Which is best. Muscadine grape or blueberry?
It’s a little unfair that only resveratrol has gotten so much attention over the last few years, because there’s another plant-based polyphenol compound that has many similar benefits … and may work even better with some parts of your body.
That ‘new kid on the block’ is pterostilbene, the polyphenol found in blueberries.
Whether or not you’ve heard of blueberry pterostilbene, you can keep reading to learn more about this naturally-occurring chemical that could provide you with a number of health benefits.
Background. What is Resveratrol?
Resveratrol is a natural antioxidant that has a number of health benefits (click here to read our blog post about resveratrol health benefits).
It’s most commonly extracted from grapes, but can also be found in dark chocolate, peanuts, cranberries and, to a lesser extent, in other fruits. However, most resveratrol supplements are made from industrial resveratrol processed from an invasive plant called Japanese knotweed.
(By the way, just to be clear, Muscadinex offers resveratrol as muscadine grape skins. The muscadine is America’s richest source of natural grape resveratrol. That’s why American muscadine wines have up to 100x more resveratrol than wines from European grapes like Pinot Noir. So with Muscadinex your resveratrol doesn’t come from a factory on the other side of the world.)
Resveratrol has been studied extensively, particularly as an active ingredient in wine, which is why there has been such a buzz about the benefits of drinking ‘the red wine miracle’ in recent years.
Resveratrol is likely responsible for what is known as the “French Paradox,” which asked the question of how it could be that so many people in France eat a diet higher in saturated fats than other countries … yet had lower incidents of heart disease. It has been proven in numerous studies that it’s the resveratrol-rich red wine the French often sip with dinner that’s responsible.
Background. What is Pterostilbene?
Pterostilbene is another natural antioxidant which can be found primarily in blueberries. It’s also naturally occurring - although in lower concentrations - in mulberries, almonds, grapes and other fruits. At the molecular level, it’s extremely similar to resveratrol with only a couple minor differences.
To date pterostilbene has not been studied as much as resveratrol. But researchers have concluded that blueberry pterostilbene can be even more effective than resveratrol at providing certain health benefits, particularly brain health.
It’s better absorption rate and anti-oxidative properties are what have led some to believe that pterostilbene may have advantages over resveratrol.
However, pterostilbene doesn’t reduce inflammation as well as resveratrol, so don’t throw out your resveratrol supplements just yet.
Spoiler alert. Muscadinex has a resveratrol and pterostilbene brain health supplement.
Physical Health Benefits of Resveratrol and Pterostilbene.
These two compounds work similarly in the body and therefore have many of the same health benefits as you’ll see below.
Anti-Aging, healthspan and longevity.
Both resveratrol and pterostilbene may help you extend the healthy years of your life and live for longer. As antioxidants, they work with your body at the cellular level to reduce inflammation, prevent oxidation damage, and improve cellular health.
There are several universal changes that happen in our cells during the aging process, and resveratrol and pterostilbene can both help slow down or even reverse these changes.
Weight loss through enhanced cellular energy.
According to one study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Science, pterostilbene in particular can help with weight loss.
It works with the liver in two specific ways: slowing the production of fat and encouraging the burning of fat for fuel. When taken along with a healthy diet, resveratrol and pterostilbene can aid in weight loss.
Resveratrol and cardio vascular heart health.
Heart disease causes 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States, which is why improving heart health is such a widespread concern in this country. Something that may help fight against heart disease is resveratrol.
This compound works in several ways with the heart to improve overall heart health, including reducing oxidative stress caused by free radicals. It can also help the heart because of the way it prevents the formation of fat cells.
Pterostilbene and Alzheimer’s / dementia protection.
Researchers have shown that pterostilbene - which has a smaller molecule size than resveratrol - is better able to pass through the blood:brain barrier. This is why pterostilbene is popular with people who want to protect their cognitive function.
A surprising number of brain functions that slow down over time are caused by oxidative stress. As we age, the toxins that have accumulated in our brains for years begin to take their toll. They damage the neural pathways which leads to reduced cognitive function, personality swings and memory loss.
The powerful antioxidant properties of pterostilbene and resveratrol work to remove ‘free radical’ toxins from the body … which in turn protects brain health and can prevent this damage.
Anti-inflammatory for the brain.
When there is some sort of damage or risk of infection in the brain, cells known as microglia come to the rescue. Prolonged activation of these cells can lead to microgliosis, a condition in which there is inflammation in the brain due to an over-activity of these cells.
This ongoing inflammation can further damage the brain, but studies have shown that resveratrol can actually help block the inflammation-causing mechanism in these cells, protecting your brain.
Cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s have been described as ‘brain diabetes’. The effects of too much sugar, processed food and pollution can lead to a buildup of plaque in the brain. Powerful antioxidants like resveratrol and pterostilbene can ‘mop up’ the free radicals which lead to cellular inflammation in the brain.
Improved memory and cognitive skills.
Another effect of the polyphenols resveratrol and pterostilbene that has been observed is an improved working memory. This was discovered in a study on rats that showed a positive correlation between the amount of these polyphenolic compounds that was given, and an improved memory.
It’s unclear exactly why these compounds help improve memory, but it’s likely due to the way they help repair damaged neuropathways. This allows information to flow more freely through the brain.
In one study, polyphenols led to a 17% increase in cognitive function.
Muscadinex has a natural resveratrol and pterostilbene supplement.
Contains Carolina muscadine and Florida blueberry.
Because resveratrol and pterostilbene have their own individual strengths, an increasing number of consumers choose to take both resveratrol and pterostilbene on a daily basis.
While the two polyphenols can be taken separately, Muscadinex have a handy and natural option which combines both resveratrol and pterostilbene for synergistic health benefits.
Our MX2 supplement combines the two strongest American fruit sources of resveratrol and pterostilbene. Each vegetarian capsule contains:
In addition to natural American fruits, it’s also good to know that Muscadinex MX2 is made in GMP-compliant, FDA-inspected USA facilities. So you get home grown goodness and guaranteed American quality.
Resveratrol and Pterostilbene research sources:
Resveratrol. What Are The Health Benefits?
A Review of Pterostilbene Antioxidant Activity and Disease Modification.
Aging and Cellular Senescence.
Pterostilbene intake may cut body fat and reduce obesity.
Heart Disease in the United States.
Resveratrol and Cardiovascular Diseases.
Selective Neuronal Vulnerability to Oxidative Stress in the Brain.
Microgliosis in the Injured Brain: Infiltrating Cells and Reactive Microglia Both Play a Role.
Resveratrol Inhibits Inflammatory Responses via the Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Signaling Pathway in Cultured LPS-Stimulated Microglial Cells.
Cellular and Behavioral Effects of Stilbene Resveratrol Analogues: Implications for Reducing the Deleterious Effects of Aging.