Pantethine – an active form of pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5 – is a vital component of coenzyme A, a cofactor in dozens of enzymatic reactions, including reactions involved in fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Pantethine appears to facilitate the metabolism of fatty acids by activating coenzyme A, which promotes carnitine's transport of fatty acids into the mitochondria and subsequent intra-mitochondrial oxidation of those fatty acids. Consequently, pantethine supplementation has been found to support good cardiovascular health. In addition, increases in beneficial HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein A1 have been associated with pantethine supplementation. Pantethine is also considered to be an "anti-stress" vitamin because it supports healthy adrenal cortex function and hormone synthesis, particularly during times of stress.
Clinical trials suggest, because its biochemical configuration is closer to coenzyme A than pantothenic acid, that pantethine might have more benefit than pantothenic acid.
The presence of pantethine facilitates the body's production of apolipoprotein A1, the major protein component of HDL, which promotes the removal of cholesterol from tissues to the liver for excretion.
Pantothenic acid deficiency can result in adrenal atrophy, which is characterized by increased fatigue, sleep disturbances, nausea, and abdominal discomfort.