A powerful and potent brain supplement.
If you enjoy eating blueberries, then you’re already getting some level of pterostilbene. This is a rich and powerful antioxidant that’s also responsible for helping sharpen mental focus and performance.
It accomplishes this by helping to:
By boosting the performance levels of other antioxidants, such as SOD (superoxide dismutase) and GPx (glutathione peroxidase), it promotes better protection for neurons.
Help improve plasticity.
No, this doesn’t mean you’re made of plastic; it means flexibility for those brain cells. This allows them to connect in more efficient ways and that can improve memory.
Promote positive blood vessel health.
Polyphenal antioxidants, like pterostilbene, improve circulation in the body, which helps carry more oxygen and other vital nutrients to the brain to improve brain health.
Keep dopamine levels high.
Dopamine has been linked to many vital functions of the brain, including memory, attention, and higher level cognitive functions. Pterostilbene has been linked to helping maintain these dopamine levels.
The Ways Pterostilbene Boosts Mental Function
It’s important to note that pterostilbene has been more linked to age related cognitive impairment and decline, but it can also provide a host of benefits for younger men and women as well.
It can improve daily memory, cognition, and also provide some relief from anxiety, allowing you to focus easier on tasks at hand.
The value of fruits and vegetables.
What in the world would we be talking about fruits and vegetables when discussing improved mental function and focus? First and foremost, when you improve your diet of these vital foods, it can pay incredible dividends to your overall health, including mental health.
A growing number of scientists attribute these benefits to the polyphenol antioxidants that a number of fruits and vegetables contain. These antioxidants are linked with helping fight age accelerating problems, including those within the brain that can lead to a degenerative cognitive ability.
In fact, one such study by Cherniack found that grapes contain one polyphenol in particular known as resveratrol that has been linked with better mental capacity and function. That’s because, according to this research, it
- Nourishes the brain with antioxidants,
- Helps lower cholesterol levels (elevate cholesterol has been linked to Alzheimer’s),
- Promotes stronger blood vessels in the cerebrum,
- Reduces plaques in the brain that have been linked to Alzheimer’s.
While resveratrol is powerful as a mental and cognitive supplement, there has been one major problem associated with it and that is the difficulty in it being absorbed by the body.
That’s when researchers and scientists began looking at something else: pterostilbene.
The Wonderful Nature of Pterostilbene
While much of the research on mental function and cognitive improve focused on resveratrol, there is something promising about pterostilbene: they are incredibly similar in chemical structure. That means pterostilbene and resveratrol share almost the same structure and therefore offer almost identical benefits.
Pterostilbene is 80% bioavailable, as opposed to resveratrol, which is only 20% bioavailable. That’s a complicated way to say pterostilbene is easier to absorb.
That makes it far more effective, especially when it comes to overall brain health (according to Kapetanovic, Huang, et al.).
Even though Resveratrol has garnered a great deal of attention through the years as a brain boosting nutrient, pterostilbene may very well surpass it thanks in large part to its ability to be more readily absorbed by the body, thus being put to better and more efficient use in the brain.
The Research to Back these Claims
Because pterostilbene is still relatively new within the world of supplements, the research has been mostly focused on animals rather than humans. That’s because before approval can be garnered, it has to be determined safe for human consumption.
The first research study was conducted on adult male mice by Abir et al. Pterostilbene was detected in the brain after just the first dosage! It was also shown to have a calming effect on the brain without sedating it.
That means it can be compelling for helping those with anxiety overcome their concerns and fears without losing focus or having difficulty with cognitive function, which is a major problem with numerous anti-anxiety medications on the market today.
Another study was conducted by Chang et al and was also conducted on mice. Two sets of mice were used, one given resveratrol and the other given pterostilbene for a period of two months. What these researchers found was that pterostilbene actually led to much better mental performance on certain maze tests than resveratrol.
In fact, resveratrol didn’t provide any real measurable improvement in strategic thinking or problem solving abilities for the mice. These researchers noted that “pterostilbene is a more potent modulator of cognition and cellular stress than resveratrol.”
Joseph, Fisher, et al conducted a study in 2008 and concluded that pterostilbene offered laboratory mice a proportional improvement in working memory performance, based on the levels of supplements provided and was comparable to resveratrol.
There are many products on the market that contain pterostilbene, with dosages ranging from 5 mg to 250 mg. The most popular dose is 50 mg. One thing that’s beneficial is that it’s up to each individual to determine how much to take, within reason.
What about Side Effects?
The best part about pterostilbene is that it’s just as safe as if you were to eat blueberries. There are no known side effects.
Pterostilbene is available in its own form as a direct antioxidant, it can be found in blueberries (but you’d have to consume a lot of blueberries to get the benefits you could by taking a supplement), and pTeroPure®. This is a branded form that yields 99.9% purity and has been subject to some initial clinical testing.