If you have been researching natural ways to lower your cholesterol, there's a good chance you've come across information about pantethine and plant sterols (also known as phytosterols). Pantethine and plant sterols could just be the natural way to control your cholesterol and manage your risk of heart disease.
About Pantethine and Plant Sterols
Pantethine and plant sterols are used in combination as a powerful, natural one-two in the battle against cholesterol. To see how these two powerful natural ingredients could help your fight against cholesterol, let's look at each one separately.
What is Pantethine?
Pantethine is a form of vitamin B5 (also known as pantothenic acid). It occurs naturally in foods like mushrooms, cauliflower, calf's liver, yogurt, eggs and broccoli.Pantethine can help to turn carbohydrates and fats into energy, improve your stress response, and assure that your body produces healthy fats. It is also believed to inhibit a number of coenzymes that are involved in the cholesterol production and synthesis process. This, in turn, may lower the amount of cholesterol produced by the body. Pantethine can lower harmful LDL levels, and it may help to raise the healthy HDL levels in the body.
What Are Plant Sterols?
Plant sterols are, quite simply, the fats found in plants. They exist in any fatty plant, such as nuts, avocados and vegetable oils. Structurally, plant sterols are similar to cholesterol. This causes plant sterols to behave in a unique manner in the body. They can serve as a stand-in for cholesterol in the blood stream and can take its place, blocking cholesterol from the blood stream. When the cholesterol doesn't enter the blood stream, it is sent to the bowel where it is harmlessly excreted. Plant sterols may cause an overall reduction in total cholesterol and LDL.
There are a number of supplements that contain the combination of phytosterols and pantethine.
- Cholesterol Shield Enzymatic Therapy contains both plant sterols and pantethine. It is $22 for 90 capsules.
- Pantethine Plus has both pantethine and a proprietary phytosterol blend. 90 capsules cost $31.
Cautions and Side Effects
- Always check with your personal health care provider before self-prescribing supplementation.
- Cholesterol is an essential part of many processes in your body. Because of this, it is important that you do not self-diagnose high cholesterol. Always work with a physician for diagnosis and treatment.
- Nutritional supplement claims have not been evaluated and approved by the FDA.
Pantethine Side Effects
While most people tolerate pantethine quite well, the following side effects and cautions should be observed.
- High doses of pantethine can cause increased bowel activity and diarrhea.
- Digestive disturbances may result.
- Pantethine may increase the risk of bleeding or slow clotting. Discontinue pantethine use two weeks prior to surgery.
- Do not take pantethine if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
- Pantethine should not be taken if you are taking any anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications. Some drugs to avoid when taking pantethine include aspirin, Plavix, diclofenac, NSAIDS, naproxen, ibuprofen, heparin and warfarin.
Plant Sterols Side Effects
While most people tolerate plant sterols quite well, the following side effects may be present:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Decreased sex drive
- Allergic reaction including rash, itching, hives, wheezing, difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis
The amount of plant sterols and pantithene recommended to improve cholesterol profiles is more than you can find from dietary sources. It is generally recommended that an effective daily dose of plant sterols and pantithene is 400 mg of plant sterols and 200 mg of pantethine, taken three times per day.
While cholesterol performs a number of important functions in the body, levels of cholesterol that are too high can build up on artery walls, leading to hardened arteries and decreased blood flow. This can lead to heart disease. While there are a number of medications available to lower cholesterol, they have a large number of undesirable and even dangerous side effects. Plant sterols and pantithene offer an alternative, natural solution that may help you to lower your cholesterol and improve your heart health without taking dangerous pharmaceuticals. If this sounds like an ideal solution for you, why not talk to your personal health care provider about trying this safe, natural treatment?