A daily 250 milligram dose of Chromadex’s pTeroPure brand pterostilbene produced reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure of 7.8 and 7.3 mmHg, respectively, without serious adverse events.
"We saw reduced overall blood pressure in patients who received the high dose of pterostilbene," said the study's principal investigator, Daniel Riche, PharmD, from the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy. "The results of this study highlight that pterostilbene is a promising ingredient in the area of cardiometabolics."
Superior biological activity
A potent antioxidant, pterostilbene is claimed to have superior biological activity, better oral bioavailability and metabolizes more slowly in the body than other polyphenols.
Research chemist Agnes Rimando – who is named as one of the investors on the patent – first started studying it as a graduate student at the University of Illinois in Chicago in a bid to determine if it worked in similar ways to resveratrol.
In 2003, Rimando asked Dennis Feller, former University of Mississippi professor and chair of pharmacology, and Wallace Yokoyama at USDA Western Regional Research Center in Albany, California, to collaborate on studies of pterostilbene, targeting a protein involved in fatty acid metabolism and transport called Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Alpha Isoform (PPAR-alpha).
Results of their work were presented at the American Chemical Society meeting in 2004 and garnered widespread attention.
Dr Riche and his co-workers performed a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial with 80 adults with an average age of 54. All the participants had high cholesterol levels, defined as having total cholesterol of 200 or greater and/or LDL cholesterol of 100 or greater. The mean average baseline systolic blood pressure (BP) was 127.4 mmHg and the mean average baseline diastolic BP was 79.3 mmHg.
Participants were randomly assigned to receive daily doses of pterostilbene of 250 mg or 100 mg, or 100 mg of pterostilbene plus 200 mg of grape extract, or placebo for six to eight weeks.
Results showed that the high-dose pterostilbene group displayed significant reductions in blood pressure, compared with placebo.
An increase in LDL cholesterol levels was observed in the pterostilbene groups. This increase was less in people also receiving cholesterol-lowering medication. This was not seen among those who also received the grape extract, added the researchers.
People not on cholesterol medication also displayed a minor decrease in body weight, said the researchers, and ChromaDex said it planned to conduct further studies specific for weight reduction to evaluate this trend.
"With high blood pressure affecting more than 76 million adults in the US, we are thrilled that these findings show pTeroPure to be effective at reducing blood pressure," said Frank Jaksch Jr., CEO and co-founder of ChromaDex.
"With limited non-prescription options to address this 'silent killer,' these results will allow pTeroPure to carry a claim of being 'clinically proven,' an attribute that should have a meaningful impact on demand for the ingredient."
ChromaDex has since pumped large sums into commercializing pTeroPure pterostilbene, both as a branded ingredient for sale to food and supplement makers and as the core ingredient in BluScience.
Source: American Heart Association 2012 Scientific Sessions on High Blood Pressure Research
“Impact of pterostilbene on metabolic parameters in humans”
Authors: D.M. Riche, D. Deschamp, M.E. Griswold, C.L. McEwen, K.D. Riche, J.J. Sherman, M.R. Wofford