- Pterostilbene is a compound found naturally in blueberries. A chemical similar to resveratrol, pterostilbene is available in dietary supplement form. Preliminary research suggests that pterostilbene may reduce inflammation and offer antioxidant benefits.
In alternative medicine, pterostilbene is touted for the prevention and treatment of the following health problems:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- insulin resistance
- Colon Cancer Diagnosis
- In addition, pterostilbene is said to protect against certain forms of cancer and preserve memory as you age.
Although there is currently a lack of clinical trials testing the effects of pterostilbene, a number of preliminary studies indicate that pterostilbene may offer certain health benefits. Here’s a look at several key findings from the available research:
- Heart Health: Pterostilbene shows promise for protection against atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), according to a 2012 study published in the journal Apoptosis. In tests on human cells and on mice, scientists demonstrated that pterostilbene may inhibit the buildup of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. The study also found that pterostilbene may help fight oxidative stress (a destructive biological process thought to be a key factor in the development of heart disease).
- Alzheimer’s Disease: Pterostilbene may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and aging-related cognitive decline, according to an animal-based study published in Neurobiology of Aging in 2012. In tests on mice, the study’s authors determined that pterostilbene may help preserve cognitive function, in part by reducing inflammation.
- Cancer: A number of preliminary studies suggest that pterostilbene may offer anti-cancer benefits. In a 2012 report published in the Journal of Surgical Research, for instance, scientists reviewed the available research on pterostilbene as an anti-cancer agent and found that pterostilbene may hinder cancer growth by altering cancer cell cycles, inducing apoptosis (a type of programmed cell death essential for stopping the proliferation of cancer cells), and inhibiting metastasis (the spread of cancer from one part of the body to another). In addition, the review determined that pterostilbene’s antioxidant effects may play a key role in cancer protection.
- What’s more, several recent animal-based studies and studies on human cells have found that pterostilbene may be effective for protection against breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer.
Source: Wong, Cathy ,ND; “The Benefits of Pterostilbene”, 3 December 2012, altmedicine.about.com/od/herbsupplementguide/a/Pterostilbene.htm