Pantothenic Acid in Carrots

Carrots provide pantothenic acid and other nutrients.

Carrots provide pantothenic acid and other nutrients.

Your mother was right, carrots are good for your vision, but don’t stop there. Carrots pack a bunch of nutrients into one small and tasty package, including pantothenic acid. You may not hear a lot about pantothenic acid, possibly because it’s so easy to get the necessary amount through your daily diet. Carrots aren’t the highest source, but they definitely deliver pantothenic acid.

Pantothenic Acid Basics

Pantothenic acid, or vitamin B-5, has one primary role, but that one job sustains every part of your body. Pantothenic acid is used to make a substance called coenzyme A, or acetyl-CoA. Coenzyme A is at the center of your metabolism. Proteins, carbohydrates and fats all need coenzyme A before they can enter the cycle that turns them into the energy that fuels every cell in your body. Coenzyme A is essential for the production of red blood cells and hormones. It’s also needed to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which stimulates muscles and supports memory.

Recommendations

Women should include 5 milligrams of pantothenic acid in their daily diet. If you're pregnant, you should get 6 milligrams daily, and during breast-feeding, the recommendation goes up to 7 milligrams. It's not known to be toxic, so there aren’t any recommendations for an upper tolerable limit, but consuming more than 1,000 milligrams daily may cause diarrhea or other side effects such as heartburn and nausea, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. It’s rare to have a deficiency of pantothenic acid, and the symptoms are general fatigue and weakness. Since fatigue is common during pregnancy, not to mention a sign of stress and many other potential issues, talk to your health care provider if you have any concerns.

Pantothenic Acid in Carrots

The amount of pantothenic acid you’ll get from carrots varies depending on how they’re prepared. You’ll get the most from carrot juice, with 1 cup containing 0.54 milligrams or 10 percent of the recommended daily value. One cup of boiled carrots has 0.36 milligrams of pantothenic acid, which is still pretty high because that’s 7 percent of the daily value. The amount drops to 0.2 milligrams or 4 percent of your recommended daily intake if you eat 1 cup of canned carrots. One large, fresh carrot that’s 7 to 8 inches long is about equal to a cup of canned carrots because it has 0.19 milligrams of pantothenic acid.

Nutrient Information

Foods that provide even more pantothenic acid than carrots are rice, broccoli, sweet potatoes, milk and yogurt, which all have 20 percent of the recommended daily intake in a 1-cup serving. The advantage to getting pantothenic acid from carrots is that you’ll also consume other essential nutrients. One large, raw carrot has more than 500 percent of women’s recommended daily intake of vitamin A, 10 percent of her vitamin K and 6 percent of her vitamin C. Carrots also contain folate, which everyone needs to make normal red blood cells, but women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant need it to prevent birth defects that occur in the first few weeks after conception.

 

About the Author

Sandi Busch received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, then pursued training in nursing and nutrition. She taught families to plan and prepare special diets, worked as a therapeutic support specialist, and now writes about her favorite topics – nutrition, food, families and parenting – for hospitals and trade magazines.

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