Introducing Vitamin B5

The Stress Reducer

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Feeling stressed? Your vitamin B5 intake may have an important role to play. Vitamin B5, also know as Pantothenic acid, is critical to the development of stress-related hormones produced in the adrenal glands, small glands that sit on top of the kidneys.

Vitamin B5, like all B vitamins, helps convert food into glucose and break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins for energy generation. Additionally, this essential nutrient is important for maintenance and repair of tissues and cells of the skin and hair, helps in healing of wounds and lesions, and pantethine, which is a form of vitamin B5, normalizes blood lipid profiles. Vitamin B5 also helps in the production of red blood cells.

Sources of Vitamin B5

The primary sources of vitamin B5 in animal products are found in offal (liver, kidneys), meat (chicken, beef), egg yolk, milk, fish. While pantothenic acid can also be derived from produce such as potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms, it can also found in whole grain cereals. 

Bioavailability of Vitamin B5

The bioavailability of pantothenic acid from food sources is about 50%. Although vitamin B5 is quite stable if heated, extended cooking times and prolonged high temperatures (such as boiling temperatures) can cause greater loss of the vitamin. Pantothenic acid is also destroyed in the process of freezing, canning, or refining.

Risks Related to Inadequate or Excess Intake of Vitamin B5 

Vitamin B5 deficiency is very rare and symptoms involve a general failure of all the body’s systems. Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and tingling sensations know as “burning feet” syndrome. No adverse effects have been reported with high intakes of vitamin B5.

Additional information on vitamins and micronutrient deficiencies is available though our partner, Vitamin Angels or download our complete vitamin and mineral guide here

Incorporate vitamin B5 into your next dinner with this delicious recipe below. 

Irish Beed Stew*


1½kg/3lb 5oz stewing beef, cut into cubes
175g/6oz streaky bacon
3 tbsp olive oil
12 baby onions, peeled
18 button mushrooms, left whole
3 carrots, cut into quarters or 12 baby carrots, scrubbed and left whole
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1 tbsp chopped thyme
2 tbsp chopped parsley 
10 cloves of garlic, crushed and grated
425ml/15fl oz red wine
425ml/15fl oz chicken or beef stock

For the roux

50g/2oz butter
50g/1¾oz flour
champ, to serve


Heat a casserole or heavy saucepan and then add the olive oil to brown the beef and bacon. Remove the meat and toss in the onions, mushrooms and carrots, one ingredient at a time, seasoning each time with salt and pepper.  Place the meat back in the casserole, along with the herbs and garlic. Cover with red wine and stock and simmer for one hour or until the meat and vegetables are cooked.

 To make the roux, in a separate pan melt the butter, add the flour and cook for two minutes. When the stew is cooked, remove the meat and vegetables. Then bring the remaining liquid to the boil and add one tbsp of roux. Whisk the mixture until the roux is broken up and the juices have thickened, allowing to boil. Replace the meat and vegetables, and taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with champ.

*Adapted from Rachel Allen online