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by Glen Depke, Traditional Naturopath

When you think of B-vitamins, what comes to mind?

Most commonly, what would come to mind is B12, B6, folate (AKA folic acid). After all, these B vitamins are talked about the most.

Perhaps you’ve also heard of thiamin, riboflavin, biotin or niacin? While these are often discussed, many people do not connect the fact that these are also B vitamins.

What may be interesting though, is that I mentioned 7 of the B vitamins here, and yet, there is a total of 8 in the family of B’s.

So What Is Missing?

What’s missing is vitamin B5, most commonly known as Pantothenic Acid.

This little known and discussed B vitamin is one of the most important vitamins for human life. This is an essential need for everything listed below.

  • Manufacturing blood cells
  • Converting food into energy
  • Production of ketones
  • Manufacturing of hormones such as cortisol, cortisone, DHEA and even testosterone and estrogens
    • Basically your stress and sex hormones
  • Acetyl-coenzyme A production
  • Fatty acid synthesis
  • Enzyme function
  • Liver detoxification pathways
  • Brain health
  • And so much more…

What’s interesting is that most vitamin B complexes do not even contain vitamin B5.

Sad but true.

Natural Sources of Vitamin B5

  • broccoli
  • members of the cabbage family
  • white and sweet potatoes
  • whole-grain cereals (not typically recommended)
  • mushrooms
  • nuts
  • beans
  • peas
  • lentils
  • meats
  • poultry
  • dairy products
  • eggs

According to the Mayo Clinic, people with a B5 deficiency are often experiencing other vitamin deficiencies at the same time.

Symptoms of a B5 Deficiency are Likely to Include

  • headache
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • impaired muscle coordination
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • hormone imbalance

Symptoms may improve once you start getting enough vitamin B5.

Why You May Be Deficient in B5 or Any Other B Vitamin

One of the biggest challenges regarding vitamin B5 and other B’s is tied into poor digestion. Understand that your body needs adequate digestion, healthy intrinsic factor and proper stomach acid production to absorb and assimilate your B vitamins.

And this is a much bigger issue that you may think. I regularly see clients dealing with gut infections such as parasites, H-pylori, detrimental bacteria, yeast infections and much more. Also, those living with food sensitivities, high stress and brain dysfunction, are all driving these digestive issues and B vitamin deficiencies.

Sometimes something as easy as taking a quality prebiotic/probiotic and a comprehensive digestive enzyme and get your digestive health back in line.

Supporting your digestive system while taking a quality (and inexpensive) vitamin B5 supplement has the potential to help you immensely.

Use in medical conditions

People take vitamin B5 supplements and derivatives to help with a range of conditions.

These conditions include:

  • acne
  • ADHD
  • alcoholism
  • allergies
  • asthma
  • baldness
  • burning feet syndrome
  • carpal tunnel syndrome
  • celiac disease
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • colitis
  • conjunctivitis
  • convulsions
  • cystitis
  • dandruff
  • depression
  • diabetic nerve pain
  • dizziness
  • enlarged prostate
  • headaches
  • heart failure
  • insomnia
  • irritability
  • leg cramps
  • low blood pressure
  • low blood sugar
  • multiple sclerosis
  • muscular dystrophy
  • neuralgia
  • obesity
  • osteoarthritis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • premenstrual syndrome
  • respiratory disorders
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • salicylate toxicity
  • tongue infections
  • wound healing
  • yeast infections

So in the end, enhance your digestive function with quality a quality prebiotic/probiotic formula and comprehensive digestive enzyme, eat more B5 containing foods and take your vitamin B5 supplementation to boost your levels of this important nutrient.

Also, If you have any comments or questions regarding this article please email me at

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You can also call our office direct at (800) 960-2755.

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