D-Calcium pantothenate is a common supplemental form of synthetically prepared pantothenic acid, better known as Vitamin B5.  This essential nutrient is soluble in water and found in almost all foods, but most abundant in meats, eggs, dairy products, peanuts, whole grains and fresh vegetables.  This vitamin is a major player in the formation of Coenzyme-A, therefore vital for the metabolism and syntheses of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for its oxidation role.  There is no wonder this vitamin has adopted the name pantothen, meaning “from all sides” or “from everywhere” in Greek.


Chemically, pantothenic acid is an amide found between D-pantoate and B-alanine.  Only D-isomers of this vitamin offers biological activity.  Ironically, the L-isomer acts antagonistically against its D-form.  Vitamin B5 is highly concentrated in the muscles of all animals, mainly humans.  It is known to act as a catalytic agent assisting muscles for protein absorption and restoration of elasticity.  The supplemental calcium form carries a salt making it more stable than its natural state.  This allows for better absorption in the digestive tract.


Deprivation of this vitamin is very rare in humans although sometimes evident.  Deficiencies can lead to a drop in adrenalin synthesis, resulting in weakened muscle tissues and disruption of the nervous system with signs of fatigue and irritability.  Because pantohenic acid is responsible for synthesizing coenzyme A, which in turn offers its acyl group in the formation of acetyl-CoA to enter the tricarboxylic acid cycle – a major energy pathway, absence of this vitamin can affect neurological processes.  Other symptoms and occurrences may result in an increased sensitivity to insulin causing hypoglycemia, restlessness, nausea, and abdominal cramps.


For the average adult, the daily recommended dosage of vitamin B5 is 5 mg.  Pregnant or women breast-feeding should increase to 1 and 2 mg per day, respectively.  When substituting D-calcium pantothenate in place of the naturally occurring form, every 10 mg accounts for 9.2 mg of pantothenic acid.





Betaine hydrochloride is an acidic form of betaine, a vitamin-like substance found in grains and other foods.  Betaine hydrochloride is recommended by some doctors as a supplemental source of hydrochloric acid for people who have a deficiency of stomach acid production.


Betaine is also known as trimethylglycine, N-trimethylglycine, glycine betaine, glycocoli betaine, oxyneurine and lycine.  Its chemical name is 1-carboxy-N, N, N-trimethylmethanaminium inner salt.  Betaine is very soluble in water had has a sweet taste.  It is widely distributed in plants and animals.  The dydrochloride of betaine is known as betaine hydrochloride, betaine HCL and pluchine.   Its chemical name is 1-carboxy-N, N, N-trimethylmethanaminium chloride.  The pH of a 5% aqueous solution of betaine hydrochloride is 1. Betaine hydrochloride is basically a digestive aid for people with insufficient levels of gastric acid in their stomachs.  This insufficiency can be caused by poor nutrition, dehydration, stress, onset of the menopause in women, or just old age.  Betaine is absorbed from the small intestines into the enterocytes.  It is released by the enterocytes into the portal circulation which carries it to the liver where there is significant first-pass extraction and first –pass metabolism of betaine.   The principal metabolic reaction is the transfer of a methyl group from betaine to homocysteine via the enzyme betaine-homocysteine  methyltransferase.  The products of the reaction are L-methionine and dimethylglycine.  Betaine hydrochloride is converted to betaine in the alkaline environment of the small intestine.


Betaine hydrochloride is a source of hydrochloric acid, a naturally occurring chemical in the stomach that helps us digest food by breaking up fats and proteins.  Stomach acid also aids int eh absorption of nutrients through the walls of the intestines into the blood and protects the gastrointestinal tract from harmful bacteria.  A major branch of alternative medicine known as naturopathy has long help that low stomach acid ia a widespread problem that interferes with digestion and the absorption of nutrients.  Betaine hydrochloride is one of the most common recommendations for this condition (along with the more folksy apple cider vinegar).  Betaine is also sold by itself, without the hydrochloride molecule attached.  In this form, it is called trimethylglycine (TMG).  TMG is not acidic, but recent evidence suggests that it may provide certain health benefits of its own.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: