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Pantothenic acid and biotin

Definition

Pantothenic acid and biotin are types of B vitamins. They are water-soluble, which means that the body can't store them. If the body can't use all of the vitamin, the extra leaves the body through the urine. Therefore, these vitamins must be replaced every day.

Alternative Names

Pantothenic acid; Pantethine; Vitamin B5

Function

Pantothenic acid and biotin are essential for growth. They help the body break down and use food. This is called metabolism.

Pantothenic acid also plays a role in the production of hormones and cholesterol.

Food Sources

Biotin is found in foods that are good sources of B vitamins, including:

  • Cereal
  • Chocolate
  • Egg yolk
  • Legumes
  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • Organ meats (liver, kidney)
  • Pork
  • Yeast

Pantothenic acid is found in foods that are good sources of B vitamins, including the following:

  • Avocado
  • Broccoli, kale, and other vegetables in the cabbage family
  • Eggs
  • Legumes and lentils
  • Milk
  • Mushrooms
  • Organ meats
  • Poultry
  • White and sweet potatoes
  • Whole-grain cereals
  • Yeast

Side Effects

There are no known deficiencies of either pantothenic acid or biotin.

Large doses of pantothenic acid do not cause symptoms, other than (possibly) diarrhea. There are no known toxic symptoms from biotin.

Recommendations

Reference Intakes

Recommendations for pantothenic acid and biotin, as well as other nutrients, are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine. DRI is a term for a set of reference intakes that are used to plan and assess the nutrient intakes of healthy people. These values, which vary by age and gender, include:

  • Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): average daily level of intake that is enough to meet the nutrient needs of nearly all (97 - 98%) healthy people.
  • Adequate Intake (AI): established when there is not enough evidence to develop an RDA. It is set at a level that is thought to ensure enough nutrition.

Dietary Reference INtakes for pantothenic acid:

  • Age 0-6 months: 1.7* milligrams per day (mg/day)
  • Age 7-12 months 1.8* mg/day
  • Age 1-3 years: 2* mg/day
  • Age 4-8 years: 3* mg/day
  • Age 9-13 years: 4* mg/day
  • Age 14 and older: 5* mg/day

*Adequate Intake (AI)

Biotin:

  • Age 0-6 months: 5* micrograms per day (mcg/day)
  • Age 7-12 months: 6* mcg/day
  • Age 1-3 years: 8* mcg/day
  • Age 4-8 years: 12* mcg/day
  • Age 9-13 years: 20* mcg/day
  • Age 14 -18 years: 25* mcg/day
  • 19 and older: 30* mcg/day

*Adequate Intake (AI)

The best way to get the daily requirement of essential vitamins is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods.

Specific recommendations depend on age, gender, and other factors (such as pregnancy). Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need higher amounts. Ask your health care provider which amount is best for you.

References

Escott-Stump S, ed. Nutrition and Diagnosis-Related Care. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.

Sarubin Fragaakis A, Thomson C. The Health Professional's Guide to Popular Dietary Supplements. 3rd ed. Chicago, Il: American Dietetic Association;2007.

Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 2000.


Review Date: 2/14/2011
Reviewed By: Alison Evert, MS, RD, CDE, Nutritionist, University of Washington Medical Center Diabetes Care Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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