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Why you need pantothenic acid during pregnancy
Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is essential for the production of hormones and cholesterol and for the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It's essential to all life as a component of coenzyme A (CoA), which is necessary for many chemical reactions in cells.
How much pantothenic acid you need
Pregnant women: 6 milligrams (mg) per day
Breastfeeding women: 7 mg per day
Nonpregnant women: 5 mg per day
Food sources of pantothenic acid
You'll find pantothenic acid in a wide variety of foods. Here are some good examples:
- 3 ounces beef liver, pan-fried: 5.6 mg
- 1 ounce sunflower seeds, dry roasted: 2.0 mg
- 3 ounces trout, cooked: 1.9 mg
- 8 ounces plain nonfat yogurt: 1.6 mg
- 3 ounces lobster, cooked: 1.4 mg
- 1/2 medium avocado: 1.0 mg
- one medium baked sweet potato: 1.0 mg
- 1 cup milk: 0.87 mg
- 3 ounces lean pork tenderloin, cooked: 0.86 mg
- 3 ounces light chicken, cooked: 0.83 mg
- one large egg, hard-boiled: 0.7 mg
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled: 0.7 mg
- 1/2 cup lentils, cooked: 0.63 mg
- 1/2 cup split peas, cooked: 0.58 mg
- 1/2 cup raw mushrooms: 0.52 mg
- 1 ounce peanuts: 0.50 mg
- 1/2 cup broccoli, chopped and cooked: 0.48 mg
- one medium orange: 0.30 mg
- one slice whole wheat bread: 0.21 mg
(Note that 3 ounces of meat is about the size of a deck of cards.)
Should you take a pantothenic acid supplement?
You probably don't need a supplement because pantothenic acid is present in so many foods. Pantothenic acid is also included in most prenatal vitamin supplements.
Pantothenic acid deficiencies are extremely rare, usually showing up only when someone is severely malnourished. Signs include fatigue and weakness.