Could Vitamin B5 Help?
Because pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) appears everywhere in our cells as coenzyme A (CoA), a deficiency is “considered” to be rare. However, if CoA levels become low in the body, symptoms such as irritability and fatigue begin to occur.
Now, what can cause CoA levels to drop in the body?
So, if the assertion that “since pantothenic acid appears everywhere in our cells as coenzyme A (CoA), thus a deficiency is considered to be rare”, how does that explain the increase of stress-related illnesses in the U.S.!
Stress can be a physical and/or mental. Having one usually invites the other. For example:
→ Mental stressors can cause physical stressors such as: Depression (mental stressor) causing joint pain (physical stressor).
→ Physical stressors can cause mental stressors such as: Heart disease (physical stressor) causing anxiety (mental stressor).
How does the body respond to stress?
Most of us have heard the phrase, “fight or flight”. This refers to the body’s response to some outside influence that threatens our existence. It’s one of the most primal reflexes we have.
No doubt it helped us react to dangerous animals that were in pursuit of us for their dinner. It also prevents us from “giving up” in a scenario such as drowning, falling off a cliff, or perhaps getting out of the way of a fast-moving bus.
Today, having to worry about being chased by a wild animal isn’t nearly as likely as it once was, and thank goodness for that! And, having to worry about our survival on a daily basis is also not nearly as likely as it once was. Again, thank goodness! So really, we should be a far more relaxed and a more stress-free society. Right?
Well, I know, that you know, this just isn’t the case.
Most Stress is our own Creation
We have other stressors these days, and most of them we create ourselves.
Not only do we worry about everything around us, we worry about things that have already happened, might happen, and things that will or won’t even happen tomorrow! We worry about own problems, our family’s, and our friends’ problems. We love to worry so much, we even worry about people we don’t know!
This is also a “fight or flight” reaction, but this type occurs due to our own thoughts. And then if you become overwhelmed, it is known as anxiety.
Stress is the culprit of so many health problems because it weakens the body’s immune system. Despite the boundless amount of research that supports this, sadly our society has all but given up on the idea that we can do anything about.
In other words, we refuse to make real changes in our life.
Do Group Fitness Classes Really Help with STRESS?
Many of us flock to gyms for “stress-relief”, but how is the following scenario helpful in reducing stress?
Have you ever been to a gym and thought you’d take some exercise class, perhaps one that involves the use of ‘steps’ and weights. Of course, most of us can only make classes during lunch or after work, so these classes can become extremely crowded. Often requiring you to “sign in”.
Now, remember, we go to these classes to “de-stress”. So, why then the mad dash to get equipment, plow over everyone around us in order to secure your a spot (and many of us have “our” spot that we just have to have!) And it doesn’t stop there, we even dash out just as fast often disturbing everyone around us, and usually leaving before the “cool down and final stretch” – the most relaxing part!
See a problem here? Mind you, I have even been to yoga classes where this occurs!
So, back to my statement that most of us refuse to make real changes in our life.
What we will do, however, is take antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, sleeping meds, high blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds, and let’s not forget our anti-acids, anti-constipation or anti-diarrhea meds, anti-heartburn, and of course, anti-pain meds. Did you know that ALL of these meds actually cause even more stress on the body!
And ultimately when you run out of “med” options, what will do you do then?
Maybe before you get on this “stress train”, you could attempt to address the root cause of the stress. Too often, once people have lived with chronic stress, and finally do try to make the life changes that could result in less stress, thus reducing their risk of health conditions, they find that it is extremely difficult. Why?
What are they missing?
What is forgotten most often is that a nutritionally depleted and weakened body, is already on a downhill spiral towards illness? So what can you do?
You can give your body what it needs so it can rebuild itself back to optimal health.
Perhaps you have seen the TV commercials about how stress can cause an increase of cortisol resulting in that extra fat around the waistline. TV infomercials promise that there are both drugs and supplements that claim to help reduce the cortisol, and for the most part, this is a good idea.
Except, once again, it is only addressing the symptom rather than the actual cause – low levels of CoA.
One way to help you replenish CoA can be achieved by pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) supplementation.
(No doubt when you have been living in a state of stress for a long period of time, you are deficient in multiple nutrients, but here we are going to focus on pantothenic acid.)
What is CoA anyway?
In summary, pantothenic acid is an integral part of the acyl-carrier protein (ACP) and coenzyme A (CoA).
A recent study, ‘Pantothenic acid in health and disease’,
“…found that altered homeostasis of CoA has been long observed in many disease states including: cancer, starvation, diabetes, alcoholism, Reye syndrome (RS), medium-chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency, and Vitamin B12 deficiency.”
What is the common denominator with all these conditions? Fatigue!
The adrenals are basically responsible for releasing hormones in response to stress. They use CoA along with cholesterol and Vitamin C to manufacture cortisol, and other important hormones such as epinephrine. When cortisol production is lowered, the body’s ability to respond to stress is considerably compromised.
Thus, if cortisol levels are chronically elevated, the body’s reserve of pantothenate (the active form of pantothenic acid) needs to be replenished in order to sustain proper adrenal function.
Now that we know how the body responds to stress, the next question to ask is what happens when our body can no longer adapt to the stressors it is being exposed to?
The relationship between cortisol and stress is not a new concept. As already mentioned, most everyone has heard the TV commercials that show you how the connection of increased of cortisol, due to stress, can increase the fat around the waist.
How can pantothenic acid help? It’s simple. It helps the adrenals, where cortisol is made.
So by giving the body what it needs to deal with stress, can give you the head start you need in order to begin the other things necessary to lower the stress in your life (IE, exercise, enjoying friends and family, relaxation, etc).
Not to mention, you may even notice a decrease in the rink of fat around your waist…and isn’t that a nice plus?! 🙂