What is Pantethine?
Pantethine is the active form of pantothenic acid. It has been shown to significantly reduce serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol (the so-called "bad cholesterol") levels while increasing HDL ("good cholestrerol") levels in several clinical trials. Pantethine has the advantage of being an effective treatment for high cholesterol while avoiding the undesirable side effects of synthetic lipid-lowering drugs. In fact, there appear to be no toxicity or side effects from to pantethine, making an attractive and natural treatment alternative. Pantethine has been used for the past 30 years in Japan, where it is approved as a pharmaceutical agent for the purpose of increasing HDL-C, the "good cholesterol" needed by the body to maintain a healthy heart.
A naturally occurring substance, Pantethine is produced as a byproduct when the body metabolizes pantothenic acid. The name "pantothenic," from which the word "pantethine" is drawn, literally means "something that is found everywhere." It may not be literally everywhere, but pantethine and pantothenic acid are found in most foods, including vegetables, dairy, eggs, grains, and meat. Liver, salmon and yeast have especially high concentrations of pantothenic acid, which the body uses to produce pantethine.
Although Pantethine is derived from pantothenic acid, pantethine is not the same as pantothenic acid, and it is important to remember that the two substances are not interchangeable. Structurally, pantethine is a more stable disulfide form (or a double bond) of pantothenic acid. It is also a more active metabolic substrate that is converted into an enzyme called "Co-Enzyme A," or simply, "CoA." CoA plays a critical role in the metabolism and breakdown of the three essential micronutrients namely proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Pantothenic acid has its own benefits, including enhanced adrenal functions and the reduction of hypertension, or high blood pressure. Pantothenic acid is also known as vitamin B5, and is a member of the water-soluble B vitamin family. It is an essential ingredient of two substances, coenzyme A and acyl carrier protein, which are needed to metabolize carbohydrates and fats. The same coenzymes play a part in production of certain hormones, vitamin D, red blood cells, and the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Pantothenic acid is necessary for proper growth and development.
Both pantothenic acid as well as pantethine should be considered as one synergistic unit and not as mutually exclusive nutrients. Supplements of the two nutrients can be taken together for maximum benefits.