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Pantothenic Acid (B5)
A water soluble vitamin best provided daily.
Function & History
Pantothenic acid fulfills an enormous amount of roles and is a substituent of Coenzyme A- found in all tissues. Therefore B5 is important for the metabolism of all macronutrients, neurotransmitters, hormones, and hemoglobin.
less research has been conducted regarding Pantothenic acid as deficiencies are brought upon by general malnutrition and studies utilized methods to artificially remove B5 from the food. The results caused diarrhea, disturbances to skin and eyes, vomiting, convulsions, and death. Nasty stuff- but fortunately something that would rarely be seen today.
Risk Factors & The Commercial Fed Dog
However, we are here to learn about how just marginally low intakes may affect dogs, rather than extreme deficiencies. When it comes to B5, storage, cooking, and freezing will have a serious impact. Pantothenic Acid is destroyed easily by heat and freezing. Commercial foods, even though could contain enough B5 naturally, often supplement just in case.
Growing dogs, just like humans, require more B5 than an adult because of the increase in hormones and other metabolic activity. It is possible that suboptimal intake could affect the health of the skin, something many growing dogs struggle with.
Organ meats and most animal products in general will be a superior source of B5. It is possible that high carb diets and high fat diets can affect B5 status of the dog, especially coupled with poor formulation practices, storage, and processing.
Since Pantothenic Acid is rather fragile and fresh, raw foods or carefully supplemented amounts are the safest ways to get it. Is there a chance that highly processed foods- dry and canned- that are not formulated by nutrition professionals are providing suboptimal intake? Could this potentially lead to slight behavior disturbances? Slight skin disturbances? Are high carb, low quality, poorly formulated diets affecting skin and gut health? We don’t have the data to say “yes,” but we do have the understanding of the function of this nutrient and the understanding of how to provide optimal amounts from high quality sources.
In part two, I will discuss how we should pay attention to B5 in any dog, including those fed raw, cooked, kibble, canned, DIY, etc. We will talk about how to support commercial fed dogs (kibble and canned), and what to do when you are feeding DIY cooked or raw.