Vitamin B5 (pantethine) may be natural alternative to statin drugs

Pantethine, a form of vitamin B5, gets a thumbs up from the Wall Street Journal as a natural way to support healthy cholesterol levels. Another new study finds similar promise in probiotics.

A new Wall Street Journal article gives a thumbs up to a form of vitamin B5 known as pantethine, a natural alternative for lowering cholesterol that’s sold as a drug in Japan. Several smaller studies and a recent 120-person North American study back pantethine’s effectiveness, thought to be linked to its promotion of fat-burning coenzyme A in the body.

Researchers want to study pantethine taken with statins to determine if taking the supplement might allow patients to lower their statin dose.

Although generally very effective at lowering cholesterol levels, statins—the biggest selling class of pharmaceuticals of all time—don’t work as well in women, and have been linked with diabetes risk, muscle weakness and breakdown, liver dysfunction and possible links to memory loss and nerve damage, says Mark Houston, MD, director of the Hypertension Institute of Nashville and author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Heart Disease. A new study shows taking them also inhibits the absorption of omega-3 fatty acids, a key supplement for supporting heart (and overall) health.

Other new research highlights possible cholesterol benefits from probiotics. According to a new study presented by the American Heart Association, two daily doses of a probiotic (L. reuteri NCIMB) lowered key cholesterol-bearing molecules in the blood as well as “bad” and total cholesterol.

Already proven natural cholesterol helpers include: coenzyme Q10, fish oil, niacin, red yeast rice, plant sterols and vitamin D3. Click here for more tips on lowering cholesterol naturally.

Have you or a loved one had success in lowering your cholesterol levels with or without drugs? Please share your experience in comments, or tweet me at @susan_enfield.

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