Pterostilbenes Suppress Tumor Growth

November 22, 2009

Pterostilbenes Suppress Tumor Growth 

 Competency:  Superfoods ReferenceCarcinogenesis, Min-Hsiung Pan et al, 2009 30(7) 1234-1242 

 Resveratrol is now all the rage.  It keeps your telomeres healthy and long and reverses or slows many of the effects of aging.  The topic of telomeres has everyone buzzing, most notably the Nobel Prize Committee.  So it shouldn’t be surprising when a first cousin of resveratrol, pterostilbene, turns out to have a whole bundle of nifty properties. 

 From the National Kauhsiung Marine University in Taiwan Min-Hsiung Pan, et al published a study in Carcinogensis about pterostilbenes.  Their study showed that pterostilbene has anticancer, anti-inflammation, antioxidant, anti-proliferation, natural cell death support and analgesic qualities.  That’s quite a handful.    It gets even better.  Metaloproteins participate in getting cancer cells to spread, and all the upregulating that occurs in cancers gets turned off sharply by pterostilbene.  Like a switch, all those upregulated genes get turned down. 

This isn’t the only news about pterostilbene.  There have been lab studies coming out for several years.  It appears to also play a great role in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol by activating the PPAR set of enzymes in the liver.  It has been shown to reduce colon cancer spreading in rats by some 57%  (Reddy et al from Rutgers).  It has been shown to be a very strong antioxidant by markedly lowering the TBARS of inflamed diabetic rats.   (Annamalai, J. Pharm 2006, Nov 58(11) 1483

 This stuff sounds like a real superfood.  Just where can we get some?  It is a superfood.  Lowering inflammation, reducing cancer spread and activating helpful liver cell function are all part and parcel of what good foods should do for you.  Where do we find pterostilbene in abundance? Blueberries.  We already know that blueberries, fed at 10% of calories to rats destined to get Alzheimer’s will prevent the Alzheimer’s.  This is just more evidence of the remarkable chemical effects that our foods have on us.  Resveratrol is from grapes.  Blueberries have pterostilbene, a close relative of resveratrol.  Our food turns on our genes, that rapidly and actively either heal or harm.  Our choice. 

 WWW. What Will Work for Me?  Blueberries.  Eat them as often as I can.  Making a ritual of having them on my breakfast cereal means I just don’t have to think in the morning.  And now I’ve seen the first product on the market of a supplement of resveratrol combined with pterostilbene.  When the blueberries I froze this summer run out, I may have to pick some of that up.    You’ll hear more.  Keep reading.

This column was written by Dr. John E. Whitcomb, MD, Brookfield Longevity, Brookfield, WI 53045