Harnessing the Power of Blue!
What is Pterostilbene?
Pterostilbene (pronounced tero-stil-bean) is a potent antioxidant that is produced by plants to protect against stresses brought on by disease, the sun, drought, and insects – much like its more famous cousin, Resveratrol (For its part, resveratrol is known as the active ingredient in red wine responsible its heart benefits. Resveratrol has also been proven to have anticancer, anti diabetic, and anti-inflammatory properties, among others)..
Pterostilbene is structurally different from resveratrol in that it is methylated, which makes it more absorbable into the body. It also has a longer half life in the blood than resveratrol. Despite pterostilbene’s better bioavailability, it is believed resveratrol’s metabolites (the byproducts of resveratrol that remain in the body after metabolism) are very healthy. Specifically, the metabolite piceatannol was found in one study to activate the SIRT1 gene three times more than any other tested compound. Perhaps this is why relatively small doses of resveratrol seem to be effective, even considering its rapid metabolization.
In any case, it is believed pterostilbene and resveratrol work synergistically - through different biological pathways. As such, several supplement companies are now offering Pterostilbene + Resveratrol supplements (see the Sources of Pterostilbene section below for more information). Click here for more information on Resveratrol at Resveratrol.com.
Like its cousin resveratrol, pterostilbene is a prime candidate to treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. Both resveratrol and pterostilbene are small molecules that can penetrate the blood/brain barrier and both are powerful antioxidants. And if pterostilbene is anything like resveratrol in the brain, it will be an effective destroyer/inhibitor of amyloid beta plaques that are widely thought to be responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.
What's more, one recent study conducted by the Department of Neuroscience at Case Western Reserve University revealed that two months of feeding pterostilbene to mice with Alzheimer’s disease significantly improved the animals’ ability to navigate a radial arm water maze compared to the control animals not fed pterostilbene.
Pterostilbene has been shown to lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol with similar effectiveness as a prescription anti cholesterol medication. Further, Pterostilbene does not have any known side effects as did the particular perscription medication.
Note:For their part, high triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels in the blood can cause heart disease and stroke.
Pterostilbene also has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
What's more, Pterostilbene is a close cousin to resveratrol. Resveratrol has been shown to improve heart health and endothelial function in many animal models.
Pterostibene fights cancer through several mechanisms. First, pterostilbene has powerful anti inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a known cause of cancer. Second, pterostilbene is a powerful antioxidant. In other words, pterostilbene neutralizes free radicals that promote oxidative damage in the body. Finally, pterostilbene inhibits enzymes that activate carcinogens. For instance, pterostilbene inhibits the Cytochrome P450 enzyme which in turn activates ‘procarcinogens’ that can turn substances such as pesticides and cigarettes into carcinogens.
What’s more, actual results from scientific studies demonstrate Pterostilbene’s numerous anti cancer properties. For instance:
- Colon – Pterostilbene has significantly reduced colorectal tumors in several mouse studies.
- Breast – Pterostilbene significantly improved the effectiveness of breast cancer drug tamoxifen in vitro.
- Lung - Pterostilbene has been shown to inhibit growth of lung cancer cells in vitro. The mechanism for this is apoptosis – the process where the cancer cells self destruct (resveratrol has also been proven to promote cancer cell apoptosis).
- Bladder – Pterostilbene restricts the growth of chemo-resistant human bladder cancer cells by apoptosis and autophagy (autophagy is a type of cell self cannibalism).
- Pancreas – Pterostilbene reduced one pancreatic cancer cell line by 63% and another pancreatic cell line by 75%.
- Skin - Pterostilbene (like its cousin resveratrol) inhibits multistage mouse skin carcinogenesis.
Sources of Pterostilbene
Pterostilbene is found in natural foods and dietary supplements. With regard to natural foods, it is found in blueberries and (in smaller amounts) in grapes and cranberries - in particular it is found in greatest amounts in the skins of these fruits where it protects from sun, mold, mildew, and pests.
With regard to dietary supplements pterostilbene is found alone and also with other ingredients such as its analog cousin resveratrol.
In the past year, pterostilbene has emerged from relative obscurity to become one of the most promising natural compounds on the market. The reasons for this meteoric rise are as follows.
First, an increasing number of promising scientific studies have been released since 2004. In effect, the more promising studies that are released, the more scientists initiate new ones.
Next, improved technology is allowing pterostilbene to be produced in large quantities and at relatively low costs. Pterostilbene was first isolated from the red sandalwood tree (aka, Pterocarpus santalinus) which is only found in southern India and is considered endangered. Because of the rarity of this particular tree (and other of pterocarpus species containing pterostilbene) and the laborious/expensive nature of pterostilbene extraction from Pterocarpus (and other sources, such as blueberries), obtaining large quantities of pterostilbene proved impractical.
Fortunately, fermentation and other technologies are allowing 99% pure pterostilbene to be manufactured at a relatively low cost and in large quantities. What’s more, these technologies encourage the protection of several endangered species.
The result of these increased positive studies and high quality/inexpensive pterostilbene is that pterostilbene supplements are now being sold at GNC, the Vitamin Shoppe, and at various online sites.
In sum, if the last seven years are any indication, pterosilbene may well be one of the most popular supplements in world within the next decade.
© 2013 Pterostilbene.com
This site is not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.