History and Characteristics

Relatively little is known about pangamic acid. It is a water-soluble vitamin, orginally extracted from apricot kernels. A crystalline form was later obtained from rice bran, yeast, rice polish and whole-grain cereals.

Pangamic acid, a member of the vitamin B complex, was discovered in the United States in 1952 by one of the great vitamin explorers of our time, Dr. E.T. Krebs. The word pangamic was derived from pan, meaning "everywhere," and garni, "family." The vitamin is found in many seeds. Krebs made a synthetic version of it, called sodium pangamate, but it had some toxic side effects. Later, in 1964, the Russians produced a second synthetic, calcium pangamate, which seems to avoid some of the toxic reactions found with the other type.

Pangamic acid is a powerful methylating agent of glucuronic acid and is concerned with the oxidation process and cell enzyme respiration. It has been particularly helpful in treating hypoxia (poor supply of oxygen to the tissue of the body). It plays a role in the metabolism of protein, especially of the heart muscles. It is a needed vitamin in helping to stimulate the endocrine and nervous systems. It breaks down and metabolizes fat and has been found helpful in alleviating high levels of cholesterol.

At this time little information is available on the absorption or storage of this vitamin; however, it is known that large amounts of pangamic acid are excreted through the kidneys, bowels and the pores in perspiration.

Allies: Pangamic acid is most effective when taken with the rest of the vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A.

Antagonists: Unknown.

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