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Does pantothenic acid (B5) 'stimulate' the adrenals?

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by dannybex, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Weird question I know, but about 2 years ago I was told not to take pantothenic acid, because my adrenals were diagnosed as being in the 'burnout' stage -- i.e., putting out too much cortisol at certain times of the day -- and taking any B-5 would just make things worse.

    So I've avoided taking it, things haven't gotten any better, in fact are worse, and so now I'm wondering if it's perhaps something I should've been taking, even in small doses, all along.I've read that cortisol is made from pantothenic acid and cholesterol…not sure if that's correct…but I guess my question still comes back to…Does B-5 actually stimulate the adrenals to put out more cortisol?Thanks in advance,

    Dan
     
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  2. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    I remember reading that the dose used was 1000mg and above.
    The first time i used 1000mg it overstimulated me alot and had issues sleeping.
    I did use lower dose 500mg and it did help with energy.
    Im not really sure by what mechanisms it works.
    I didnt follow on much with the b5 as i ended up using dhea and pregnenolone instead.
    I think i read it from dr lam's adrernal fatigue site where he recommended high doses of vit c and b5.
     
  3. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Thanks Heaps, that's kind of what I've read elsewhere. I did look on Lams site awhile back and while he gives lots of information, he also is kind of vague, and says he can only answer in specifics if one does a consultation or program with him. Which makes sense, but that's why I haven't been able to get answers there…yet. :)
     
  4. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Almost a year later, and I still haven't really taken the pantothenic plunge. Would be interested in hearing if anyone else felt like pantothenic acid was stimulating?
     
  5. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    Hi Dan. I have been on and off with B5 (aka pantothenic acid) for years. I take it in conjunction with Vitamin C, usually taking twice as much B5 as Vit. C, in my case 500 mg B5/1000 mg Vit C up to 4 or 5 times a day.

    At times I have taken up to 3000 mg/day of B5 to help my tanked adreanls. I have never found it over-stimulating, (in fact there have been times where even high doses did not phase me), but I know other people who have.

    With supplements you never know how it will work for a specific individual.

    There are many other options to boost adrenals: schisandra, ashwghanda, eleuthero root, sarsparilla, and licorice. I rotate them around, so that I don't get too acclimated.
     
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  6. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Thanks DB. Yup, we're all different, and of course that's a good thing, but when it comes to this #@**!!! illness, I wish we all had the same reactions. :)

    My BP has been fluctuating wildly the last couple years, (plus the old salicylate issue) so I don't think I could go with the herbals, esp licorice, but the other reason I was asking was because pantothenate is essential for so many other functions, and I'm starting to think that avoiding it has been a mistake.

    I've lost a lot of muscle, but also fat -- even though I never had much of either in the first place! But the fat pads on the bottom of my feet, and even on my fingertips have decreased significantly, and I remember reading something about PA's connection to fat metabolism and the krebs cycle.

    And then there's this:

    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=87

    "In addition to breaking down fats as fuel, pantothenic acid—via the CoA molecule—is necessary for building fats for storage."

    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=87

    I'm not exactly sure what they mean by when they say "for storage"…but definitely need to 'build fats'.
     
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  7. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    @dannybex My NP wanted me to take 500 mgs pantothenic acid with Licorice solid extract for my adrenals. 500 mgs had me wired out of my mind so I stopped. When I went back to it I started really low, like 50 mgs and now have slowly worked up to 500 mgs no problem.

    My BP also fluctuates like crazy.

    I don't know if it's helping me, adrenal-wise but I'll stick with it.
     
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  8. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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  9. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl But I Look So Good.

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    Oh and I take it in the mornings. I have pretty much no cortisol all day.

    I'm working with pregnenolone. I feel great but crash bad and higher doses of the sublingual which shoot my BP up really high. Also horrible anger and feeling like I was having a breakdown.

    There's a good thread here about pregnenolone if your interested.
     
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  10. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    I tried pregnenolone in 2013 -- and it helped in general, but stopped it later on as it I think it caused increased anxiety. There's a discussion about it over on HealClick as well.

    I'm going to completely stop any pantothenic acid -- I've just been taking the RDA in a very low dose multi-B, but have been doing much worse over the last month, so am stopping things I started during this period, and hopefully things will improve.

    I did find other mentions of pantothenic acid stimulating the adrenals, and also found this study, in rats, but still it showed stimulation:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7776715
     
  11. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    I was interested in reading the study but the link points to a study on nicotinic acid. Do you still have the link to article you had in mind?

    Thx
     
  12. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    Oy -- sorry @PeterPositive -- my brain is melting. Here's the correct link:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18520055

    "These results clearly demonstrated that pantothenic acid supplementation stimulates the ability of adrenal cells in male rats to secrete corticosterone and progesterone. Additionally, these results also showed that pantothenic acid supplementation induced adrenal hyperresponsiveness to ACTH stimulation, and PRL further stimulated adrenal sensitivity to ACTH."
     
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  13. PeterPositive

    PeterPositive Senior Member

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    Thanks!
    By the way, I found an old email from my doc where I was asking about B5 dosage for stress/cortisol support and he warned about not going too high because it could produce an effect opposite to the expected one. I am not sure though what would be such limit. At the time I was taking 200mg.

    cheers
     
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  14. drob31

    drob31 Senior Member

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    I don't ever remember having a good experience with B5, and I have high cortisol.
     
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  15. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    I know this is an old thread, but I thought I'd add a slightly different perspective:

    I recently started taking pantothenic acid again, and it was the final ingredient that my brain needed to start working again (somewhat). I only take 50 mg/day, but seemingly that was enough to help with the synthesis of acetylcholine (B5 makes up most of the acetyl-CoA molecule, which is necessary to make acetylcholine.) I can now concentrate for about 3 good hours and 3 mediocre hours a day. 50 mg currently doesn't seem to give me insomnia.
     
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  16. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    @aaron_c I think that's part of the reason (besides adrenal stimulation) why some may have trouble with B5. Acetylcholine is needed, but there are studies showing high levels of choline in ME/CFS patients, and if one doesn't have enough support for the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, then it builds up and can cause extreme anxiety, agitation, etc., etc..
     
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  17. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    @dannybex I didn't know that. I always assumed that we didn't have enough acetylcholine (ACh), probably just because of my own experience: Whenever I remove one of the pieces of ACh synthesis from my supplement regimen I gradually (or suddenly) become unable to concentrate.

    Can you remember what dose of B5 was thought to cause anxiety et? Admittedly, I am asking partly in defense of the idea that a much lower dose of B5 than had been mentioned on this thread might be helpful (50 mg vs 500 mg)

    Not knowing anything about this I read a little bit. Please forgive the pedantic tone when you didn't really ask a question. I just learn best this way.

    It sounds to me like the whole ACh in ME/CFS issue is pretty muddy. The MRI study finding high choline in the brain might be unrelated to ACh. Here is an excerpt from an article talking about the kind of MR spectroscopy used (emphasis added):

    NAA is a neuronal marker and decreases with any disease that adversely affects neuronal integ-rity. Creatine provides a measure of energy stores. Choline is a measure of increased cellular turnover and is elevated in tumors and inflammatory processes. The observable MR metabolites provide powerful information, but unfortunately, many notable metabolites are not represented in brain MR spectra. DNA, RNA, most proteins, enzymes, and phospholipids are missing. Some key neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin, are absent.

    So the findings of high choline in the CNS of people with CFS (PWCFS) wasn't suggestive of high ACh. That's not to say that they ruled out high ACh or sensitivity to ACh in the CNS--but neither of those were tested for, and indeed, ACh couldn't be tested for, not with an MRI. The choline they saw was probably the result of inflammation.

    I did read one study that dealt more directly with ACh, although it measured it in the blood where it is a vasodilator and not the CNS where it also effects mood and memory. The study found that ACh-induced vasodilation was more long-lived in PWCFS, and that while cholinesterase levels had an impact on "ACh-stimulated blood flow recovery" in healthy people, it did not in the PWCFS. Their explanation for this is that cholinesterases aren't functioning properly in PWCFS, possibly because of herpes or lymphocytic choriomeningitis, both of which can inhibit acetylcholinesterase.

    But the authors finish sounding less sure about the ramifications of their study: They remind us that "endothelial cholinergic activity ... may or may not be applicable to other more widespread neurotransmitter functions of ACh." And they cite three case studies of PWCFS who had (appeared to have?) autoantibodies targeting one of the types of acetylcholine receptors, where treatment with cholinesterase inhibitors "might well be therapeutic."

    The takeaway from this limited review of two studies (as far as I am concerned):

    1. Some, perhaps many PWCFS cannot break down ACh quickly enough. Maybe this is from a hidden infection. Maybe this just happens in some parts of our body, maybe everywhere. Interestingly, it didn't seem to happen in people with CFS/Gulf War Syndrome or people with CFS/organophosphate poisoning. Maybe this lends credence to the hidden infection thing.
    2. I didn't find any data on ACh levels in PWCFS. My own experience suggests to me that I, at least, probably don't have enough of it in my brain. Maybe I have autoantibodies to muscarinic (acetylcholine) receptors. Maybe I have difficulty producing enough acetylcholine because of a deficiency in phosphatidylcholine and acetyl-CoA...I really don't know.
    3. As Dannybex said above, some people can get too much ACh.
     
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  18. dannybex

    dannybex Senior Member

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    @aaron_c Thanks for the info on the studies. Interesting especially re the choline connection to high cellular turnover and inflammation. And also the autoantibodies could be playing into this as well. The study where CFS patients who had exposure to pesticides did find that "The response to acetylcholine was significantly higher in patients with CFS"…which "might involve inhibition of vascular cholinesterase."

    This is mostly theory on my part, but it's my understanding that choline is a precursor to acetylcholine, and whenever I take any sort of choline supplement, I get symptoms of high acetylcholine. (Although SAM-e is a choline precursor, and I don't seem to react poorly to that.)

    I did find a study that showed low levels of acetylcholinesterase in B12 deficiency (in rats), so possibly B12 deficiency (or a 'functional' deficiency) might be contributing to the problem Also carnitine (again in rats) helped restore acetylcholinesterase levels.
     
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  19. Violeta

    Violeta Senior Member

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    Lysine is metabolised in mammals to give acetyl-CoA

    And then strangely enough:

    "L-carnitine is a derivative of the amino acid, lysine"

    So lysine would help from both ends, but correct me if I'm wrong.
     
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  20. aaron_c

    aaron_c Senior Member

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    Yes, but I believe the diagram below (thank you bioinfo.org.cn/book/biochemistry/chapt17/sim4.htm) indicates that lysine is only responsible for the addition of the acetyl group--a process that might be slowed if there was no pantothenic acid to form the CoA in the first place. So we can also say that lysine is metabolized to activate acetyl-CoA--and that it is no replacement for pantothenic acid.

    [​IMG]
     
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