pantothenic acid(redirected from anti-gray hair factor)
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pantothenic acid(păn`təthĕn`ĭk): see coenzymecoenzyme
, any one of a group of relatively small organic molecules required for the catalytic function of certain enzymes. A coenzyme may either be attached by covalent bonds to a particular enzyme or exist freely in solution, but in either case it participates intimately in
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group of organic substances that are required in the diet of humans and animals for normal growth, maintenance of life, and normal reproduction. Vitamins act as catalysts; very often either the vitamins themselves are coenzymes, or they form integral parts of coenzymes.
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(chick antidermatitis factor), a vitamin of the B complex. Pantothenic acid is a dipeptide amide of β-alanine and pantoic acid. In animal and plant cells, it occurs as a constituent of coenzyme A, which is involved in the most important metabolic reactions. The daily human requirement for pantothenic acid is 5–10 mg; this is satisfied by maintaining a normal balanced diet, since this vitamin occurs in many foods of both animal and vegetable origin, including yeast, fish roe, beef liver, egg yolk, greens, milk, carrots, and cabbage. Pantothenic acid is also synthesized by intestinal flora.
Pantothenic acid deficiency gives rise to metabolic disorders that promote the development of dermatitis, depigmentation, hair loss, fur and feather loss, and cessation of growth. Emaciation and changes in adrenal gland and nervous system activity arise, as well as disorders of motor coordination and of function in the liver, stomach, heart, and intestine. Pantothenic acid is used to relieve intestinal atony following gastrointestinal surgery, and its calcium salt is recommended for other therapeutic purposes.
L. N. MATVEEVA