Stilbenoids are hydroxylated derivatives of stilbene with C6-C2-C6 structure. It belongs to phenylpropanoids family in biochemical terms and shares most of its biosynthesis pathway having chalcones. Stilbenoids could be formed by bacteria and plants. It is naturally formed by various plants when under attack by fungi or bacteria. It occurs naturally and is found in foods such as wine, blueberries and grapes. Its other sources include peanuts and cocoa powder.
Stilbenoids are phytoalexins which refers plant synthesizes compounds as a response to abiotic or microbial stress namely fungal infection and exposure to ultraviolet radiation. This activity of combating external stress is used by winemakers considering sun exposure and grey mold are common issues in food production. These protective chemicals make grapevine maintenance simpler. Moreover, stilbenoids are antioxidants.
There are two main stilbenoids such as pterostilbene and resveratrol. Study conducted in 1992 shows that resveratrol helps to inhibit growth of tumor in some animal models.
The food sources of Stilbenoids are blueberries, wines, grapes, cocoa powder and peanuts.
Health Benefits of Stilbenoids
Discussed below are some health benefits of Stilbenoids:
- Lowers inflammation
Inflammation is the natural response of body to injury, infection, stress or injury. It results redness, heat pain and swelling as the body deals with source of problem. Most of the positive inflammation shows the body is reacting to the threat and repairing damage. Yet, some inflammation is irrelevant and damages the body cells when there is no threat to counteract with. Study shows that stilbenoids are powerful anti-inflammatories which prevent unnecessary inflammation in the body. Further studies are required for confirmation.
- Anti-oxidant activity
Antioxidants are substances which maintain body’s cells safe from free radicals. Free radicals are harmful substances which release into body’s cells during oxygen based reactions. It is associated with diabetes, cancer, weak immune system and premature aging. Stilbenoids are powerful antioxidants which protects from unpleasant effects of free radicals.
- Eliminate toxins
Toxins are harmful substances which are formed within living organisms. Evidence shows that resveratrol may be antitoxic and protects from these natural poisons. Yet, further research is essential to confirm these effects.
As people ages, mental health suffers often. Stilbenoids is helpful for this problem. Study shows that pterostilbene helps to prevent mental deterioration while resveratrol helps to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
- Promotes life expectancy
People consuming lot of calories are susceptible to health problems such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure. They have lower than average life expectancy. Resveratrol is helpful for this. Research shows that stilbenoid helps to combat effects of high calorie diet and promote life expectancy of people who consume lots of calories.
- Blood health
Blood cells are essential for smooth functioning of body. It carries oxygen to where it is required, support elimination of waste materials and much more. Provisional studies shows that stilbenoids helps to keep blood healthy. Pterostilbene helps to lower blood levels of low density lipoprotein cholesterol that could blockage in arteries and lowers blood levels of triglycerides. Moreover, resveratrol prevent atherosclerosis and lowers blood levels of LDL cholesterol.
- Kidney health
Kidneys are critical organ which eliminates waste products from the body. Evidence shows that resveratrol helps to keep them healthy by preventing kidney damage.
- Liver health
Liver is a crucial organs which eliminates harmful toxins from the body. Research shows that resveratrol maintain its working order by preventing liver damage.
- Cancer prevention
Cancer is a health problem where deoxyribonucleic acid in body’s cells gets damaged and causes the cells to grow in rapid and out of control way which results formation of cancerous tumors. The cancerous cells spread to other areas of the body and damages the cells which surround it. Both resveratrol and pterostilbene helps to prevent this condition.
- Diabetes prevention
Diabetes is a health condition which forms when either body’s cells stop responding to insulin or pancreas deteriorate to form enough insulin. When left untreated, diabetes could damage body’s cells or vital organs. Luckily, stilbenoids helps to avoid this condition as evidence suggests that both resveratrol and pterostilbene prevents diabetes.
- Prevent heart problems
Heart disease is the leading reason for premature death in UK. Early research shows that stilbenoids helps to avoid this condition. Pterostilbene lowers the levels of LDL cholesterol or triglycerides while resveratrol prevents atherosclerosis and lowers LDL cholesterol levels.
- Prevent UV rays damage
Ultraviolet (UV) rays are invisible rays of energy from sun. Extended exposure to these rays could damage skin and also leads to skin cancer. Studies show that resveratrol might protect against UV damage.