7 amazing benefits of pterostilbene

If you’re at all concerned with your heart health, blood sugar or brain health, by now you’ve heard of resveratrol, the polyphenol found in blueberries, red wine and dark chocolate. Well, I’d like to introduce you to resveratrol’s more powerful cousin, pterostilbene.

It’s found in a lot of the same foods, but it has some definite advantages when it comes to supporting your health you’ll want to know all about…

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Pterostilbene: resveratrol’s first cousin

Pterostilbene is an antioxidant produced by plants to protect themselves against viruses, bacteria and fungi.

Its molecular structure is very similar to resveratrol. In fact, they’re like first cousins.

However, the pterostilbene molecule has two more connecting points. In practical terms, this means that it is more easily absorbed through the stomach lining and cell membranes, so it’s more bioavailable. And that means it’s more accessible to your body — and stays in your system longer.

But the biggest jewel in its crown may be that it can pass easily across the blood-brain barrier.

7 health benefits of pterostilbene

  1. Antioxidant effects. It’s been shown to help reduce damage from free radicals. Not surprisingly, many of the other six potential health benefits are related to its powerful antioxidant effects…
  2. Anti-inflammatory activity. Heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are just a few of the conditions associated with chronic inflammation. Pterostilbene inhibits the action of the inflammatory signaling molecules cyclooxygenase (COX) and pro-inflammatory cytokines, preventing them from building to excess levels that trigger inflammation.
  3. Pain-relieving effects. The potential for pain relief has been demonstrated mainly in animal studies. Researchers are working to determine the dosage that would be both safe and high enough to decrease pain in humans.
  4. Blood sugar balancing effects. Animal studies offer powerful evidence of this potential benefit. For example, when lab animals had all their dietary carbohydrates replaced with fructose (found in high-fructose corn syrup), pterostilbene was able to prevent any diabetic changes. It may be beneficial against insulin resistance.
  5. Anti-obesity effects. The obesity epidemic is for real, and it’s looking like pterostilbene can help. Animal studies show that it can make white fat (the kind that causes obesity) behave more like brown fat (the kind that burns calories). And it can make brown fat burn even more calories.
  6. Brain protecting effects. There’s still no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. But pterostilbene is among the natural substances that hold promise. One trial showed that it was able to reverse age-related cognitive decline in aged rats, as well as improve their memory. It’s thought that pterostilbene reduced the breakdown of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter that’s lost as cognitive decline and dementia occur.
  7. Heart health benefits. Preliminary human trials point to the potential blood pressure-lowering effects of pterostilbene. With more research, it could take its place alongside other natural compounds already known for their heart benefits, such as CoQ10.

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Where you can find it

You can find pterostilbene in some of the same foods that contain resveratrol: blueberries, grapes (and red wine), cranberries, peanuts, and cocoa powder.

It’s also available in supplement form. Be sure to follow manufacturer guidelines on dosing or talk to a healthcare practitioner if you have questions.

Pterostilbene doesn’t seem to have any negative side effects, other than upset stomach or headache — if you happen to be allergic to it. An analysis of safety from a human clinical trial found no adverse drug reactions, but if you’re on medications and want to be sure, your pharmacist may be able to answer any questions.

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Pterostilbene: A Review on its Pharmacological Activities — Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology

Independent information about pterostilbene — Pterostilbene.com

Analysis of Safety from a Human Clinical Trial with Pterostilbene — Journal of Toxicology

Joyce Hollman

By Joyce Hollman

Joyce Hollman is a writer based in Kennebunk, Maine, specializing in the medical/healthcare and natural/alternative health space. Health challenges of her own led Joyce on a journey to discover ways to feel better through organic living, utilizing natural health strategies. Now, practicing yoga and meditation, and working towards living in a chemical-free home, her experiences make her the perfect conduit to help others live and feel better naturally.