Pantothenic Acid And Biotin
Pantothenic acid and biotin are water-soluble vitamins. They are two of the eight B vitamins. The B vitamin complex includes vitamins B1, niacin, B6, B12, folate, biotin, and pantothenic acid.
What food source is the nutrient found in?
Pantothenic acid and biotin are found in many foods. Good sources of pantothenic acid include:
- egg yolks
- organ meat
- other meat
- dairy products
- whole-grain cereal
Good sources of biotin include:
- egg yolks
- meats and liver
Some biotin is made by bacteria in the body's lower digestive tract.
How does the nutrient affect the body?
These two vitamins are important for many functions. Pantothenic acid is changed to a substance called coenzyme A. This coenzyme helps convert fat, carbohydrate, and protein into energy. Pantothenic acid is also needed to make cholesterol, bile, some fats, red blood cells, hormones and nerve regulators. Pantothenic acid is necessary to make Vitamin D. It works closely with biotin, vitamin B1, B2, B6, and niacin.
Biotin also helps the body use protein, fat and carbohydrate from foods for energy. It helps the body produce energy in the cells. Biotin works closely with pantothenic acid, folic acid and vitamin B12.
There are no established recommended daily allowances, or RDAs, for these vitamins. However, a safe and adequate amount for adults for pantothenic acid is 4 to 7 milligrams per day. For biotin the recommendation is 30 to 100 micrograms per day.
There are no toxic effects for pantothenic acid other than diarrhea. There is no known benefit to taking large doses. Because it is so common in food, deficiency is rare for people who eat a healthy diet.
There are no toxic effects for biotin. Although biotin deficiency is rare, consuming a large amount of raw egg whites can cause biotin deficiency. This is due to a protein in egg whites, avidin, that blocks the absorption of biotin. The protein is destroyed in cooking so cooked egg whites are not a problem. Long-term use of antibiotics could also interfere with the production of biotin, and increase the risk of deficiency. Deficiency symptoms include:
- loss of appetite
- muscle pain and weakness
- hair loss, known as alopecia
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