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Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for pantothenic acid

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Following a request from the European Commission, the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) derived Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) for pantothenic acid. Pantothenic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, which is a component of coenzyme A (CoA) and acyl-carrier proteins. Pantothenic acid is ubiquitous and deficiency is rare. There are no suitable biomarkers that can be used to derive the requirement for pantothenic acid. Data available on pantothenic acid intakes and health consequences are very limited and cannot be used to derive DRVs for pantothenic acid. As there is insufficient evidence available to derive an Average Requirement and a Population Reference Intake, an Adequate Intake (AI) is proposed. The setting of AIs is based on observed pantothenic acid intakes with a mixed diet and the apparent absence of signs of deficiency in the EU, suggesting that current intake levels are adequate. The AI for adults is set at 5 mg/day. The AI for adults also applies to pregnant women. For lactating women, an AI of 7 mg/day is proposed, to compensate for pantothenic acid losses through breast milk. For infants over six months, an AI of 3 mg/day is proposed by extrapolating from the pantothenic acid intake of exclusively breast-fed infants aged zero to six months, using allometric scaling and reference body weight for each age group, in order to account for the role of pantothenic acid in energy metabolism. The AI for children and adolescents is set at 4 and 5 mg/day, respectively, based on observed intakes in the EU.