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Vitamin B15 (Pangamic Acid): Everything You Need to Know + Its Benefits

By Apricot Power
Apricot Seeds

Vitamin B15, also commonly referred to as pangamic acid or pangamate, is an incredible nutrient derived from apricot kernels.

Known for its various potential health benefits including increasing athletic endurance, antioxidant properties, and assistance in healthy aging, vitamin B15 may prove very valuable to individuals looking to supplement their health with a powerful vitamin.

The History of Vitamin B15

In 1938, a doctor named Ernst Krebs and his son first extracted and isolated pangamic acid from the seeds of apricot fruit. The substance is constituted of D-gluconodimethyl aminoacetic acid and was later given the name of vitamin B15 as evidence of potential health benefits from consuming the substance was found by Krebs and other researchers.

Pangamic acid, or vitamin B15, is most potently found in apricot kernels and products, but small traces of the nutrient also exist in Brewer’s yeast, whole grain brown rice, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and some other plant products.

Vitamin B15, as its name suggests, is a member of the B vitamins category, a group of nutrients that play vital roles in our bodily functions. Because our bodies cannot produce B vitamins on their own, it is essential that we supplement our diets with B vitamins. These nutrients are important for everyday life, but our bodies become more reliant on them when we age, develop, and live with medical conditions, become pregnant, choose specific dietary lifestyles, and more.


What are the Potential Health Benefits of Vitamin B15 (Pangamic Acid)?

Research conducted by the global science community has shown incredible promise in the positive impact vitamin B15 may have on human health.

While we look forward to seeing even more studies incorporating pangamic acid in the future, here is a short list of some of the most exciting potential benefits supplementing your diet with vitamin B15:

1. Better Energy, Metabolism, and Cellular Functions: Vitamin B15 May Function as a Methyl Donor

Methyl donors are important micronutrients that play a substantial role in numerous cellular functions including protein synthesis, DNA replication, and metabolism. When our bodies lack methyl donors, we may experience disturbances in energy metabolism, muscle disorders, fatty livers, or issues with protein synthesis in the liver. Disruptions of such essential bodily functions can take a serious toll on our health and livelihood.

Clinical studies conducted in Germany have shown promising signs that pangamic acid is a methyl donor. If this is true, vitamin B15 may support and increase the efficiency of these vital cellular functions. In effect, pangamic acid may support higher energy levels, decreased fatigue, improved metabolism, and improved muscle and liver health.

2. Brain Health: Vitamin B15 in the Treatment of Oxygen Depletion

Our brains need a steady and constant flow of oxygen to perform their normal functions. When the brains’ steady flow of oxygen is disrupted due to injury or certain health conditions, it puts our brain into what is called a hypoxic or anoxic state of oxygen depletion. A hypoxic state occurs when the brain partially lacks oxygen supply, while a total lack of oxygen is called an anoxic state.

In an experiment conducted on animal subjects, a study found that vitamin B15 may support oxidative processes and aid the body in restoring normal function when oxygen depletion is impacting the brain. The animal subjects were exposed to high altitudes, wherein they endured oxygen starvation, and pangamic acid helped restore their bodies to normal functions. These results, if reliable, suggest that vitamin B15 may play a role in cell oxidation and could be explored as an option in supporting coronary circulation.


3. Detoxifying Agent: Vitamin B15 as an Antioxidant for the Liver and Other Organs

Nutrients with antioxidant properties are those that over a period of time aid in the body’s process of ridding cells and organs, especially the liver, of unwanted, toxic substances like alcohol, chlorine, and other unhealthy compounds.

According to a study conducted at a medical school in Seoul, vitamin B15 may act as a detoxifier by helping to inhibit the formation and regeneration of toxic free radical substances in the body. By doing so, pangamic acid may suppress toxin replication and, thus, help rid the body of toxic agents. If true, vitamin B15 may play an important role in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities in the body.

Its antioxidant properties make vitamin B15 a potential fit for people looking to conquer the impact and damage from smoking, alcohol use, city air pollutants, toxic foods, and other modern habits that create toxins in the body. Pangamic acid has even been used to help recovering alcoholics and drug addicts detox their livers and bodies from these damaging substances.


4. Heart Health: Vitamin B15 May Help Support Lower Blood Cholesterol

As we know, high cholesterol is a serious risk agent for coronary heart disease, heart attacks, liver and kidney disease, and other undesirable health conditions. Vitamin B15 may be a supplement you should consider taking if you have been screened for and, in fact, have high cholesterol. 

In a study involving animal subjects, doctors in Poland showed that vitamin B15 may decrease cholesterol levels found on the walls of various vital organs. Thus, taking vitamin B15 along with exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a healthy diet may help keep blood cholesterol at a healthy range.

5. Anti-Aging: Vitamin B15 in the Prevention of Premature Aging

Due to its antioxidant properties discussed above, some people claim that vitamin B15 can slow down healthy cell death and rid our bodies of the free radicals that cause aging and damage to our skin, hair, and other vital organs. In fact, in Europe and other countries around the world, pangamic acid, or vitamin B15, is popularly used in the treatment and prevention of premature aging.

Because of its potential anti-aging properties, consuming vitamin B15 as a supplement or in apricot-infused skincare products may help promote healthy and youthful skin and hair.


6. Exercise Endurance: Vitamin B15 as an Athletic Supplement

Pangamic acid is well-known by athletes as a supplement that may improve athletic endurance and performance. Its properties as a methyl donor and antioxidant nutrient may enhance oxygen delivery to the exercising muscles, reduce the accumulation of lactic acid, and delay fatigue and exhaustion. In doing so, athletes might experience a boost in speed, agility, and energy levels as they perform.

Further, vitamin B15 may help athletes recover from overtraining and injury by supporting cellular repair and detoxification. By enhancing the effectiveness of bodily processes, pangamic acid may provide incredible support to athletic activities in pro-athletes and normally active individuals alike.

7. Healthy Lung Support: Vitamin B15 in Treatment for Asthma and Other Lung Illnesses

Vitamin B15 has been used as a supplement to asthmatic children and adults’ medical treatments, and in many cases, has been thought to aid in the reduction of congestion and improvement of breathing and quality of life. In some studies, patients were able to reduce the use of allergy medicine, steroids, and other medicines used to treat their asthma in favor of taking vitamin B15 on a daily basis.

Pangamic acid may have an impact on lung health in these cases due to its methyl donor properties that athletes benefit from when seeking to increase their endurance. These promising early studies and stories of success suggest that we should consider incorporating vitamin B15 in more research around respiratory health.


What is the Best Way to Take Vitamin B15?

Our bodies cannot independently manufacture vitamins like vitamin B15 that help us survive and thrive. For that reason, we must explore the best external sources to improve our health and bodily functions. There are several ways to increase your intake of pangamic acid, which we will outline below! Please, as always, remember to coordinate introducing any new supplement with your primary care physician beforehand.