Pantothenic acid, formerly referred to as vitamin B5, is a natural substance widespread in foods, which gives it its name (Greek Pantos: “everywhere”). In chemical terms, it concerns an amino acid derivative β-alanine. Pantothenic acid is formed by microorganisms and some plants, but not animals higher up in the food chain. It is therefore an essential component in the human diet. The precursor, i.e. the provitamin of pantothenic acid is dexpanthenol.
Functions of pantothenic acid
The biologically active form of pantothenic acid is the coenzyme A. It is formed in the body from pantothenic acid and takes on a key role in the overall metabolism. The natural substance contributes towards a normal energy metabolism and to a regulated synthesis of steroid hormones, vitamin D and some neurotransmitters. Pantothenic acid also plays a part in normal mental performance and contributes to the reduction in tiredness and fatigue.
- Pantothenic acid is sensitive to heat. Losses of up to 45 % are to be expected in the storing and preparation of food.
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