Vitamin B5 Rich Foods to Boost Energy & Skin Health

Vitamin B5 foods are crucial for maintaining overall health and well-being.

Also known as pantothenic acid, this essential nutrient plays a significant role in energy metabolism, synthesizing coenzyme A, and supporting the health of your skin, hair, and eyes.

In this article, we will delve into vitamin B5 foods that can help you meet your daily nutritional needs.

From avocados to chicken and mushrooms, incorporating these nutrient-rich options into your diet will ensure you benefit from the vital functions of vitamin B5.

High Vitamin B5 Foods (Per Serving)

While getting enough pantothenic acid in your diet is important, it’s hard to be deficient (unless you are starving).  “Pantothenic” originates from the Greek root pantothen, which means ‘from all sides’, so vitamin B5 is virtually present in all foods, both plant and animal. 

While getting enough pantothenic acid in your diet is important, it’s hard to be deficient (unless you are starving).  “Pantothenic” originates from the Greek root pantothen, which means ‘from all sides’, so vitamin B5 is virtually present in all foods, both plant and animal.

But if you find yourself falling short of the recommended vitamin B5 intake, it’s time to focus on foods that pack in more vitamin B5 per serving, like:

  • liver
  • turkey breast
  • salmon
  • chicken breast
  • pork
  • New York strip steak
  • buckwheat groats
  • lamb chops
  • whole egg
  • ground beef (lean)
  • bananas
  • avocado

To help you get started, the infographic below shows the vitamin B5 provided by popular foods in the average serving sizes consumed by our Optimisers.  

high vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) foods (per calorie)

Once you’re ready to revitalise your diet with a wider variety of vitamin B5-rich foods, you can download our printable list of foods with more vitamin B5 per serving here.

Vitamin B5 Rich Foods (Per Calorie)

Once you know you’re getting the minimum amount of vitamin B5 your body needs, you can zero in on foods that deliver more vitamin B5 per calorie to increase your satiety and nutrient density, like:

  • mushrooms
  • endive
  • chicory greens
  • liver
  • cauliflower
  • zucchini
  • kidney
  • snow peas
  • broccoli
  • lobster
  • arugula
  • cucumber

The infographic below shows popular foods that provide more vitamin B5 per calorie.

vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) rich foods

For more variety, check out our printable list of vitamin B5-rich foods per calorie!

Vitamin B5 Food Chart

Curious about how your favourite foods stack up in the vitamin B5 game?  Dive into our dynamic chart showcasing popular foods, comparing vitamin B5 content per calorie and serving.  For an immersive experience, explore the interactive Tableau version of this chart.

vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) foods chart

How Much Vitamin B5 Do You Need?

Our satiety analysis shows we crave at least 3.3 mg of vitamin B5 per 2,000 calories.  The Optimal Nutrient Intake of vitamin B5 is 9.0 mg/2000 calories, which aligns with a 19% reduction in energy intake.  

Vitamin B5-Rich Recipes

Elevate your culinary game with our chart, showcasing over 1750 NutriBooster recipes used in our Micros Masterclass.  We’ve plotted these recipes based on vitamin B5 content versus nutrient density.  The further right you go, the more vitamin B5 you can enjoy with fewer calories.

Dive into the details with our interactive Tableau chart on your computer.  Click on each recipe to uncover the magic behind it and even feast your eyes on mouthwatering pictures!

Vitamin B5-Rich Recipes

Why is Vitamin B5 Important? 

  • Energy production: Vitamin B5 is critical in synthesising carbohydrates, fats, and proteins to produce energy.  It helps convert food into usable energy, essential for cellular metabolism.
  • Hormone synthesis: Vitamin B5 is involved in synthesising steroid hormones, such as cortisol, testosterone, and estrogen.  These hormones are responsible for various physiological processes, including metabolism, immune function, and stress response.
  • Skin health: Vitamin B5 is often used in skincare products to improve skin hydration, elasticity, and smoothness. It also helps reduce inflammation and promote wound healing.
  • Cognitive function: Vitamin B5 is involved in producing acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in cognitive function and memory.
  • Red blood cell formation: Vitamin B5 is necessary to produce red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body.

What Does Vitamin B5 Do in Your Body? 

  • B5 is a critical precursor to creating coenzyme A, critical to many processes required to sustain life, like fatty acid breakdown. 
  • Your body also needs vitamin B5 to use the fat in your blood to keep cholesterol levels in check.   
  • Pantothenic acid acts in all your cells, but it is particularly vital for your brain, heart, kidney and liver
  • B5 helps reduce low-grade inflammation, which has been found in early-onset diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmunity.
  • We need B5 to produce steroid hormones like cortisol and sex hormones required for healthy reproduction.
  • Pantothenic acid is vital for regulating the body’s iron levels.
  • This nutrient also helps to make blood cells and convert food into energy.  We need about 20% more vitamin B5 to burn fat than we do to burn carbohydrates. 
  • The body needs Pantothenic acid to produce melatonin, the neurotransmitter that helps you sleep.

Symptoms of Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) Deficiency

Deficiency is relatively uncommon because there are small amounts of pantothenic acid in almost all foods.  However, someone facing severe malnutrition can be B5 deficient.

A deficiency in vitamin B5 typically comes with deficiencies in other nutrients.  For this reason, a B5 shortage often shows up as a deficiency in other nutrients.

Lower intakes of vitamin B5 are associated with the following:

Who is at Risk of B5 Deficiency?

If someone is overcoming long-term malnutrition, they may be at risk for a pantothenic acid deficiency.   Certain genetic mutations can also predispose someone to pantothenic acid deficiency.

Benefits of Vitamin B5 for Your Skin

Vitamin B5 is critical for skin health. It helps keep skin soft, smooth, and healthy by making the mucus that moistens your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, genitals, and internal organs. 

Because of its relationship with coenzyme A, B5 helps normalise the skin and differentiate keratinocytes that make up your outermost skin layer.

Pantothenic acid also has an anti-inflammatory effect that helps stimulate your skin’s healing processes. 

Vitamin B5 Benefits for Hair

Studies have shown that mice fed a low pantothenic acid diet are prone to developing skin irritation and greying of the fur.  

Studies have also shown that supplemental doses of pantothenic acid can reverse this.  However, in humans, there is no evidence taking pantothenic acid as a supplement or using shampoos containing pantothenic acid can prevent greying or restore hair colour.

Adequate Intake

Vitamin B5 Side Effects and Toxicity  

Pantothenic acid is not known to be toxic in humans, although very high amounts in supplemental form can cause diarrhea.  Large supplemental doses of vitamin B5 can compete for absorption with biotin, so, as always, supplements should only be utilised if you know your diet is currently deficient in vitamin B5. 

Bioavailability of Vitamin B5

Who is at Risk for B5 Deficiency?

Because alcohol and poor digestion limit B5 absorption, someone with a disorder affecting the intestines, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or poor digestion and alcoholism, puts someone at risk for B5 deficiency.

Synergistic Nutrients

Vitamin B5 works synergistically with vitamins B1, B2, B3, B12, C, biotin, chromium, cysteine, folate, glycine, methionine, phosphate, sodium, potassium and zinc.  For this reason, it is best to consume vitamin B5 from food sources that contain a complete nutrient profile to avoid imbalance, 

Processing Losses

  • Vitamin B5 is unstable in the presence of heat and environments with pHs far from neutral.
  • A considerable amount of vitamin B5 is also lost in the milling of grains.  Hence, refined grains will have less vitamin B5. 
  • Frozen vegetables contain 50% less B5, cooked vegetables 44% less, and canned vegetables up to 75% less B5 than in their raw form. 
  • Oral contraceptives with supplemental estrogen and progesterone may also increase the need for pantothenic acid. 

How Can I Calculate if I am Getting Enough Vitamin B5? 

Curious about your Vitamin B5 intake?  Take our Free 7-Day Nutrient Clarity Challenge and discover if you’re hitting the Vitamin B5 sweet spot in your diet.

After just one week of tracking your daily meals with Cronometer, Nutrient Optimiser will unveil a personalised roadmap, your guide to a healthier, more nutrient-rich lifestyle. 

You’ll receive a curated list of foods and tantalising NutriBooster recipes that not only fill your Vitamin B5 gaps but also ensure you’re not missing out on other critical nutrients. 

Ready to unlock your nutrient potential?  Join the challenge and journey towards a brighter, healthier you!

Nutrient Density Starter Pack

Ready to supercharge your nutrition?  Get our Nutrient Density Starter Pack – your all-access pass to a healthier, more vibrant you!

In our quest to make Nutritional Optimization a breeze, we’re thrilled to offer you this treasure trove of tools and resources when you join our vibrant Optimising Nutrition Community:

  • Food Lists: Discover our carefully crafted lists optimised for each essential nutrient, tailored to your goals, preferences, and unique conditions.
  • The Healthiest Meal Plan in the World: Peek into a week of mouthwatering, nutrient-dense meals that’ll satisfy and energise you.
  • Recipes: Download delectable samples from our NutriBooster recipe books, designed to elevate your nutrition while tantalising your taste buds.
  • 7-Day Nutrient Clarity Challenge: Unearth your priority nutrients and pinpoint the foods and meals that pack a nutrient punch so you can kickstart your journey to better health.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to transform your nutrition effortlessly.  Join our community and unlock your path to a healthier, more vibrant you!

Nutrient Series



Fatty acids