Pantothenic acid is also known as pantothenate or more commonly as vitamin B5. Its name derives from the Greek pantothen meaning ?from everywhere?, mainly because small quantities of pantothenic acid are found in nearly every food. High levels of pantothenic acid are found in whole-grain cereals, legumes, eggs, meat, royal jelly, avocado and yoghurt. The body requires adequate levels of vitamin B5 in order to metabolise other nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It converts these nutrients into usable energy and nourishes all the cells in the body.
Vitamin B5, just like all other B vitamins, is best known for providing nourishment to the hair follicles in order for them to function properly. It strengthens and improves the hair follicle function in order to keep the hair follicle healthy to grow hair. This means that it is essential for hair growth and health and a lack of vitamin B5 will lead to malnourishment of hair follicles that can result in decreased hair growth or even loss. Because of this, pantothenic acid is widely used within cosmetic products like shampoo to enhance our levels of this key vitamin and ensure consistent healthy hair growth.
Because vitamin B5 is present in so many different foods, a deficiency is incredibly rare. However, if you were to experience a vitamin B5 deficiency it would result in decreased hair growth and hair loss due to malnourishment of the hair follicles. You may also suffer from other symptoms including depression, fatigue, difficulty sleeping and irritability, which can all worsen the effects of hair loss. Our recommended daily intake of vitamin B5 is around 25-50mg per day, however larger doses are unlikely to affect our health.
Vitamin B5 deficiency is not the only factor causing hair loss, in fact it is quite a rare cause of thinning and decreased hair growth. Other factors including male pattern baldness, genetics, nutrition, dramatic weight loss and various medications are more likely to lead to hair loss. This is where an increased intake of vitamin B5 can be beneficial in order to stop hair loss in its tracks and encourage the growth of strong and healthy hair. Food sources alone are unlikely to combat hair loss caused by other factors, which is why pantothenic acid supplements have become increasingly popular.