Top Reasons Pterostilbene Might be Right for You
The benefits of pterostilbene (pronounced tear-o-still-bean) suggest it may be one of the most potent anti-aging nutrients. It occurs naturally in berries, especially blueberries. In the field of anti-aging — or perhaps we could call it aging with grace, it has scientists and the health-conscious alike excited for its potential.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- What pterostilbene is
- The many benefits associated with it
- How it works
- Its role in aging
- How to maximize its benefits
What is Pterostilbene?
Pterostilbene is a stilbene molecule produced by plants to protect against disease, viral infections, harmful microbes, and excessive sunlight.
It is very similar to resveratrol, the antioxidant famous for its presence in red wine, except pterostilbene is much more bioavailable as a result of two methoxy groups, instead of two hydroxyl groups. These two methoxy groups improve absorption, giving it much more of an impact than resveratrol.
In fact, in animal studies, it has been shown to have 80% bioavailability (absorption) compared to resveratrol’s 20%. This makes it more potent and gives it potentially much greater benefits for health, well-being, and healthspan.
The Incredible Benefits Attributed to Pterostilbene
A lot of nutrients help in very specific ways. Pterostilbene, however, uniquely supports health. It helps cells address whatever problem is afflicting them. As a result, researchers have explored its impact on many conditions and report it can help support:
- A healthy inflammatory response
- Healthy blood sugar levels
- Liver health
- Healthy cholesterol levels
- Heart and vascular health
- A strong immune response
- Healthy weight
- Healthy memory and cognitive function
- Healthy antioxidant levels
- Healthy longevity
Additionally, research has even suggested the way it regulates cellular function makes it a promising nutritional option to help with more serious health concerns. However, regardless of the improvement it brings, its benefits derive from the way it works.
How It Works
Researchers can see from the studies that pterostilbene promotes good health and healthy aging. Its success in addressing such a vast range of diseases, especially compared to the limited success of resveratrol, has led researchers to explore how it works.
The research shows it enhances the SIRT1 gene present in the chromosomes of every cell. Based on what we know about SIRT1, this makes pterostilbene a powerful nutrient to promote both healthy living and longevity.
What is the SIRT1 Gene?
SIRT1 refers to a gene that, when activated, triggers the production of sirtuin enzymes. The SIRT1 enzymes are deacetylases, which play a role in DNA replication and activation of genes related to aging.
Sirtuins are also involved with the breakdown of a molecule called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, more pleasantly referred to as NAD+. Your cells require NAD+ to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the molecule needed to fuel every biochemical reaction in your body.
How Does SIRT1 Relate to Healthy Living and Aging?
An active SIRT1 gene keeps your cells functional and energized. By supporting ATP production, your cells have the energy they need to perform their tasks: thinking, moving, removing waste, and producing new cells. Furthermore:
- SIRT1 also protects DNA.
- It supports the acetylation and deacetylation that takes place during DNA replication, keeping DNA wound tightly around histones, protecting it from premature damage.
- It keeps chromosomal material euchromatin healthy for better transcription during cell division, for new, healthy cells.
- It prevents the activation of three proteins – p53, p16INK4a, and ARF – that initiate cell aging (senescence) and cell death (apoptosis).
The good news is that when you have healthy cells, you have a healthy you.
Healthy Aging with Pterostilbene
The best food source of pterostilbene is blueberries. Grapes contain it too, but don’t look for it in wine like you might find resveratrol; it doesn’t survive the wine-making process. Alternatively, for a consistent and potent dose, you can try a pterostilbene supplement.
Whichever source you choose, the research to date indicates pterostilbene may support healthy aging. Beyond its effect on SIRT1 and slowing cell aging, research also shows it produces positive effects through:
- Supporting healthy LDL cholesterol levels.
- Supporting the body’s natural antioxidants including glutathione and superoxide dismutase
- Stimulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR) to support better blood lipid levels
- Upregulation of adiponectin, the hormone related to weight loss and healthy body weight
- Supporting healthy GABA levels, a key neurotransmitter essential to brain health
The bottom-line with pterostilbene lies in how it works. While many nutrients improve health by boosting certain stages of cellular mechanics, the research suggests pterostilbene acts on gene expression itself — keeping the youthful genes turned on while slowing the expression of those genetic factors related to aging.
Taking Pterostilbene with NMN, an NAD+ Precursor
Taking pterostilbene on its own can certainly work to stimulate SIRT1 genes in your cells. Taking it with NMN, a bioavailable NAD+ precursor molecule, however, delivers a solid one-two anti-aging combination.
On its own, pterostilbene will activate SIRT1. Adding NAD+ by increasing the presence of its precursor molecules maximizes its effect by enabling it to perform both of its functions: SIRT1 activation and NAD+ breakdown for energy.
NMN stands for nicotinamide mononucleotide. It’s a derivative of vitamin B3, and as a precursor to NAD+, it helps supply cells with the energy they need. Research shows boosting levels of NMN increases cellular levels of NAD+. Considering that aging cells have less NAD+, increasing its levels helps support cellular metabolism and slow cell aging.
Studies show the benefits of NMN include:
- Healthy blood sugar management
- Healthy brain function
- Support for heart and vascular health
- Healthy metabolism
- More energy
By taking NMN with pterostilbene, you position yourself to slow aging at the cellular level by increasing energy, regulating gene expression (in your favor), and improving the overall function and health of your body.
What’s the Best Way to Get Pterostilbene?
As noted earlier, you can eat berries, specifically blueberries, to get pterostilbene. Of course, you’ll need to eat them regularly — and a lot of them — to get the greatest benefit.
To get the maximum anti-aging benefits, you can also take pterostilbene supplements. If you do go with a supplement, look for one that includes added sources of antioxidants and detoxifiers. Once you rev up cellular metabolism (especially if you add NMN), your cells will start clearing out waste and you’ll want those added antioxidants and detoxifying nutrients to capture the waste and usher it out of your body.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, taking medications, or have any pre-existing conditions, you should always consult your doctor before starting a new supplement. Of course, you can always eat blueberries and grapes.