This B vitamin is generally sold as either D- or DL-Ca pantothenate, and only the D-isomer has bioactivity. Thus, 1 g of D-Ca pantothenate equals 0.92 g pantothenic acid (PA) activity, and 1 g DL-Ca pantothenate equals 0.46 g of PA activity. Crystalline PA is relatively stable to heat, oxygen, and light, but it can lose activity rapidly when exposed to moisture.
Feed ingredients contain PA in the form of coenzyme A, and in this form it may not be fully available for gut absorption. Chick bioassay work has suggested that the PA in corn and soybean meal is 100% bioavailable, whereas that in barley, wheat, and sorghum is about 60% bioavailable. Processed feed ingredients may exhibit losses in PA bioavailability, although definitive animal data are lacking on this subject. Sauberlich estimated that PA in the typical adult American diet was only 50% bioavailable. He further suggested that processing
(freezing, canning, refining, etc.) may decrease bioavail-ability further.
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