Pantethine (bis-pantethine or co-enzyme pantethine) is a dimeric form of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). It is composed of two molecules of pantothenic acid linked by cysteamine bridging groups. The monomer of this compound is known as pantetheine and is an intermediate in the production of Coenzyme A by the body. Pantethine is considered the more biologically active form of vitamin B5, but it is less stable, decomposing over time if it is not kept refrigerated. Most vitamin B5 supplements are therefore in the form of calcium pantothenate, a salt of pantothenic acid.
Research: Pantethine is available as a dietary supplement because of evidence of its health benefits. In multiple clinical trials of patients with elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, total and LDL cholesterol were decreased by 12%, triglycerides decreased by 18%, and HDL cholesterol was increased by 9%. These clinical trials were conducted with daily intakes ranging from 600 to 1200 mg/day.
Within this dose range there is no evidence of a dose-effect relationship, i.e. changes in lipid concentrations overlapped across the range of doses. Direct dose-response evidence is not available because no trial tested more than one dose. A few trials tested 300 mg/day with more modest but still statistically significant results.
Benefits of pantethine:
pantethine is the fundamental component of Coenzyme A (CoA) which transports fatty acids into the mitochondria of cells. It is one of the most important enzymes in the body and is also critical for many other functions ranging from antibody synthesis to maintaining blood sugar levels. The pathway of pantethine is much shorter than pantothenic acid.
Pantethine may be a good cholesterol-lowering alternative for people with diabetes, who cannot take niacin due to the potential side effects on blood sugar regulation.
Pantethine's primary use is in lowering high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood while increasing the good HDL cholesterol. Pantothenic acid has no such activity.