The ABCs of Vitamins:
Niacin & Pantothenic Acid


It has become a common misconception that B vitamins give people energy. In reality, B vitamins do not give people energy. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, the energy-yielding nutrients, supply the fuel for energy. The B vitamins help the process our body uses to get or make energy from the food you eat.
Niacin/Niacinamide (B3): Niacin is unique among the B vitamins because the body can produce it from protein. It functions in a variety of important chemical reactions in the body; most notably it provides dietary support for a healthy blood lipid profile. Like all B vitamins, niacin plays an important function in energy metabolism and it may function in DNA replication and repair. Some people experience a tingling sensation in the skin when taking large doses of niacin. The tingling or hotness is called “niacin flush” and usually happens with high doses.
Food sources of niacin include: Lean meat, fish, chicken, cooked dried beans and peas, low-fat milk and cheese, fortified grains and cereals.
Pantothenic acid (B5): This vitamin was named after the Greek word “pantos” meaning “everywhere” in reference to its widespread appearance in plants and animals It is required for fatty acid and energy metabolism. It is an essential constituent of coenzyme A and is essential to metabolic processes in the body.
Food sources of pantothenic acid include: Most foods, but especially liver and salmon. Other sources include fortified grains and cereals.

By Dr. Maroon Dr. Joseph C. Maroon, M.D. is a Board-Certified Neurosurgeon and Expert in Nutrition and Sports Medicine


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