PINE POLLEN CHEMISTRY
The chemistry of pine pollen is complex. Much of the excitement surrounding pine pollen is due to the presence of human androgens in the pollen: testosterone, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone, androsterone, and epitestosterone. Analysis of numerous pine pollens, including those from Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine), Pinus nigra (Austrian pine), Pinus bungeana, and Pinus tabulaeformis (the Chinese variety) has shown the presence of these androgens in the pollen of pine. The pollen is a storehouse of other potent and bioactive chemicals also.
A partial list shows it contains 3–16 percent water, 6–28 percent protein, 44 percent carbohydrates, 4–10 percent sugar, 2 percent flavonoids, 15–22 percent amino acids, 1–20 percent lipids-sterols including many brassinosteroids, gibberellins, cytokinins, and auxins, various polyphenols, glutathione transferase, pentacosane, narcissin, stearic acids, isorhamnetic glycoside, 6-aminopurine, sitosterol, ursolic acid, luteolin, palmitic acid, myo-inositol-1-phosphate synthase, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidyl-myo-inositol, phosphatidylserine, bisphosphatidylglycerol, lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose, and various polysaccharides (i.e., sugars) of importance—two of which are ararabinogalactan and xylogalacturonan. Arabinogalactan is a compound sugar (i.e., polysaccharide) made up from a number of monosaccharides that have combined in unique ways as they form the compound structure: L-arabinose, D-galactose, L-rhamnose, D-xylose, D-galacturonic acid. Vitamin D (2 and 3), testosterone, epitestosterone, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone, androsterone, magnesium, selenium, silicon, potassium, calcium, iron, strontium, phosphorus, sulphur, chlorine, manganese, plus various other vitamins, minerals, amino acids such as L-dopa and Argentine, and antioxidants such as MSM, Super Oxide Dismutase and glutathione.
Pine pollen also contains large quantities of sterols, steroid-like substances, that are exceptionally potent.The five primary ones are auxins, cytokinins, gibberellins, brassinosteroids, and ethylene. Interestingly, they are very similar in structure to animal steroid hormones and are highly biologically active; with antiviral activity, anti-cancer activity, Anabolic activity, and prosurvival activity.
Additionally, pine pollen contains abscisic acid (ABA); a novel mammalian hormone that is known to stimulates the activity of innate immune cells, mesenchymal and hematopoietic stem cells, and insulin-releasing pancreatic β cells through a signalling pathway involving the second messenger cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPR)
The collection of the plant hormones and sterols along with testosterone and other androgens make the pollen an excellent general tonic and a rare candidate as a phytonutrient in prevention and or alleviating a number of conditions associated with reduced androgens that is common to ageing.
In Vitro and In Vivo Experiments
In vivo trials in mice have found pine pollen to reduce sensitivity to pain and to be strongly anti-inflammatory. It also has been found effective in the treatment of chronic arthritis in mice, reducing swelling, and in the production of inflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL 6). Studies showed it markedly reduced serum levels of LDL cholesterol and increased HDL components. Forty-nine days of use in mice reduced serum levels of rheumatoid factor, anti-type II collagen antibody, TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, IL 6, protein carbonyl, advanced glycation endproducts, malondialdehyde, and LDL cholesterol. In vivo studies have also found Pinus nigra pollen to possess antitumor activity. Ten micrograms injected subcutaneously into mice reduced human melanoma tumours size by 50 percent. In vitro studies have found it to be potently antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It reduced the expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs), especially 1 and 3, inhibited JNK activation, and inhibited tumour necrosis factor alpha, as well as IL-1 and IL-6.