Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, is critical to the proper function of many systems in the body. Similar to thiamine or vitamin B1, B5 is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it breaks down in water instead of fat. For this reason, if you're supplementing your diet with B5 or changing your food intake to boost your B5 levels, it's important to stay well-hydrated. The health benefits of vitamin B5 also include aiding your body in the conversion of carbohydrates into energy and proper functioning of the nervous system.
Vitamin B5 has long been associated with reducing stress and other mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. It also improves mental clarity and fitness by regulating hormone production in the brain. B-vitamin deficiencies are not always to blame for anxiety and depression, but increasing B5 consumption may help alleviate mood swings and other symptoms.
Vitamin B5 helps regulate the heart rate as it moves blood throughout the body. It also helps retain good fats and remove excessive fats, keeping the blood vessels cholesterol-free and allowing delivery of more oxygen-rich blood to the organs. Vitamin B5 can also help control blood pressure by keeping blood vessels supple and pliant.
When vitamin B5 levels are ideal, many people notice increased energy and stamina. It's especially important to include a lot of B5-rich foods in your diet if you're an endurance athlete; the vitamin can improve performance. As mentioned above, B5 is also critical to a well-functioning heart, which keeps you going longer. Metabolic processes also require the vitamin to break down fats and complex carbohydrates and energize the body.
Vitamin B5 stimulates hormone production. Research also shows it can protect the hair follicle pigmentation. B5 contains antioxidants that preserve elasticity in the skin and keep the skin looking tighter and healthy for longer. A sufficient intake of vitamin B5 can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots on the face. As your skin renews itself, B5 can help prevent damage from free radical molecules.
The correct amount of vitamin B5 in your diet is partly responsible for white blood cell formation. Vitamin B5 facilitates the operation of almost all the significant mechanisms that the body carries out, including most metabolic processes. White blood cell production is especially important for keeping your immune system robust. When you contract a viral or bacterial infection, it's the white blood cells that go to work protecting your body and reducing the duration of your illness.
Vitamin B5 plays an important role in cell turnover and regeneration. It helps the body generate more hemoglobin by working with elements such as iron and copper. Vitamin B5 also helps process many of the macronutrients your body requires. For instance, it is essential for the metabolization of dietary fats, protein in both plant and animal sources, and turning carbohydrates into glucose, the energy that your body needs to keep going. It also helps produce amino acids and antibodies essential to a strong immune system. B5 also encourages the production of adrenal hormones.
Your metabolism determines how effectively your body extracts nutrients and energy from the foods you eat. If you have a "sluggish" metabolism, you might have low energy, some nutrient deficiencies, or cloudy thinking. Vitamin B5 helps with muscle regeneration and is essential for generating energy at a cellular level to use throughout the body. If you have a slow metabolism, you might be at risk for pre-diabetes. Increasing your B5 consumption can help reduce your risk for metabolic disorders.
Vitamin B5 is a key element in the synthesis of cholesterol -- both the "good" kind and the "bad" kind. It helps lower the levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol significantly. Studies suggest the vitamin may help reduce triglycerides in the blood and reduce fat retention. It also regulates cholesterol levels, helping your arteries remain fat-free and better able to ferry the blood. Too much cholesterol in the blood can lead to hypertension or high blood pressure.
Doctors have long been aware of the correlation between B5 levels and your body's ability to heal from wounds, cuts, and bruises. Vitamin B5 helps speed up the wound healing process and may even help the body fight off respiratory and other bacterial infections. Before supplementing with B5, consult with your doctor. B5 supplementation can cause diarrhea or an increased risk of bleeding. For this reason, people on blood thinners should take special care.
The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin B5 help lessen the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. A diet with proper amounts of this vitamin can help minimize the duration and frequency of flare-ups. There is a correlation between vitamin B5 deficiency and the severity of rheumatoid arthritis, though B5 deficiency doesn't cause the condition. Choosing to get your vitamin B5 from the foods that you eat can help with the overall autoimmune responses of related to rheumatoid arthritis, as many of these foods also have other anti-inflammatory properties and nutrients that can reduce the stress that causes flare-ups.
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