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What are Stilbenes?

Stilbenes structure possesses two aromatic C6H5 moieties bridged by an alkene unit. Their hydroxylated counterparts – stilbenoids are a group of naturally occurring compounds that belong to the phenylpropanoid family. In nature they can be found in many forms – free, unhydroxylated (aglycone) form or conjugated with sugar moiety as glucosides, or in monomer or oligomer structures.

Stilbenes are synthesized in plants similarly to flavonoids, therefore they share a lot of properties chemically and biologically

Biological activity of stilbenes and stilbenoids

Stilbenoids have been gathering quite the attention from medicinal chemists due to the wide variety of biological activity that these structures possess. 

Cardioprotective effect of stilbenes

Stilbenes especially resveratrol has been studied for the benefits of cardiovascular health. Resveratrol treatment was able to attenuate arterial compliance. Also, resveratrol at doses of 150 mg per day was able to reduce systolic blood pressure. 

On the other hand, stilbenoids have been studied for their ability to inhibit platelet aggregation both in animal and human studies, therefore, reducing risks of atherothrombosis. Pterostilbene was shown to inhibit aggregation and stimulate nitric oxide production in platelets.

Furthermore, being antioxidants, stilbenes can inhibit the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins, which can lead to atherosclerosis.

Stilbenes for antidiabetic effect

Inflammation and oxidative stress are one of the main problems associated with diabetes. Stilbenes like resveratrol with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects can show beneficial effects for patients with diabetes.

Stilbenes have shown the ability to improve insulin sensitivity, resistance, and defective insulin signaling. 

Human studies have shown mixed results about stilbenes like resveratrol and pterostilbene on glycemic control. Some studies of high stilbene daily do show reducing the effect of fasting blood sugar. Low dose studies showed reduced hemoglobin A1c and systolic blood pressure and improved insulin sensitivity.

Stilbenes against obesity

Obesity is one of the main reasons for the development of cardiovascular diseases, therefore, stilbenes and stilbenoids have been studied for their weight regulating effects.

Scientific studies have shown that stilbenes can inhibit adipogenesis, slow lipid accumulation, and promotes their use for energy production by promoting lipolysis – breakdown of triglycerides. Studies in obese humans showed that resveratrol mimics the effect of caloric restriction promoting weight regulation.

Anticancer properties of stilbenes

Like most other natural compounds, stilbenoids have been widely studied for cancer prevention and treatment.

There have been identified several cellular pathways to inhibit cancer formation. Stilbenes can inhibit specific isoforms of cytochrome P450 which leads to the initiation of carcinogenesis in some cancer cell cultures. Other stilbenes can promote metabolic processes to various carcinogens therefore naturally eliminating them from our bodies.

Stilbenes have also shown that they can induce various metabolic pathways to treat cancer like induction of apoptosis, inhibiting cell proliferation, cell cycle arrest, and preventing angiogenesis.

And so much more

Stilbenes have been studied for even more biological applications like use in medicinal cosmetics, as an anti-inflammation tool, and much more. All of these effects can be found in grapes, apples, blackberries, and many more colorful fruits and plants. But for your convenience, we have prepared a selection of stilbenes in our store for you to explore. For more information visit our store.