By Stephen Daniells Nutra Ingredients USA
Daily supplements of pantethine – a derivative of vitamin B5 – may reduce cholesterol levels above and beyond the effects of a cholesterol-lowering diet, says a new study.
The study used Daiichi Fine Chemical’s Pantesin-branded ingredient, and found that pantethine supplementation was associated with a 3% reduction in total cholesterol and a 4% reduction in LDL cholesterol.
“To our knowledge, this is the first reported placebo-controlled and diet-controlled investigation into the potential lipid altering abilities of oral pantethine in North American subjects,” report the researchers in Nutrition Research.
“There are no published data on the use of pantethine for lowering subsequent CVD events – but meta-analyses of a variety of statin trials, which looked at both lipid-lowering and future cardiovascular events, have demonstrated that, for each 1% lowering of TC/LDL-C, there is a concomitant lowering of global CVD by at least 1%.
“This investigation in low– to moderate–CVD-risk individuals showed a final lowering of LDL-C by about 9%, including benefits of the therapeutic lifestyle changediet,” they added.
Pantesin has been sold in the US as a dietary supplement ingredient for over 14 years, as well as its generic version; pantethine. The branded ingredient is a chemical derivative of vitamin B5 and has been sold as an over the counter drug for cholesterol reduction in Japan for over 20 years.
According to the researchers, pantethine is considered “grandfathered for safe, over-the-counter use”.
The new study was funded by Daiichi Fine Chemical Ltd.
Involving scientists from KGK Synergize, Kyowa Hakko USA, and the Princeton Longevity Center, the new study involved 120 North American subjects. All the participants underwent one month of a therapeutic lifestyle change (TLC) diet prior to being randomly assigned to either pantethine (600 mg/d for eight weeks, and 900 mg/d for an additional eight weeks) or placebo for 16 weeks.
“The purpose of the TLC diet lead-in phase was to ‘level the playing field’ so that we could eliminate or minimize any concerns of dietary influences on our results between the 2 treatment groups,” explained the researchers.
Results showed, while sustaining the therapeutic lifestyle change the group receiving the B5-derivative experienced significant reductions in total cholesterol (6 mg/dL), LDL cholesterol (4 mg/dL) and apolipoprotein B (4 mg/dL), compared with the placebo group. Apolipoprotein B is the main apolipoprotein of LD cholesterol and responsible for the transport of cholesterol to tissues.
“Although we confirmed in this study that pantethine lowers TC and LDL-C in these low–CVD-risk subjects in North America, there are several limitations of this study,” wrote the authors. “Even after 16 weeks of administration of pantethine, the measured parameters did not plateau or reach a constant level, which makes it difficult to predict the outcome of long-term administration of pantethine.
“Pharmacokinetic data such as blood levels of pantethine during the course of 600 or 900 mg of pantethine administration are limited in this study.
“The precise understanding of the mechanisms of actions of pantethine and the optimum dosage determination requires further investigation,” they concluded.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. According to the American Heart Association, high LDL cholesterol of 130 mg/dL – a major risk factor for heart disease – affects 39.5% of the population.
Source: Nutrition Research
Volume 31, Issue 8, Pages 608-615, doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2011.08.001
“Pantethine, a derivative of vitamin B5 used as a nutritional supplement, favorably alters low-density lipoprotein cholesterol metabolism in low– to moderate–cardiovascular risk North American subjects: a triple-blinded placebo and diet-controlled investigation”
Authors: J.A. Rumberger, J. Napolitano, I. Azumano, T. Kamiya, M. Evans