Today we’re going to unlock the secrets of a seldom-mentioned polyphenol that offers extensive benefits for bone health. The compound is called pterostilbene, and if you haven’t heard of it, you’re not alone.
This unique polyphenol reduces inflammation, prevents oxidative damage, and regulates blood sugar levels. You’re going to learn how those effects impact your bone health and how best to include this powerhouse plant compound in your daily bone-building diet.
What Is Pterostilbene
Pterostilbene (pronounced tare-oh-STILL-bean) is a type of naturally occurring plant chemical called a polyphenol. It shares much of its chemical structure with resveratrol, another polyphenol that notably has similar functions.
Resveratrol is best known in connection to grape skins and the compounds' presence in red wine. However, further study of resveratrol found that it doesn’t remain in the body long enough to have the full effect that earlier studies promised. Scientists refer to this phenomenon as ‘low bioavailability.'
Pterostilbene has so far proved to have higher bioavailability, delivering on the promises that resveratrol could not.
Pterostilbene is a polyphenol with a similar chemical structure (and similar effects) to resveratrol. While resveratrol has proved to have low bioavailability, pterostilbene has proved more bioavailable.
Pterostilbene’s Effect On Bone Health
Pterostilbene is worthy of note for Savers because many of the actions it performs in the body have a direct positive impact on bone strength and quality, as explained below. Please note that some studies were not conducted on humans, but rather on animals (such as rats and mice).
- Protects Osteoblasts From Oxidation – A study published in 2022 found that pterostilbene protected osteoblastic cells from a form of cell death called apoptosis1. The polyphenol accomplished this by neutralizing free radicals that threatened the osteoblasts, which are the cells responsible for building new bone. Scientists isolated the osteoblast cells in question and tested the ability of pterostilbene to prevent their destruction in different concentrations of oxidizing molecules. They found the plant compound blocked the osteoblastic cells' dysfunction, suggesting the same protective action occurs in the body when pterostilbene is present.1
- Prevents Inflammation – Studies found that pterostilbene downregulated inflammatory enzymes. That action likely underlies the compound’s anti-inflammatory abilities. Reduction in inflammation has a positive effect across the body, especially on the prevention and management of chronic conditions. Reduced inflammation also benefits bone health by protecting the cells responsible for healthy bone turnover.2
- Regulates Blood Sugar Level – A study found that oral administration of pterostilbene to diabetic rats significantly decreased their plasma glucose levels. The researchers compared this positive impact on blood sugar levels to the antidiabetic drug metformin. Since high blood sugar levels have a negative impact on the development of healthy bone, this effect also translates to stronger, healthier bones.3
Pterostilbene's antioxidative quality protects osteoblasts, the bone-forming cells; it prevents inflammation, thereby protecting cells required for healthy turnover; and it regulates blood sugar levels, preventing damage to bones.
Broader Health Benefits Of Pterostilbene
The abilities of pterostilbene that benefit bone health also positively impact other bodily systems. Many of those positive benefits in turn help to protect bone and prevent falls and fractures. This cascade of benefits highlights the wisdom of a holistic approach to health care.
- Cognitive Benefits – As an antioxidant, pterostilbene protects against neurological conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, neuronal apoptosis (dying neurons), and decreased brain volume. These benefits manifest as a reduction of brain fog, anxiety, and trouble with memory.4,5 With enhanced cognitive function comes the ability to pursue an independent, bone-healthy lifestyle.
- Reduced Cardiovascular Risk – Along with the ability to regulate blood sugar, pterostilbene helps regulate blood pressure and cholesterol. Studies found the polyphenol reduced blood pressure in study participants who had high total cholesterol levels.6 This effect supports cardiovascular health, helping ensure a long and active life.
- Cancer Prevention – Clinical trials have shown pterostilbene to be a natural anticancer agent, thanks to its antioxidant abilities and its capacity to prevent the development of tumors. Studies found that consumption of the plant compound improved the function of normal cells and inhibited malignant cells. 7
Broader health benefits of pterostilbene include cognitive protection, cardiovascular risk reduction, and cancer prevention. All of these benefits help you to pursue an independent and bone-healthy lifestyle.
Food Sources Of Pterostilbene
Pterostilbene isn't the most commonly occurring of the polyphenols, but fortunately, it's in several foods that are both common and already part of a bone-healthy diet. Try incorporating the following foods into your diet for the benefits of pterostilbene and for the other micronutrients and macronutrients they contain.
The studies that identified benefits of pterostilbene typically administered the compound in a supplement form that far exceeds the quantities found in a serving of the above foods. The clinical trials mostly ranged from 50mg to 125mg taken twice daily but often were conducted on smaller mammals. A comparable dose can be calculated based on body weight.
If you'd like to try a pterostilbene supplement, take between 1.5mg and 2.8mg of pterostilbene per pound of body weight.
Foods rich in pterostilbene include blueberries, cranberries, lingonberries, mulberries, red grapes, almonds, peanuts, and cocoa. As a supplement, the recommendation is to take between 1.5mg and 2.8mg of pterostilbene per pound of body weight.
What This Means To You
Focus on eating polyphenol-rich foods, including those containing pterostilbene. Harnessing the power of bone-protective polyphenols like pterostilbene is one of the many ways that the Osteoporosis Reversal Program works to prevent and reverse osteoporosis.
Instead of taking the narrow and risky approach that Big Pharma pushes, the Save Institute advocates for a safe and natural protocol that results in benefits to your entire well-being.
Take joy in the power of a healthy diet to prepare you for the long and active life ahead.