What is Pantethine?

M. Haskins

Pantethine is a dietary supplement that is a form of pantothenic acid, commonly known as vitamin B5, and is considered to be a more biologically active form of vitamin B5, meaning it has a more direct effect on the body. In the body, it is involved in the metabolism of food, the production of red blood cells and also affects the adrenal system. Some scientific studies have shown that pantethine can help lower elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood and improve cardiovascular health. Its various properties have made it a popular supplement, to treat high cholesterol and for other purposes such as improving athletic performance. There is no recommended daily intake of pantethine, and one should always consult a doctor before taking it as a supplement because of the risk of side effects and drug interactions.

Avocados contain vitamin B5, or pantethine.
Avocados contain vitamin B5, or pantethine.

Vitamin B5 is readily available in various foods such as avocados, split peas, oatmeal and lentils, as well as in dietary supplements. In the body, vitamin B5 is converted into pantethine, which is then converted into a substance called coenzyme A that the body uses to metabolize fat, protein and carbohydrates into energy. It is important to note that the effects on cholesterol levels in various studies only apply to intake of pantethine, not vitamin B5. Most of these clinical studies have used a daily dose of 600-1,200 mg. A lower daily dose of 300 mg has also shown some effects on cholesterol levels, but with more modest results.

Lentils have vitamin B5.
Lentils have vitamin B5.

It is not known exactly how this substance helps lower cholesterol. One theory is that it increases the concentration of certain chemicals in the body that help reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Pantethine seems to have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system too, possibly reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack. It is also used to treat symptoms of allergies to formaldehyde as well as a rare genetic disorder called cystinosis.

The side effects of pantethine are usually mild. Its laxative effect can cause diarrhea, and there is a risk of heartburn, nausea and other gastro-intestinal problems. It can also cause an increased chance of bleeding. More serious side-effects are rare, but it can interact with various medications such as beta blockers, blood thinners, and some diuretics, and it is important to consult a doctor before taking this supplement. People with kidney or liver disease, children and pregnant or nursing women should be especially cautious about taking pantethine.

A doctor should be consulted before taking any new supplements.
A doctor should be consulted before taking any new supplements.

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Discussion Comments

BoniJ

It's really too bad that supplements are not under the control of the government so there would be companies that would do good studies on supplements like pantethine.

If it's true what companies that produce supplements say about pantethine, that it lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, and helps the cardiovascular system, it would sure be great if it could be studied by a medical company and approved by the government.

B707

Even though it is reported that panethine has the ability to lower cholesterol, triglycerides,and minimize heart disease, it hasn't been given enough clinical research to know that much about its effectiveness and the side affects.

We don't know that much about the proper dosage. Supplements aren't under government control like medicines are. This supplement seems to have a lot of cautions that go with it. I would talk to a doctor before taking it.

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