Pantothenic acid (also known historically as vitamin B5) is among the most important of the B vitamins for the basic processes of life while also being one of the less likely nutrient deficiencies in the average U.S. diet.
One factor helping to prevent pantothenic acid deficiency is the U.S. diet is its common presence in so many different foods. In fact, the common presence of pantothenic acid in foods is referred to in the naming of this vitamin, since the word pantothen in Greek translates as “on all sides” or “from all “quarters.” Among our 100 core WHFoods, 99% contain some measurable amount of pantothenic acid! (Only one of our foods lacks pantothenic acid, and that food is olive oil. While olives themselves contain a small amount of this vitamin, this small amount is lost when the oil is pressed out of the olives since the oil is 100% fat and pantothenic acid is a water-soluble vitamin.)
Without pantothenic acid, you would be unable to use fats, carbohydrates, or proteins as energy sources. You would also be unable to make hormones and your immune system would collapse. These are only some of the important functions that pantothenic acid has.
We list three excellent sources of pantothenic acid—cauliflower, crimini mushrooms, and shiitake mushrooms. We list eight very good sources and 38 good sources