ABC’s of Vitamin Deficiencies: B5 or Pantothenic Acid Deficiency

Did you noticed that I skipped a number?


According to online textbooks, there are eight B Vitamins:

  • thiamin (vitamin B1)

  • riboflavin (vitamin B2)

  • niacin (vitamin B3)

  • pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)

  • pyridoxine (vitamin B6)

  • biotin (vitamin B7)

  • folate (vitamin B9)

  • cobalamin (vitamin B12)


While Choline is sometimes considered a B vitamin, I won't include it here. But may get to it later on.


So what is Vitamin B5 used for? Then, what does a deficiency in this vitamin cause?


Again, this isn't one of the ones that I am familiar with. So let's see what we can find from some of the experts - Merck Veterinary Manual.


Do you remember back in biochemistry when they are talking about cellular metabolism, and metabolism changes from carbohydrates to fats? Yes, of course! Well, remember that thing called Acetyl-CoA? Actually, that reminds me of those YouTube videos on biochem (Khan Academy). Highly recommend Khan Academy for those visual learners.


The CoA in Acetyl-CoA stands for coenzyme A. Within coenzyme A is our topic of the day: pantothenic acid.



Geesh! How did all my Vitamin Deficiency posts end up with a biochemistry review?! Let's keep these ones short!


So a deficiency in Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid will cause issues with fatty acid metabolism, glycolysis and the Kreb's cycle.


We're looking a poultry and swine in this case. It appears to show the most lesions in the nervous system, as well as in the skin (dermatitis). Again, most commercial diets have supplemental vitamins, including Vitamin B5.


It also kind of reminds me of a lecture I sat in on honeybee farms. It's unlikely that the larger, well-established commercial farms are going to have this as a cause of poor production. But the smaller facilities, backyard laying hens and such that may show some deficiencies if they are not also offered a well-balanced diet. It is not that corn is bad! Just eating corn is bad!

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