Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) strengthens the immune system, allows wounds to heal and also has a central role in the utilization of carbohydrates. Vitamin B5 is the source of one of the body’s most important coenzymes, coenzyme A. It is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats and in the production of cholesterol, which is needed for the formation of steroid hormones.
Since alcohol is a carbohydrate, alcoholics consume particularly high amounts of B5 – consequently, they often lack the important vitamin.
Symptoms of vitamin B5 deficiency:
- Tingling and numbness in the toes.
- Burning and stinging in the feet
- Muscle tension
- Nerve irritation
- dullness and weakness
- Concentration disorders
- Sleep disorders
- gastrointestinal complaints
Pantothenic acid is also the main ingredient of a widely known Bepanthen cream. To overdose vitamin B5 you have to make an effort: Taking more than 10 g of pantothenic acid per day for months can cause mild intestinal disorders as hypervitaminosis, and overdosing by more than a thousand times the maximum recommendation can cause gastrointestinal disorders or diarrhea.
More information in the book “Bye bye, booze!“