Pantothenic acid is vitamin B5. You use it to make coenzyme A, a molecule that is central to energy metabolism, most famous for forming acetyl CoA, which lies at the intersection of all anabolic (building up) and catabolic (breaking down) reactions.
Alex Leaf and I team up again, this time to tackle B5.
This is what happens when you don’t have enough:
Much of this can be explained by pantothenic acid’s role in working all of this magic:
Burning fat only requires 20% more B5 than burning carbs, which is small compared to how these macros affect riboflavin requirements, However, under conditions of stress you can burn carbohydrate without any B5 at all and you cannot do that with fat. In mice with severe deficiencies of coenzyme A, ketogenic diets dramatically worsen the neurological effects of deficiency.
Although pantothenic acid is named for its presence everywhere and in everything using the Greek word “pantos,” and the common dogma is that no one is deficient, Alex and I make the case in this two-part podcast that suboptimal pantothenic acid status might just be the norm.
And the crazy thing? Official recommendations suggest we only need about 5 milligrams per day. In the podcast we discuss why some people might need GRAMS per day.
Plus, why the FOOD forms might be superior to anything you can get in any supplements on the market.
In part 2, to be released on July 5, we’ll cover how to get pantothenic acid in foods, blood tests, and supplements.
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In this episode you will find all of the following and more:
00:37 Cliff Notes
14:02 Symptoms of experimentally induced pantothenic acid deficiency
15:57 It is thought that pantothenic acid deficiency doesn’t occur naturally.
18:59 Experiments inducing pantothenic acid deficiency
26:06 Signs and symptoms of suboptimal pantothenic acid status
26:54 Is there pantothenic acid toxicity?
30:52 Hypothetical problems of taking high doses of pantothenic acid
31:53 What pantothenic acid is
35:28 Comparisons to niacin and riboflavin
37:14 Roles of coenzyme A
46:02 Roles of 4’-phosphopantetheine
48:12 Burning fat requires 20% more vitamin B5 than burning carbohydrate; and why in the context of severe deficiency of B5 or impairment in the metabolism of B5 a high-fat diet could have devastating consequences.
53:09 The importance of the ratio of acetyl-CoA to free CoA in regulating many metabolic pathways
01:01:02 There are metabolic disorders, such as fatty acid oxidation disorders, that compromise the pool of coenzyme A.
01:03:03 Synthesis of coenzyme A
01:06:47 How coenzyme A synthesis is regulated
01:11:38 Degradation of coenzyme A
01:15:44 The physiology of pantothenic acid absorption
01:25:29 A 2015 paper showed that 4’-phosphopantetheine can cross cell membranes via passive diffusion.
01:29:00 The physiology of pantothenic acid transport in the blood
01:32:11 Cellular uptake of pantothenic acid from the blood
01:33:21 Tissue distribution of pantothenic acid
01:36:00 There may be a particularly high need for pantothenic acid in adolescence.
01:37:01 Mothers actively transfer pantothenic acid to their fetuses and into their milk at their own expense.
01:39:29 Pharmacokinetics of supplementation
01:48:20 A case for why food is superior to supplements for vitamin B5
01:52:41 Inborn errors of coenzyme A metabolism include pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN).