Pantethine Analyzed

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Introduction

Pantethine is the biologically active subunit of pantetheine, which is produced from pantothenic acid (vitamin B5).

It is most well known for being a major component and precursor of coenzyme A – a coenzyme with a role in the synthesis and oxidation of fatty acids.

Pantethine is also available as a dietary supplement because of the evidence that it may be involved in lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

It has also been used as a drug in Japan for years to treat dyslipidemia, which is the abnormal amount of lipids (triglycerides, cholesterol) in the blood.

Pantethine Health Benefits

May Improve Blood Lipids

Total cholesterol and its primary lipoprotein components, LDL an HDL, and triglycerides, are well-established factors contributing to cardiovascular disease risk across all populations.

Research has shown that in populations at risk of cardiovascular disease, supplementing with 600mg of pantethine every day for 16 weeks can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides by ~15%, and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol by ~15% [1].

Pantethine can have this benefit for the following reasons:

  • Reduces fat deposits on arterial walls [2].
  • Increases coenzyme A levels in cells [3] and favorably modifies lipoprotein metabolism [4].
  • Regulates liver sterol biosynthesis, as pantethine may shunt acetate from sterol synthesis to energy metabolism pathways [5].
  • Possibly stimulates LDL catabolism and upregulates intestinal and liver HDL secretion [6].
  • Possesses a mild antiplatelet aggregation property that can alter the membrane fluidity of cells and platelets [7].
  • May activate neuropeptides to enhance blood flow and gut function [8].

However, it is not currently known whether pantethine has a direct biological effect on fat metabolism, or if its effects are indirect due to its breakdown to a compound called cysteamine [9]. At present, most researchers believe that pantethine works in conjunction with cysteamine.

How to Take Pantethine

There is currently no exact dosage that is recommended to achieve the potential effects on cardiovascular health and lipid metabolism.

However, based on the available evidence and the use of pantethine within Japanese culture, an effective and safe dose is 300-600mg per day.

Safety and Side Effects

In general, pantethine is regarded as a well-tolerated supplement.

Oral pantethine supplementation has been shown to be safe and effective when used as part of a prescription medications such as Pantosin in Japan for over 30 years.

In addition, from all the clinical trials on pantethine (average dose of 900mg per day) there is only ~1 adverse reaction per 100 subjects, usually being some type of mild gastrointestinal complaint [10].

A recent review has also confirmed that the frequency of pantethine side effects is very low and mild [11].

However, potential side effects may include diarrhea, loose stools, stomach pain, and bloating.

There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking pantethine during pregnancy or lactation. Similarly, as pantethine might slow blood clotting, it should not be consumed with medications that also slow clotting as this might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding. Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel, and ibuprofen.

Conclusion

Pantethine is one of the biologically active derivatives that are naturally produced from pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) metabolism.

This subunit has been used as a drug in Japan for many years to treat dyslipidemia and is now sold as a dietary supplement in many countries.

A good amount of research indicates that pantethine may be able to improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels, however more research is needed for confirmation.

Shaun Ward MSc BSc SENr Anutr
Shaun Ward MSc BSc SENr Anutr
Staff Writer & Fact Checker at DietProbe
Shaun is a registered nutritionist, and sport and exercise nutritionist, with experience in coaching professional endurance and strength athletes.
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This article has been reviewed and fact-checked by a certified nutritionist, and only uses information from credible academic sources.