Top Longevity Benefits of Pterostilbene and Its Impact on NMN's Effectiveness
Reviewed and Updated By: Emily Parsell, RDN
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.
Top 4 Longevity Benefits of Pterostilbene
1. Acts as a Powerful Antioxidant to Help Slow Aging
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. Protects Against Age-Related Inflammation
“Inflammageing” is a term used to describe age-related inflammation - pro-inflammatory blood markers in blood and tissue that increase with age, increasing the risk for illness and 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 with Age
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 Metabolic Markers Over 40
Aging has been closely related to a decreased metabolism as well as change in metabolic markers, such as blood sugar. 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 were supplemented with pterostilbene had significantly improved blood glucose and MDA levels. (MDA is an oxidative stress marker.)
Pterostilbene + NMN: A Powerful Longevity 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.
- 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.
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