Pterostilbene is a natural compound present in blueberries, cranberries, red grapes, and several plants in Asia. Pterostilbene has several powerful health benefits, in the areas cardiovascular health, cognitive function, neurological diseases and diabetes.
How Pterostilbene Works
Pterostilbene is a polyphenol and is actually a cousin to resveratrol, the healthy compound found in grapes and red wine. Unlike resveratrol, however, pterostilbene cannot survive the fermentation process in wine-making. On the other hand, pterostilbene is much more absorbable by the human body than resveratrol (80% bioavailability vs. 20%). As a polyphenol, this compound has strong antioxidant properties, allowing it to help fight off pathogens and protect cells.
Dr. Jose M. Estrela, a professor of physiology at the University of Valencia in Spain notes that “the good thing is that pterostilbene works, but the bad thing is that we cannot fully explain its potential health benefits with the information that we have.”
- According to a review published in a recent issue of Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, multiple studies have demonstrated rich antioxidant activity.
- The results of a study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine shows that pterostilbene inhibits free radical scavenging and protects lipids, proteins and DNA against oxidative damage.
- Pterostilbene may improve cognitive function, as shown in a recent animal study.
- A study published in 2016 revealed that pterostilbene has anti-apoptosis (cell death) activity in neurons. This is very exciting because neuron cell death is a contributing factor in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Pterostilbene looks promising as a possible anti-cancer compound. Multiple studies show that pterostilbene inhibits breast cancer in vitro and in vivo.
- This compound also shows promise as a chemopreventive and therapeutic agent for prostate and lung cancer.
- Pterostilbene may assist in diabetes treatment. In an animal study, oral pterostilbene for 6 weeks resulted in a decrease in blood glucose and significant increase in plasma insulin levels. The results were comparable to the metformin.
- In a recent hamster study, researchers found that pterostilbene lowered not only cholesterol but glucose levels as well.
- Pterostilbene has anti-inflammatory effects. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a number of diseases (arthritis, irritable bowel disease, asthma, etc.). Oral administration has been shown to inhibit oxidative stress and inflammation.
Suggested Dosage and Side effects
According to the Journal of Toxicity, pterostilbene is safe for use in humans up to 250 mg/day, but dosage should be matched to a person’s size. For larger individuals, dosages up to 500 mg/day appear to be non-toxic.
Pterostilbene is an antioxidant compound found in berries that has high bioavailability and numerous health benefits. More human studies and clinical trials are needed to continue to evaluate the efficacy of pterostilbene in the prevention and treatment of disease. Based on the current research, however, this compound may be worth supplementing. If you try it out, let me know what you think.