A Complete Guide to Pantothenic Acid for Hair, Skin and Nails
What is Pantothenic Acid?
Pantothenic Acid is also known as vitamin B5. It is a water soluble vitamin that is found in many foods. As a member of the B Vitamin family it is used to break food down into energy. It also has a role in the production of fatty acids and hormones. Pantothenic Acid is not stored or produced in the body. We get it by absorbing it from foods or from taking vitamins. Since it is water soluble, any excess Pantothenic acid is excreted so it has a low chance of accumulating if more than is needed is ingested.
Pantothenic Acid is sensitive to heat and approximately 20-50% is lost by cooking.1 It is readily available enough in other foods that this characteristic has not been found to increase known deficiencies. For those with restrictive diets or absorption issues a supplement may be required. Pantothenic Acid is sometimes referred to as the stress vitamin due to its role with adrenal hormone production and red blood cell production.
Why is Pantothenic Acid in my product?
Pantothenic acid is an important part of the B vitamin family. It has specific actions in hormone regulation, wound healing and cellular metabolism. It works in combination with the other B vitamins and vitamin C for optimum absorption and efficacy. It has been studied in treatment for acne as well as potential prevention of premature skin and hair aging. It is readily available in foods, however it is deactivated in food processing resulting in about 40-50% loss of the vitamin. Taking a daily supplement ensures adequate amounts are available for maximum hair, skin and nail health.
What is the Role of Pantothenic Acid for Hair?
One of the first ways you may have ever heard about Pantothenic Acid may be from your shampoo bottle. It is a common additive in shampoo and hair care products. It has a potential role in maintaining pigmentation of har color and has been added for topical use in multiple hair products. More studies are needed to determine if it can truly affect hair pigmentation in humans.
It does have a proven role in supplementing keratin production which further works to produce collagen. Both of those factors are essential for healthy hair growth and maintaining strong roots and dermal hair follicles. Pantothenic acid is part of a family of B vitamins which work to strengthen connective tissues, collagen and help retain moisture in the dermal layers. These work together to give shiny, strong and healthy hair.
What is the Role of Pantothenic Acid for Skin?
In clinical trials, Pantothenic Acid has shown a role in skin healing and skin regeneration.2 A study in animals has shown that a higher amount of Pantothenic Acid derivative increases wound healing and skin proliferation. 3 Increased fibroblasts and increased keratin production are some of the key benefits of Pantothenic Acid.
A lesser known benefit is its use for acne both orally and topically. In a trial of 48 patients with acne, oral Pantothenic acid showed significant improvement in number of facial lesions over placebo. The patients received oral Pantothenic acid or placebo for 12 weeks. At the end of 12 weeks, the Pantothenic Acid group showed a greater improvement in facial clarity. The suggested mechanism is improved control of oil glands in combination with improved skin healing properties.
What is the Role of Pantothenic Acid for Nails?
One form of Pantothenic Acid is suggested to improve the hydration and flexibility of fingernails. In a study of a topical preparation of Pantothenic Acid is demonstrated effective absorption in fingernails. 5 Penetration into the nail is a positive indicator of cell transport of Pantothenic Acid to the area of maximum activity for keratin and collagen production.
The B vitamins are essential for high metabolic areas like the skin, hair and nails. Pantothenic Acid is found in virtually every cell in the human body. Its role in regulating stress hormones and skin clarity, has led to its nickname, the stress vitamin. A regular supplement with Pantothenic Acid ensures enough absorption so high cell turnover areas can be sufficiently supported. Healthy skin hair and nails are dependent on intake of enough B vitamins for maximum benefit.