Deficiency Signs And Symptoms

Because it is so rare, most information regarding the signs and symptoms of pantothenic acid deficiency comes from experimental research in animals or cases of Vitamin B5 — Pantothenic acid 1239 severe malnutrition. The deficiency picture appears to be generalised and species

specific (Bates 1998). Preliminary studies in humans using competitive analogues of pantothenic acid have produced the following symptoms:

• 'burning feet syndrome': this affects the lower legs and is characterised by sensation of heat

• cardiac instability

• gastrointestinal disturbance

• dizziness, paraesthesia and depression

• loss of immune (antibody) function

• insensitivity to adrenocorticotrophic hormone

• increased sensitivity to insulin

Some conditions that have been associated with increased requirements are:

• alcoholism (due to typically low intakes of vitamin B complex)

• diabetes mellitus (as a result of increased excretion)

• inflammatory bowel diseases (due to decreased vitamin absorption).

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