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For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org

How effective is vitamin B5 for osteoarthritis?

Q) My partner and I both find vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) extremely effective in dealing with the symptoms of osteoarthritis and are puzzled that its use for this isn't more widely known. I understand a Dr Barton-White did research into this back in the 1960s. I wonder why this wasn't followed up. Can you shed any light on this?
Peter Elliott, Guildford, Surrey (Autumn 2005)

A) Pantothenic acid is available in a variety of foods. Rich sources of pantothenic acid include liver and kidney, yeast, egg yolk, broccoli and whole grains. Fish, shellfish, chicken, milk, yogurt, legumes, mushrooms, avocado and sweet potatoes are also good sources. Deficiency of this vitamin is virtually unknown because it occurs in so many foods. As you state, there were a number of studies in the early 1960s but nothing has been published since. I've as yet been unable to review the early studies so can’t pass on my comments to you but, in the absence of a clear therapeutic reason, you're unlikely to need supplements of this vitamin.

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