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What Is Pterostilbene?

By Jay Leone
Updated May 17, 2024
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Pterostilbene is a chemical found in many fruits that may offer numerous health benefits. It exhibits certain anti-hypertriglyceridemic, anti-hypercholesterolemic, anti-cancer properties. Blueberries, cranberries, and red grapes typically contain a significant amount of it. Regularly eating these fruits and other foods that contain this chemical may help reduce the risk of heart disease. It may also help promote proper memory function.

Conducting research on lab animals such as rats, mice, and hamsters has led to many discoveries on the health effects of pterostilbene. Early research on use of this chemical revealed the material’s antidiabetic and fungicidal properties. Experiments also showed the potential for this material to lower blood glucose levels. Research into the effects of this chemical on animals also links pterostilbene use with a significant reduction in blood glucose levels. Many researchers believe that this chemical may be used in the future treatment of diabetes.

Pterostilbene can be toxic to several different types of cancer cells. Regularly eating foods rich in this chemical can help lower cholesterol levels and may decrease the risks of getting colon cancer and breast cancer. It is known to help lower triglyceride levels in humans similarly to certain popular prescription medications.

This chemical is closely related to the antioxidant resveratrol. Most red wine varieties contain resveratrol antioxidants. It is known to provide several cancer-fighting and cardiovascular benefits. At similar concentrations, both pterostilbene and resveratrol possess cancer-fighting properties. Pterostilbene is often used in combination with resveratrol to protect cells from damage caused by oxidative stress in the body

It potentially inhibits cytochrome P450 enzymes, which activate chemical carcinogens. Cytochromes can be found within the cells of bacteria, plant cells, animal cells, and other electron-transporting microorganisms. They play an important part in a person’s response to toxins and drugs entering the body. It may inhibit cytochrome P450 even more efficiently than resveratrol.

The chemical is oil-soluble and quickly absorbed into the skin, which increases the chemical's cosmetic applications. Applied topically, it can limit the skin damage linked with aging. Certain forms of acne may also be treated with topical products containing this chemical.

Several manufacturers offer food products containing pterostilbene. Blueberry extracts and certain other fruit extracts potentially offer high levels of pterostilbene content. This chemical is often added to other food products such as granola bars, yogurt, and many different types of cereal. The body easily processes this powerful antioxidant. It is very unlikely that consuming products containing it will lead to experiencing negative side effects.

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