IMPORTANT: The information on this site should never be used to self medicate or to self diagnose. Always contact your health care provider before using any kind of supplementation or making any extreme change in diet.
This website is not written by a professional nutritionist, dietician or food specialist. It is written by me because I was so sick and tired of being told what to eat, what not to eat, what was going to cure all my ills and what was going to kill me. It is the research I have done to prove for myself what is in the food we eat and what it does in my body.
I spent long hours, months and several years digging into the research done by governments and universities and I put all down here. I try to upgrade it as often as I can. I avoid corporate research and the latest and greatest food faddists. Help yourself to bookmark it as a quick and easy reference site if you want.
It will tell you:
- How each nutrient is processed
- What it does for us
- What happens when we don’t get enough
- What happens when we get too much and
- Where we can get it
Not everybody cares about food or health but if you want some ammo to defend yourself against the endless windstorm of non-fact based spin that keeps making your head spin everytime you open your inbox then this should help.
P.S. I start each page of the vitamins and minerals with a little story because I thought it would be fun and it might help me remember more but mainly because it was fun.
The golden light of evening softly enveloped his world. The leaves of hanging willow trees and the poplars were still; as were the leaves of the maple trees that were just beginning to turn. The song birds had returned to their nests for a nights sleep. The days were shorter; the air crisper and the land was preparing for it’s long quiet rest.
The stillness brought a deep peacefulness to Payden’s mind. The work of spring planting, summer tending and fall harvesting were complete.
Payden sat comfortably on a large overstuffed lawn chair on the veranda which overlooked the now harvested garden. How great was it to have produced enough fruits and vegetables to last until the following summer; planting, growing, harvesting, canning and freezing and finally resting. It was all so deeply satisfying to participate in the cycle of nature.
He had decided to learn more about how all these fruits and vegetables were used by our bodies so his eyes moved away from the beautiful landscape back to the book in his lap.
This chapter was about pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 and much to his pleasure he read that pantothenic acid is in almost all foods.
WHAT IS PANTOTHENIC ACID?
Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic acid is a water soluble vitamin, an essential nutrient. Its main purpose is for the formation of coenzyme A. Coenzyme A is named for its acetylation reactions. Most acetylated proteins have been altered by the addition of an acetate group of molecules donated by Coenzyme A.
OK too much chem speak? This just means that a chemical grouping, in this case an acetate group, is added to a protein so that it can perform differently. Coenzyme A donates this particular chemical grouping. Pantothenic acid assists in the formation of Coenzyme A.
This addition alters the protein’s function. This ‘protein acylation’ plays a central role in cell specialisation. The following substances are all affected by this chemical reaction.
WHAT DOES PANTOTHENIC ACID DO FOR US?
Pantothenic acid’s role in life is to be part of the formation of coenzyme A. Coenzyme A, like the niacin coenzymes, is essential in a number of reactions that sustain life such as the chemical reactions (redox) that generate energy from fat, carbohydrates and proteins.
Coenzyme A is vital to synthesise or create:
1. Essential fats:
Cholesterol is imperative to our bodies survival.
3. Steroid hormones:
Steroid hormones are steroids that act as hormones but are fat soluble and can cross through the cell membrane to help create energy in the mitochondria (the inner cell).
4. The neurotransmitter acetycholine:
When we move the neurotransmitter acetycholine activates our muscles. When our hearts beat acetycholine is involved. It is involved when we sleep by inducing REM sleep and taking us into dreamland. It works in the brain to induce arousal, reward and sustained attention.
5. The hormone melatonin:
6. The part of hemoglobin called heme:
When we bleed we see the dark red colour of the iron rich part of our blood called heme.
7. It also helps the liver metabolise and deal with drugs and toxins.
Because Coenzyme A needs Pantothenic acid as a component it would not be able to function without it and all these chemicals and more would not function in our bodies, in fact we simply could not live.
The symptoms of pantothenic acid deficiency are much the same as those of other vitamin B deficiencies. Energy levels drop causing irritability, fatigue and apathy. However, pantothenic acid deficiency is extremely rare and can easily be reduces by ingesting food with pantothenic acid in it which apparently is in almost any food.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE GET TOO MUCH PANTOTHENIC ACID?
Getting too much is very difficult if not impossible. Although getting over 1200 milligrams per day can cause nausea and heartburn.
WHERE DO WE GET PANTOTHENIC ACID?
Pantothenic Acid’s name comes from the Greek word ‘pantothen’ which means, from everywhere.
Small quantities of Vitamin B5 are found in almost all foods.
Pantothenic acid is essential to all forms of life.
Linus Pauling Institute: