Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Nutrition and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Bonita W. Wyse, R. Gaurth Hansen


Bonita W. Wyse


R. Gaurth Hansen


Thomas Emery


Donald Sisson


Rodney Brown


Pantothenic acid nutritional status was evaluated in a cohort of twenty-nine Caucasian pregnant women, aged 20-35, during their third trimester of pregnancy, at two-weeks postpartum and at three months postpartum. Seventeen non-pregnant, non-lactating women who had similar demographic backgrounds as the pregnant women were selected as a control group and followed the same experimental schedule as the pregnant women. A fasting blood sample, two days 24-h urine specimens and diet record were obtained for each of two days from each subject at each period.

The mean dietary pantothenic acid intakes of the women during pregnancy (5.30±1.74 mg/day) and during lactation (8.90±11.66 mg/day) were statistically similar to that of the control group (9.63±19.74 mg/day). A substantial number of the study population consumed less than 4 mg pantothenic acid daily. The average of 2.75 mg dietary pantothenic acid intake per 1000 kcal was consistent in all groups. The mean fasting blood level (406.38±78.21 ng/ml) and urinary excretion (3.21±0.88 mg/day, 3.85±1.24 mg/g creatinine) of the pregnant women were significantly lower than those of the control group (530.14±157.90 ng/ml; 4.38±3.69 mg/day, 5.78±4.90 mg/g creatinine). The suppressed panthothenic acid levels in blood and urinary excretion during pregnancy were increased to levels comparable to controls during the nursing period. Pantothenic acid lev~s in the biological fluids correlated significantly with dietary intake. A bound form of pantothenic acid was not detected in the plasma and plasma values were relatively constant. Thus, plasma was suggested as an insensitive indicator of pantotheriic acid nutritional status. The mean pantothenic acid contents of fore and hind milk samples were 2.60 microgram/ml, 2.44 microgram/ml, respectively and were not statistically different. Overall, the pregnant women consumed less than the suggested level of pantothenic acid, maintained lower blood levels and had decreased urinary excretion.