What do healthful berries, red wine, and an Ayurvedic medicinal preparation for cardiovascular wellness, Drakshasava, have in common? A high content of stilbenes (phenylpropanoid compounds), notably resveratrol and its analogue pterostilbene, that are known to have diverse pharmacological activities (Roupe, et al., 2006). Several phenylpropanoids are antimicrobial compounds, secondary metabolites synthesized by plant cells in response to attack by grazing animals or pathogen infestation, and are classified as phytoalexins (Langcake, et al. 1977).
Pterostilbene is one such compound, identified in Vitis vinifera leaves (Langcake et al., 1979). Additional biological roles have been described for stress-induced phenylpropanoids. These include signaling of defense responses, protection against UV light damage, and increase in bioavailability of poorly absorbed nutrients (Dixon et al, 1995, Schmidlin, et al, 2008). Sabinsa offers Silbinol® and pTeroWhite™, proprietary natural pterostilbene ingredients, for nutritional and cosmetic applications respectively, extracted from the dried heartwood of Pterocarpus marsupium.