Pantothenic acid and biotin

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.

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.

Alternative Names

Biotin; Vitamin B5; B5 vitamin