D-Calcium pantothenate is a common supplemental form of synthetically prepared pantothenic acid, better known as Vitamin B5.  This essential nutrient is soluble in water and found in almost all foods, but most abundant in meats, eggs, dairy products, peanuts, whole grains and fresh vegetables.   This vitamin is a major player in the formation of Coenzyme A, therefore vital for the metabolism and syntheses of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for its oxidation role.   There is no wonder this vitamin has adopted the name pantothen, meaning “from all sides” or  “from everywhere” in Greek.


Chemically, pantothenic acid is an amide found between D-pantoate and B-alanine.  Only D-isomers of this vitamin offers biological activity.  Ironically, the L-isomer acts antagonistically against its D-form.  Vitamin B5 is highly concentrated in the muscles of all animals, mainly humans.  It is known to act as a catalytic agent assisting muscles for protein absorption and restoration of elasticity.  The supplemental calcium form carries a salt making it more stable than its natural state.  This allows for better absorption in the digestive tract.


Deprivation of this vitamin is very rare in humans although sometimes evident.  Deficiencies can lead to a drop in adrenalin synthesis, resulting in weakened muscle tissues and disruption of the nervous system with signs of fatigue and irritability.  Because pantothenic acid is responsible for synthesizing coenzyme A, which in turn offers its acyl group in the formation of acetyl-CoA to enter the tricarboxylic acid cycle – a major energy pathway, absence of this vitamin can affect neurological processes.  Other symptoms and occurrences may result in an increased sensitivity to insulin causing hypoglycemia, restlessness, nausea, and abdominal cramps.


For the average adult, the daily recommended dosage of vitamin B5 is 5 mg.  Pregnant or women breast-feeding should increase to 1 and 2 mg per day, respectively.  When substituting D-calcium pantothenate in place of the naturally occurring form, every 10 mg accounts for 9.2 mg of pantothenic acid.



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