Pantethine, or pantothenic acid, is vitamin B5, an important member of the B complex vitamins. It is water soluble, and the body cannot store it, meaning it needs to be replenished through the diet. According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) website, side effects of use are rare, however, taking too much can possibly lead to diarrhea. Discuss pantethine with your doctor to determine if its right for you.
Pantethine is essential for the breakdown of certain compounds in the body. The NLM website states that pantethine plays an important role in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism, or break down. A study published in a Hungarian journal in 2009 describes how pantethine, begins a biochemical process, transforming into coenzyme A, which is then used to breakdown carbs, protein and fats.
According to a study published earlier this year in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA," pantethine supplementation helped to restore levels of pantothenate kinase, which is a substance that, when deficient, can lead to neurodegeneration. The study, done on fruit flies, found pantethine to increase coenzyme A, improve mitochondrial function, rescue brain degeneration, and increase lifespan. Although promising, research is still in its early stages, and more data is needed before pantethine is used for this purpose.
Contributes to Melatonin Synthesis
Melatonin is the sleep hormone, and its synthesis depends upon certain amino acids and vitamins. One of the precursors of melatonin is serotonin, which is moved along to melatonin with the help of a few important substances. Acetylcoenzyme A is needed to make N-acetyl serotonin, according to another article published in the "National Academy of Sciences of the USA," which is the intermediary step before reaching melatonin. Pantethine is needed for the creation of acetylcoenzyme A, therefore it can be an important part of promoting healthy sleep.
There has been recent data found that suggests pantethine can be helpful in reducing lipids levels in the body. "Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology" released an article in 2001 that studied the effects of pantethine on obese mice. The results found that pantethine administration "lowered food intake and mean body weight, insulin and glucose levels and decreased the content of triglycerides, total cholesterol and cholesterol esters in serum and adipose tissue."
Dr. Andrew Weil's website advises caution regarding the use of pantethine to lower triglycerides, as he believes more evidence is needed to assert its benefits for lowering cholesterol.
Pantethine and Dopamine
Another interesting benefit to pantethine is that it can help with dopamine function. Earlier this year, "BMC Neuroscience" published a study that showed how pantethine helped reverse damage to dopaminergic neurons, and prevented motility disorders. Again, many of these studies have not used human subjects, therefore always discuss use of pantethine with your physician before trying.