Reference Index - Nutrition

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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:

Biotin; Vitamin B5; B5 vitamin



Function:

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

Pathothenic acid is also called vitamin B5. It helps break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Biotin also helps break down proteins and carbohydrates .



Food Sources:

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

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Milk and milk products
  • Whole-grain cereals
  • Legumes
  • Yeast
  • Broccoli and other vegetables in the cabbage family
  • White and sweet potatoes
  • Lean beef


Side Effects:

There are no known deficiencies of either pantothenic acid or biotin. Large doses of pantothenic acid do not produce symptoms other than (possibly) diarrhea . There are no known toxic symptoms associated with biotin.



Recommendations:

The Food and Nutrition Center of the Institute of Medicine has established the following recommended dietary intakes:

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

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

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

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



References:

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

Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007.

Rakel D, ed. Integrative Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007.




Review Date: 3/7/2009
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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