy products
There are several theories that attempt to link vitamin B-5 to clearer skin.
The vitamin B-5 deficiency theory
Dr. Lit-Hung Leung was one of the first people to question whether pantothenic acid could help with acne.
In 1997, he published a research paper in The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, theorizing that the more fat a person consumes, the more severe their acne would be.
He believed that a deficiency in vitamin B-5 makes your body less capable of digesting and processing fat.
As a result, some of this excess fat is pushed through the skin in the form of sebum, which is an oily substance that’s produced from the sebaceous gland.
Each pore in your skin is connected to one of these glands. Acne usually results when these pores get clogged with:
- dead skin cells
The problem with the vitamin B-5 deficiency theory
However, there’s one big problem with this theory: Vitamin B-5 deficiency is extremely rare in people because this essential nutrient is found in most foods.
In fact, it’s so widely available that even its name, “pantothenic,” means “from everywhere.”
Other theories about pantothenic acid’s use for acne
As for current theories, Dr. Yoram Harth, a board certified dermatologist and medical director of MDacne, says that there are other possible explanations.
Vitamin B-5 may increase coenzyme A
Firstly, he says that vitamin B-5 increases coenzyme A (CoA), an agent important in lipid metabolism and other cellular processes.
“It’s believed that one of the causes of acne is a deficiency in CoA in the skin,” he says.
“Coenzyme A increases the breakdown of excess oil from the skin oil glands, and that reduces the clogging of the skin oil pores and acne breakouts.”
Vitamin B-5 helps reduce stress
Secondly, he explains that vitamin B-5 helps reduce stress.
“As acne is frequently related to increased stress, regulating stress responseTrusted Source can be another benefit of taking vitamin B-5 by people with acne.”