The Top 4 Benefits of Pterostilbene and Why Pterostilbene and NMN Are the Ultimate Anti-Aging Duo

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pterostilbene is an anti-aging polyphenol compound

A lesser-known cousin of resveratrol, pterostilbene is a polyphenol that has been studied for its anti-aging and health-promoting effects. Found primarily in blueberries, pterostilbene (pronounced tero-STILL-bean) has been making waves in recent research due to its potent antioxidant abilities. In fact, pterostilbene might even be more powerful than resveratrol due to its superior bioavailability. 

Let’s take a closer look at what pterostilbene is, the health benefits of this compound, and why you should take pterostilbene and NMN together as your ultimate anti-aging duo. 

What is Pterostilbene?

Pterostilbene is in the stilbene family, a group of compounds produced by plants to protect themselves against infection and disease. When consumed by humans, this natural defense system can then protect us from the same afflictions. 

The structure of pterostilbene is similar to resveratrol, with one crucial difference. Pterostilbene contains two methoxyl groups, increasing its bioavailability by allowing for increased oral and lipophilic (fat-soluble) absorption, meaning the compound can absorb quickly across cell membranes. 

Pterostilbene also has a longer half-life than resveratrol because it doesn’t oxidize as quickly, leading to slower elimination and increased absorption and utilization. 

Animal studies have found the bioavailability of pterostilbene to be four times that of resveratrol. However, the form of resveratrol is important to consider — research has found that trans-resveratrol is the most bioactive form of the compound. 

the best food source of pterostilbene is found in blueberries

Top 4 Health Benefits of Pterostilbene

1. Powerful Antioxidant

One of pterostilbene’s leading benefits is its antioxidant activity, as it reduces oxidative stress in the body and prevents the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Excessive amounts of ROS damage cells and DNA, accelerating the aging process and contributing to chronic disease. 

Pterostilbene also increases the expression of other antioxidants, including superoxide dismutase and our body’s master antioxidant, glutathione.

2. Reduces Inflammation 

Chronic inflammation is at the root of every chronic disease. Fortunately, antioxidant-rich compounds like pterostilbene also function as anti-inflammatory molecules. 

Many compounds in the body promote inflammation, including NF-κB, COX-2, PGE2, and the cytokines TNF-α, interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-4, and IL-6. 

In a June 2017 study published in Oncotarget, rats with osteoarthritis who took pterostilbene experienced reductions in these inflammatory compounds, including IL-1β, COX-2, and PGE2.

3. Supports Cognition

Pterostilbene may be an important compound for supporting brain health and cognition with age, as seen in a February 2019 study published in Cellular Physiology & Biochemistry

In this research, aged rats who supplemented with pterostilbene saw significant improvements in several markers of cognition, including behavioral and memory tests and hippocampal mitochondrial function. 

Pterostilbene supplementation also increased the expression of PSD-95, a protein involved with brain plasticity, learning, and memory formation.

4. Supports Healthy Metabolic Markers

Pterostilbene is linked to improvements in metabolic markers, including maintaining healthy blood sugar and body fat. 

Research has suggested that pterostilbene is an “anti-obesity molecule” due to its ability to regulate adipocytes’ (fat cells) life cycle and promote brown fat over white fat. Brown fat is associated with improved metabolism, increased energy expenditure, and improved glucose metabolism.

In a May 2018 study, diabetic rats who supplemented with pterostilbene had significantly improved blood glucose and MDA levels; MDA is an oxidative stress marker that increases cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk. 

pterostilbene may fight aging, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy cognition

Pterostilbene + NMN: A Powerful Anti-Aging Duo

Combining pterostilbene and NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) may be a powerful duo for slowing down the aging process. NMN is a precursor to NAD+, a crucial coenzyme needed by every cell in the body. A decrease in NAD+ levels leads to an increase in the progression of aging and disease.

Both pterostilbene and NMN are activators of sirtuins, a family of proteins that regulate cellular and mitochondrial health and control the aging process. Increased sirtuin activity, especially SIRT1, has been linked to increased lifespan in yeast and animals. Due to its superior bioavailability, pterostilbene may be a stronger sirtuin activator than resveratrol.

Combining pterostilbene and NMN may increase NMN’s effectiveness because sirtuin activators and NAD+ boosters work together. As pterostilbene increases sirtuin activity, adding NMN allows for the precursor molecule to do its primary job of boosting NAD+ levels.

Essentially, NMN and pterostilbene work synergistically to improve mitochondrial health and slow down the aging process, as NMN boosts NAD+ levels and both compounds activate sirtuins. 

How to Take Pterostilbene

Pterostilbene is considered a safe supplement at moderate doses. Although there is no extensive research assessing doses in humans, most research supports 250 mg per day as a safe supplemental dose. It’s not recommended to exceed 600 mg per day. 

Key Takeaway: 

  • Pterostilbene is a polyphenol that acts as a powerful antioxidant, with greater bioavailability than resveratrol. 
  • Supplemental pterostilbene is associated with reduced inflammation, neuroprotection, and maintaining healthy metabolic markers. 
  • As pterostilbene is a sirtuin activator, combining the compound with NMN may increase NMN’s effectiveness as an NAD+ precursor. 

Show references

Arbo BD, André-Miral C, Nasre-Nasser RG, et al. Resveratrol Derivatives as Potential Treatments for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease. Front Aging Neurosci. 2020;12:103. Published 2020 Apr 17. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2020.00103

Kapetanovic IM, Muzzio M, Huang Z, Thompson TN, McCormick DL. Pharmacokinetics, oral bioavailability, and metabolic profile of resveratrol and its dimethylether analog, pterostilbene, in rats. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2011;68(3):593-601. doi:10.1007/s00280-010-1525-4

La Spina M, Sansevero G, Biasutto L, et al. Pterostilbene Improves Cognitive Performance in Aged Rats: An in Vivo Study. Cell Physiol Biochem. 2019;52(2):232-239. doi:10.33594/000000017

McCormack D, McFadden D. A review of pterostilbene antioxidant activity and disease modification. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013;2013:575482. doi:10.1155/2013/575482

Pan MH, Wu JC, Ho CT, Lai CS. Antiobesity molecular mechanisms of action: Resveratrol and pterostilbene. Biofactors. 2018;44(1):50-60. doi:10.1002/biof.1409

Tastekin B, Pelit A, Polat S, et al. Therapeutic Potential of Pterostilbene and Resveratrol on Biomechanic, Biochemical, and Histological Parameters in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018;2018:9012352. Published 2018 May 16. doi:10.1155/2018/9012352

Xue EX, Lin JP, Zhang Y, et al. Pterostilbene inhibits inflammation and ROS production in chondrocytes by activating Nrf2 pathway. Oncotarget. 2017;8(26):41988-42000. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.16716

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