Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) is required for release of energy from food; it helps in the functioning of the adrenal gland and in the formation of antibodies. Known as the "anti-stress'' vitamin, pantothenic acid plays a role in the production of the adrenal hormones and steroids produced in the adrenal glands, and aids in vitamin utilization. It also helps to convert fats, carbohydrates, and proteins, into energy. It is required by all cells of the body and is concentrated in the organs.
A serious deficiency of pantothenic acid is uncommon because of its wide distribution in foods. Experimentally-induced human vitamin B5 deficiency has caused insomnia, leg cramps, paresthesias of the hands and feet, mental depression, decreased antibody formation, easy fatigue, gastrointestinal disturbance, and upper respiratory infections.
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