Much of the excitement surrounding pine pollen's benefits as a functional food is for its balancing effect on androgens such as testosterone or DHEA-S. Although pine pollen dose not contain any synthetic hormones, it boast a potent concentration of Brassinosteroids: plant-specific polyhydroxylated derivatives of 5α-cholestane, structurally similar to cholesterol-derived animal androgen hormones and ecdysteroids from insects. They are found at low levels in pollen, seeds, leaves, and young vegetative tissues throughout the plant kingdom (1). These natural plant hormones that mimic the structure and function of testosterone, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone, androsterone, and epitestosterone. Brassinosteroids were first discovered in pollen from Brassica napus, hence the name. Some of these molecules have bio-identical structure the same as the human androgens. But when it comes to a natural source with high concentration of these plant hormones no other herb or pollen matches pine pollen.
Each pollen grain is a live single plant cell. Its two air sacks help it float in the air. The cell body must protect its genetic material against radiation and environmental damage. Once it lands on a pine seed it goes through two bursts of cellular growth one each year apart. In between the two stages, it remains attached to the seed with its initial germination filament. Then a second burst of growth leads to the transfer of its DNA. Each grain packs every nutrient to be able to survive and benefit it to thrive during its life cycle.
15-22% amino acids, various polyphenols including 2% flavonoids, 1-2% lipids-sterols including liver detoxifying agents such as glutathione, MSM, SOD, myoinositol, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylserine, lignin, and various polysaccharides (complex sugars)—two of which are important to immune health; arabinogalactan and xylogalacturonan. It also has vitamin D2 and D3, magnesium, selenium, silicon, potassium, calcium, iron, strontium, phosphorus, sulphur, chlorine, manganese, plus various other vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids such as L-dopa and Argentine that help with blood flow and nitric-oxide formation.
But it dose not stop there. Besides the androgen like brassinosteroids, pine pollen as five other plant hormones; auxins, cytokinins, gibberellins, ethylene and Abscisic acid (ABA), all with high biological activity; Including antiviral activity, anti-cancer activity, anabolic activity, and pro-survival activity, and the ability to stimulate the activity of innate immune cells, stem cells, and insulin-releasing pancreatic β cells.
The collection of the plant hormones and sterols along with testosterone and other androgens mimicking molecules make the pollen benefits obvious: as an excellent tonic for anti-aging, athletic performance, and hormone balancing during andropause, and menopause. It a nut shell pine pollen is a rare find in the apothecary of nature cure superfoods.