The name “Pantothenic Acid” is derived from the Greek pantos, which means “from everywhere”. Pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5, is found in small quantities in nearly all food-stuffs.
Pantothenic acid was discovered and isolated by Roger J. Williams in 1938, whilst researching yeast. In animals, pantothenic acid is required to synthesise coenzyme-A (CoA), as well as to synthesise and metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
Pantothenic acid is used in the synthesis of coenzyme A (CoA). Coenzyme A is involved with transport carbon atoms within the cell. CoA is important in energy metabolism and is also important in the biosynthesis of many important compounds such as fatty acids, cholesterol, and acetylcholine.
Pantothenic acid participates in a wide array of key biological roles and is thus essential to all forms of life. As such, deficiencies in pantothenic acid may have numerous wide-ranging effects although deficiencies are very rare.
The most important sources of pantothenic acid are meats (particularly liver and heart), rice and wheat bran, alfalfa, peanut meal, yeast and fish.