Research findings indicate that pterostilbene, as a natural dietary supplement, positively promotes gut microbiota health and combats obesity. Aging researchers and medical professionals have determined that a healthy and balanced gut microbiota is an essential part of preventing disease and extending life. The tens of trillions of microorganisms, including more than 1,000 unique species, work in harmony with the vital organs of the body to digest nutrients, synthesize chemicals and activate crucial signaling pathways.
The microbiom has even been called the second brain of the body. Researchers estimate that approximately one-third of the bacteria that colonize a typical microbiota are common to all people, but the other two-thirds are unique to each individual. Not only is the medical profession interested in learning what constitutes a healthy gut microbiota, researchers are conducting clinical studies to learn which nutrients promote a healthy microbiota. Diseases such as obesity, dysbiosis and other gut related pathologies have been positively correlated with an altered microbiota diagnosis. Furthermore, a healthy gut bacteria profile is compulsory to ensure proper functioning of our immune system and avoid leaky gut syndrome.
Beneficial Gut Bacteria
There is strong evidence indicating that beneficial gut bacterial colonies possess the ability to obtain energy from dietary nutrients and positively influence energy metabolism. Researchers have learned that certain natural compounds are capable of transforming gut bacteria profiles associated with obesity. One such compound is pterostilbene.1 In one experiment, rats were fed 15 mg of pterostilbene for every kg of body weight daily in addition to their standard diet. Fecal samples were analyzed at the beginning and end of the 6-week study. Researchers also evaluated a range of tissue samples and body parameters to determine the effectiveness of pterostilbene. They concluded that pterostilbene supplementation caused beneficial changes in microbiota composition, improved metabolic function, strengthened insulin sensitivity and induced anti-obesity effects.
The pterostilbene treated group also experienced an increase in verrucomicrobia phyla and decreased levels of firmicutes bacteria. Beneficial odoribacter and genera akkermansia bacterial species were also found in the pterostilbene group. Researchers also noted that the pterostilbene group showed an inverse correlation between akkermansia muciniphila and bodyweight.
There was also a negative correlation between odoribacter and adiposity. Pterostilbene improved overall health by modifying intestinal microbiota composition. Mucin-degrading bacterial members, particularly odoribacter and akkermansia genus, were enriched by pterostilbene to induce beneficial antiaging effects.
Pterostilbene and Human Health
It has been speculated that beneficial changes in the microbiota profile might also promote the production of urolithin A, which is believed to help eliminate damaged mitochondria to increase energy production. Urolithin A is synthesized by gut bacteria from ellagitannins,2 an important nutrient compound that can be obtained from nuts and berries but especially pomegranate.
Test findings revealed that rats with high urolithin levels also produced greater amounts of verrucomicrobia, or akkermansia muciniphila, compared to rats with low urolithin levels. Authors explain that these are limiting factor to convert ellagitannins into urolithin A. Only a few persons would be able to make then the conversation. Pterostilbene supplementation clearly increased akkermansia production. Therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude that pterostilbene supplementation also supports urolithin production when associated with pomegranate juice or pomegranate extract.
In a study involving the administration of urolithin to elderly mice,3 researchers observed that the mice were able to run 42 per cent farther.
The researchers concluded that urolithin improves the quality of muscle cells by activating mitophagy to eliminate damaged mitochondria and ensure cellular functions. Mitochondria are the power plants of living cells and mitophagy is the quality control process.
Autophagy and mitophagy are natural process that recycles damaged and inefficient cell (and mitochondria) constituents to improve cell function and diminish the effects of aging. The removal of dysfunctional mitochondria allows healthy mitochondria to multiply and divide. The division and multiplication of healthy mitochondria results in more efficiency and energy production.
Keeping FDA guidelines and the experiment specifications previously discussed in mind,1 the 15mg pterostilbene rat dosage per kg of body weight converts to a Human Equivalent Dose, or HED, of approximately 2.4 mg for every kg of human body weight. A person that weighs 70 kg, for example, would require a daily dosage of about 170mg of pterostilbene.
There’s little doubt that gut microbiota health is a crucial aspect of preventing disease and extending life. Consumers can benefit from dietary supplements that have been proven to enhance gut microbiota health. Pterostilbene provides consumers with a natural alternative to promote overall health and fight the onset of brain disease, inflammation, heart disease, cancer and other age related diseases.
1: Pterostilbene-induced changes in gut microbiota composition in relation to obesity.
U Etxeberria et al PMID 2016 Jul 5;27377854 DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201500906.
2: Pomegranate extract induces ellagitannin metabolite formation and changes stool microbiota in healthy volunteers.
Z Li et alPMID 2015 Aug;6;26189645DOI: 10.1039/c5fo00669d.
3: Urolithin A induces mitophagy and prolongs lifespan in C. elegans and increases muscle function in rodents.
R Dongryeol et al Nature Medicine 2016;doi:10.1038/nm.4132.