Both resveratrol and pterostilbene are monomeric stilbenes having a 6−2−6 carbon skeleton with two phenyl rings linked by a double-bonded ethylene bridge. Resveratrol has three hydroxyl (−OH) groups while pterostilbene has two methoxy (OCH3) groups and one −OH group. They commonly occur in the trans form rather than the cis form. Red grapes and red wines are the main dietary sources of resveratrol. Pterostilbene occurs in blueberries and grapes. Resveratrol and pterostilbene exhibit many similarities in pharmacological properties including antioxidant, neuroprotective anti-cancer, cardioprotective, analgesic, anti-atherosclerosis, anti-aging, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-obesity activities. The stronger pharmacological properties in pterostilbene than resveratrol have been attributed to its two OCH3 groups. As a result, pterostilbene is more lipophilic which enhances its membrane permeability, bioavailability, and biological potency. Some future studies on resveratrol and pterostilbene are suggested. Sources of information cited in this comparative overview were from Science Direct, Google Scholar, and PubMed.
Key words: Resveratrol, Pterostilbene, Pharmacology, Pharmacokinetics, Future research