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Pantothenic Acid
Chemical Structures
Food Sources
Pantothenic Acid in the Body

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Pantothenate Crystals
Pantothenate Crystals
Copied without permission from Roche Product Information

Pantothenic Acid

Pantothenic acid, one of the water soluble B-vitamins, is essential in the body as a constituent of coenzyme A. Together with mercaptoethylamine, pantothenic acid makes up pantetheine. Pantetheine and adenosine-3',5'-diphosphate combine to give coenzyme A, which is important for synthesis of:
  • Fatty acids
  • Polyketides
  • Terpenoids
  • Steroids
"Pure pantothenic acid is a viscous hygroscopic oil that is chemically not very stable."(1) In supplements it is usually included as calcium pantothenate (a solid, highly water soluble salt) or as pantothenol (an alcohol Fig.2).

Did You Know? coenzyme A (coenzyme of acetylation) is required for many acyl group transfer reaction pathways.


Chemical Structures

The Chemical Structure of Pantothenic Acid

Fig.1 The Chemical Structure of Pantothenic Acid
3D Structure of Pantothenic Acid

The Chemical Structure of Pantothenol

Fig.2 The Chemical Structure of Pantothenol

Did You Know? Pantothenol is added to hair products as a moisturiser and conditioner.


Principal Sources in Food

Pantothenic acid is present in highest concentrations in:
  • Organ meats such as:
    • Heart
    • Brain
    • Liver
    • Kidney
  • Yeast Extract
More common dietary sources are:
  • Dairy Products
  • Pulses
  • Legumes
  • Eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Whole Grain Cereals

Pantothenic Acid in the Body

As part of coenzyme A, panthothenic acid is essential for:
  • Cellular metabolism
  • Production of:
    • Sterols such as cholesterol
    • Hormones
    • Neurotransmitters (e.g. acetylcholine)
    • Phospholipids
    • Porphyrin (constituent of haemoglobin)
    • Antibodies


Pantothenic acid is easily destroyed by heat in acidic or alkaline conditions, but is stable in a neutral solution.



Condensation of D-pantolactone with P-alanine produces pantothenic acid and the addition of a calcium salt forms colourless calcium pantothenate crystals.


(1) Source: Roche Product Information

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