Comprehensive Nutritional Analysis of Pine Pollen

Forest Manna: RAW Pine Pollen™ As The Foundational Superfood

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Overview and Introduction

While the majority of interest in Pine Pollen revolves around its medicinal and androgenic properties, it's crucial not to overlook its remarkable nutritional density and extensive nutrient profile.

Pine Pollen resembles a seed in that it contains all the nutrients and elements necessary to nurture a new plant into existence. In the case of Pine Pollen, it holds within it the essential building blocks required for the birth of a new pine tree – a truly remarkable feat. To date, researchers have identified over 200 different compounds within Pine Pollen, including more than 20 distinct amino acids (comprising all nine essential amino acids), 15 diverse vitamins, over 30 micro and macro minerals, and in excess of 100 other biologically active and vital compounds. These include living enzymes and coenzymes, flavonoids, nucleic acids, saccharides, and unsaturated fatty acids.

What sets Pine Pollen apart from isolated or synthesized supplements is that the nutritional compounds it contains exist in their natural, complete, and active state—complex, abundant, and well-balanced. Even when compared to the typical foods people consume, including whole and unprocessed foods, Pine Pollen stands out nutritionally. For instance, when weighed, it boasts between seven and ten times the protein content of eggs or beef.

Moreover, its natural beta-carotene content surpasses that of carrots by a factor of 20 to 30, and it does so without concerns of toxicity, as it contains naturally occurring beta-carotene rather than synthesized Vitamin A. Furthermore, its iron content is a remarkable 20 times higher than that of spinach, a fact of particular interest to vegans and vegetarians.

Comparing Pine Pollen to bee pollen, a similar pattern emerges: Pine Pollen's crude fatty acid content is three times higher than that of bee pollen, and research demonstrates that both the nutrient profile and nutrient bioavailability in Pine Pollen exceed those in bee pollen.

The Safety of Pine Pollen

Pine Pollen has been consistently used in China for the past 1500 years, as documented in various Chinese herbalism texts. This extensive history of medicinal application attests to its safety. Modern research has also confirmed its safety through acute and short-term toxicity tests. Studies investigating its potential for carcinogenesis (cancer-causing), mutagenesis (DNA changes), and teratogenesis (alterations to embryos or fetuses) have all demonstrated that Pine Pollen is safe for human consumption.

For more detailed discussions regarding the safety of Pine Pollen, please refer to our dedicated section on Allergies, Safety, Contraindications, and Pine Pollen.

The Function of Proteins and Amino Acids

To fully comprehend the role of proteins in the body, it's essential to recognize that each type of protein possesses a unique structure and function. It's estimated that humans have over 50,000 unique protein types, each consisting of a distinctive combination of amino acids. If even a single amino acid is missing, the body cannot produce that specific protein.

Amino acids, unlike some other nutrients, are not stored in the body. Therefore, a daily intake of a wide variety of amino acids is essential, leading to the classification of certain amino acids as "essential." Essential nutrients must be obtained through the diet since the body cannot synthesize them, and they are vital for sustaining life. For example, consider the complexity of proteins like hemoglobin, composed of a chain of 146 amino acids. While not all these amino acids are different, they must be present in an exact sequence, akin to a phone number. Just as a missing or malfunctioning number in a phone number renders the rest meaningless, a cell attempting to construct a protein—such as an immune system cell—will not succeed if a crucial amino acid like methionine is absent.

Almost everything in the body, with the exception of water, including enzymes, comprises proteins. People consume proteins in various forms, whether from a carrot, a hamburger, or a slab of tofu, but the body exclusively interacts with amino acids. Proteins enter the digestive tract, yet only amino acids are absorbed through the walls of the small intestine. This is because the body's digestive enzymes break down whole proteins into their constituent amino acid building blocks. It is these individual amino acids that serve as the "building blocks of life."

By maintaining a diet rich in diverse proteins and, consequently, a variety of amino acids and nucleic acids, the body can facilitate proper protein synthesis as well as RNA and DNA synthesis. The body, which is approximately 16% protein (bearing in mind its high water content), continually produces, breaks down, and recycles proteins.

The Amino Acid and Protein Content of Pine Pollen

The protein concentration in Pine Pollen can vary depending on the species, location, and harvest. According to Stephen Buhner, author of "Pine Pollen: Ancient Medicine for a New Millennium," Pine Pollen's protein composition can fluctuate between 6% and 28%.

A 1999 study analyzing the nutritional profile of Pine Pollen, collected from Pinus massoniana pine trees, found it to contain approximately 13% protein by weight (access the study here).

Given the wide range of protein levels in Pine Pollen, it's more useful, from a nutritional perspective, to consider its amino acid profile rather than the overall protein content. Pine Pollen is abundant in more than 20 different types of amino acids, encompassing all nine essential amino acids. Essential amino acids, crucial for life, must be obtained through diet since the body cannot synthesize them independently.

Pine Pollen also includes six conditionally essential amino acids, which the body may have difficulty synthesizing and may become essential under certain circumstances. These include arginine, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, proline, and tyrosine – all of which are present in Pine Pollen.

The amino acid profile of Pine Pollen surpasses that of bee pollen and many foods, including eggs and beef. Furthermore, the composition of its essential amino acids aligns with recommendations from both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The following table presents the levels of 19 major amino acids in 65 grams of Pine Pollen, although Pine Pollen contains more amino acids than those listed here.

Average Major Amino Acid Content In Pine Pollen

Amino Acid Amount (mg/65g) Amino Acid; Amount (mg/65g) Amino Acid Amount (mg/65g) Amino Acid Amount (mg/65g)
Alanine 366.6 Glycine 453.7 Methionine 109.2 Tryptophan 96.85
Arginine 648.7 Histidine 122.85 Phenylalanine 371.8 Tyrosine 237.25
Aspartic acid 713.7 Isoleucine 350.35 Proline 572 Valine 419.9
Cystine 72.8 Leucine 549.9 Serine 339.3 - -
Glutamic acid 1026.35 Lysine 521.3 Threonine 319.8 - -

As previously mentioned, the FAO provides guidelines for the preferred amino acid composition in foods. Pine Pollen's amino acid composition aligns closely with these guidelines. However, the most notable feature of Pine Pollen's amino acid profile is the relative abundance of proline, tyrosine, and arginine. These three amino acids are essential for a multitude of important functions within the body.

The following table shows the percentage of essential amino acids found in Pine Pollen as compared to the recommendations put forth by the FAO.

Essential Amino Acids in Pine Pollen and FAO Protein Standards

Amino Acid Content (mg/65g) Pine Pollen FAO
Isoleucine 350 4.8% 4%
Leucine 550 7.6% 7%
Lysine 521 7.1% 5.5%
Methionine 108 1.5% 3.5%
Phenylalanine 372 5.1% 6%
Threonine 320 4.4% 4%
Tryptophan 97 1.3% 1%
Valine 420 5.8% 5%

As a reference point for the levels of amino acids present in Pine Pollen, the following table lists amino acid levels in Pine Pollen in comparison to RAW Brassica Pollen and to eggs.

Amino Acids Content of Pine Pollen, Brassica Pollen, and Eggs

Amino Acid Pine Pollen (65 gm) Brassica Pollen (65 gm) Eggs (65 gm)
Alanine 366.6 44.72 478.4
Arginine 648.7 23.4 533.65
Aspartic acid 713.7 7.15 864.5
Glutamic acid 1026.35 9.23 1089.4
Glycine 453.7 9.555 280.8
Histidine 122.85 10.075 200.85
Isoleucine 350.35 12.675 436.8
Leucine 549.9 12.935 707.2
Lysine 521.3 16.965 594.1
Methionine 107.9 3.185 247
Phenylalanine 371.8 6.955 442.65
Proline 572 519.35 333.45
Serine 339.3 26.585 632.45

Each amino acid will assist in a wide variety of roles and functions in the body.

In the following table, a few of the select major roles of each essential amino acid is listed—but the table is in no way intended to be comprehensive or all-inclusive.

Major Physiological Role of the Nine Essential Amino Acids

Amino Acid Major Physiological Roles
Histidine Regulate several minerals, including iron, copper, molybdenum, zinc, and manganese. Histidine is also essential in the formation of several enzymes and compounds, including the important anti-aging antioxidant SOD (superoxide dismutase). *
Isoleucine Increases athletic endurance and assists in muscle repair. *
Leucine Promotes the regulation of blood glucose, promotes repair and growth of muscle and bone, and promotes the production of GH (growth hormone). *
Lysine Of vital importance for proper growth, absorption of calcium, building muscle and carnitine synthesis, recovery from trauma, and assists in the production of antibodies, enzymes, and hormones. *
Methionine Promotes normal metabolism and growth, including liver detoxification. Methionine is a sulfur donor and as such assists anti-oxidant activity. *
Phenylalanine Precursor of the amino acid tyrosine, required for adrenalin, noradrenaline, and dopamine. *
Threonine Thought to assist in fighting/preventing depression, a major component of elastin, collagen, and enamel. Helps promotes liver metabolism and generally assists metabolism and absorption of nutrients in the GI tract. *
Tryptophan An essential element of many enzymes, proteins, serotonin, melatonin, and neurotransmitters. *
Valine Help prevent the breakdown of muscle, aids the nervous system, and promote cognitive health. *

Methionine: Pine Pollen And The Anti-Aging Amino Acid *

The amino acid methionine (L-Methionine) is present in a natural raw form in Pine Pollen. In terms of providing real anti-aging benefits (those that reverse markers of aging, not just leaving you "feeling" younger), methionine directly improves the tone and pliability of skin, nails, and hair. It also promotes healthy hair growth, when hair has become thin or absent altogether. *

Methionine chelates heavy metals from the body (including mercury) allowing them to be safely eliminated from your body. * Furthermore, this amino acid which is so hard to find in our diets increases levels of SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine), which may help prevent premature ejaculation and improve chronic depression. *

If you are interested in using a natural, non-synthetic form of MSM and L-Methionine, RAW Pine Pollen may be an excellent choice. In all of our experience and research, there is no other food, supplement, or source with as rich a source of MSM and L-Methionine as RAW Pine Pollen (choose the raw form when targeting amino acids). *

Vitamins And Pine Pollen

The majority of vitamins cannot be synthesized by the body, and thus they are essential, just as some amino acids are essential. Unlike amino acids, which the body does not store, many vitamins are stored in the body. Vitamins help orchestrate the symphony of the human body, and without healthy levels, the body will start to shut down certain functions depending on the missing vitamin.

For instance, it is well-known that a lack of Vitamin D results in rickets: a lack of Vitamin B12 results in pernicious anemia, and a lack of Vitamin C results in scurvy. Vitamins are neither components of tissue in the body nor do they supply energy. Instead, vitamins make it possible for the body to produce and maintain tissue and vitamins make it possible for the body to metabolize energy-producing compounds (like glucose or fat).

Over 15 different types of vitamins have been identified in Pine Pollen. Each vitamin is naturally occurring and is easily digestible. Unlike isolated and synthesized/synthetic products, the vitamins found in Pine Pollen are present in their natural state and exist alongside their needed co-vitamins and co-enzymes.

The following table lists 10 of the vitamins present in Pine Pollen, the levels of those vitamins as found in 65 grams, and a very brief overview of the role in the body of that particular vitamin. Again, this table is not intended to be comprehensive either in the listing of the vitamins present in Pine Pollen or in the role each individual vitamin plays in human health.

Select Vitamin Content and Analysis

Vitamin ug/65gm Highlighted Role of Vitamin in the body
Beta Carotene 16.9 A precursor to Vitamin A, as such, assists in vision; health of the cornea, epithelial cells, mucus cells/membranes, skin; bone and tooth growth; regulation of gene expression; reproduction; immunity. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant. *
Folic acid 607.1 Component of a co-enzyme required for new cell synthesis. *
Vitamin A 28.08 Vision; health of the cornea, epithelial cells, mucus cells/membranes, skin; bone and tooth growth; regulation of gene expression; reproduction; immunity. *
Vitamin B1 /Thiamine 3945.5 Part of the B-complex, helps build sugars and amino acids in the body. Promotes the synthesis of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine (needed for proper neuron/brain cell signaling and GABA (which promotes relaxation). *
Vitamin B2 / Riboflavin 315.9 Essential for the synthesis of flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), two cofactors responsible for many functions in the body, including metabolism/energy production and the conversion of vitamins to their active states. *
Vitamin B5 / Pantothenic acid 9249.5 Essential for the synthesis of coenzyme A (CoA), needed for proper energy metabolism via the citric acid cycle, and for the synthesis of many compounds, including fatty acids, cholesterol, and acetylcholine. *
Vitamin B6 / Thiamin 845 Component of a co-enzyme required for energy metabolism. Supports normal appetite and nervous system function. *
Vitamin C 36530 Collagen synthesis (strengthens vessel walls, formation of scar tissue, formation of bone matrix); antioxidant (also assists with iron absorption), restores vitamin E back to the active form, hormone synthesis, supporting immune cell function. *
Vitamin D3 14.82 Mineralization of bones. Vitamin D raises blood calcium and phosphorus levels via absorption in the digestive tract and by withdrawing calcium from bones and stimulating calcium retention in the kidney. *
Vitamin E 2106 Antioxidant, stabilization of cell membranes, support of immune function, protection of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and normal nerve development. *

The following table compares the Vitamin C content (in milligrams) as compared in Pine Pollen, Brassica Pollen, Camellia Pollen, and—as a reference point—commercially available oranges.

Vitamin C Content as found in Pine Pollen, Brassica Pollen, Camellia Pollen, and Oranges

Pine Pollen Brassica Pollen Camellia Pollen Oranges
Vitamin C (mg/65gm) 36.53 26.65 43.875 34.58

The Mineral Composition Of Pine Pollen

Modern agricultural techniques drain the topsoil of important minerals, which directly translates to decreased levels of minerals in food. This is true in both conventional agriculture and in organic agriculture, and the charts comparing the mineral composition of common vegetables over the past 60 years or so are truly shocking and horrifying. The British Food Journal published a study using data from 1930 to 1980 and found declining levels of minerals in the 20 different vegetables they analyzed. Of these, the average calcium content declined 19%, the average iron content declined 22%, and the average potassium content declined 14%.* Many similar studies have been done noting the similar declining trends, both in fruits and vegetables and with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.

Minerals are vital to health, they cannot be synthesized by the body and are thus essential (they must be consumed), and normal daily metabolism creates a loss of minerals, so daily consumption of minerals is necessary. Minerals are required for a multitude of processes in the body, including the growth, repair, and maintenance of bones, hormone production, and regulating the heartbeat.* Minerals also promote healthy reproductive and sexual health in both men and women. *

The following table provides a list of 12 of the most important minerals (but not all of the minerals) that have been identified in Pine Pollen. The table also provides the levels of those minerals as found in 65 grams, and then provides a brief, nonexclusive overview of the role of the listed mineral.

Mineral Content present in Pine Pollen and Select Physiological Role


Mineral Mg/65gm Physiological Role
Calcium 52.39 Major mineral of bones and teeth, particular interests to pregnant women and developing children. *
Magnesium 71.7 Major mineral of bones and teeth, particular interests to pregnant women and developing children. A co-factor for enzymes. *
Phosphorus 141.9 Major mineral of bones and brain, the backbone of DNA and cell membranes, helps balance acids in the body, and assists with the metabolism of sugars, fats, and proteins. *
Potassium 83.4 Helps regulate skeletal and cardiac muscle tissue. *
Silicon 130.7 Assists the formation of bone, cartilage, connective tissue, and skin. *
Sodium 6.8 Most importantly, balances fluids in the body and plays an essential role in nerve transmission (action potential). *


Mineral Mg/65gm Physiological Role
Copper 0.26 Promotes cardiovascular health, has anti-cancer properties, may promote resistance to radiation, important to reproductive health in men (particularly in erections). *
Iron 15.73 Essential for oxygen transport and storage. *
Manganese 5.7 Metabolism, absorption of protein, promote bone repair. *
Molybdenum <0.01 Promotes healthy growth, heart function, and may help prevent certain cancers. *
Selenium 0.002 Documented to promote cancer prevention. *
Zinc 2.15 A co-element for over 200 different enzymes, is important for proper absorption and utilization of foods, promotes sperm health, promotes immune system health, and may have anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. *

The Lipid And Fat Profile Of Pine Pollen

Because of the decades-long campaign against “unhealthy” fats, many people do not realize the necessary role that fats play in human health: from brain health to energy to organ protection to steroid hormone production to cell membrane health.

At the most basic level, alongside sugars and proteins, fats are one of the 3 energy groups and dietary fats help the body absorb certain fat-soluble vitamins.

As Julia Child said, “You need some fats in your diet so that your body can process its vitamins.” Of course, there are “healthy” and “unhealthy fats.” Healthy fats tend to be unsaturated fatty acids.

Pine Pollen contains three different types of “healthy” unsaturated fatty acids, including oleic acid, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid—all of which account for over 72% of the total fat present in Pine Pollen. Only one type of saturated fat is found in Pine Pollen, the fatty acid palmitic acid. The ratio of unsaturated fatty acids to saturated fatty acids in Pine Pollen is of stark difference to the fats of concern, those linked to heart disease and obesity.

Oleic acid, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid all have well-documented health benefits, ranging from cancer prevention to promotion of cardiovascular health. *

Content of Four Fatty Acids Present in Pine Pollen

Fatty Acid Milligram per gram of Pine Pollen
Oleic Acid 3.65
Linoleic Acid 0.19
Linolenic Acid 0.11
Palmitic Acid 1.95

Additional Nutritional Compounds Present in Pine Pollen

Pine Pollen And Saccharides

The primary saccharides present in Pine Pollen are the polysaccharides starch, cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and fiber; the majority of these being found in the cell wall of Pine Pollen. These tough, largely indigestible saccharides are the reason why the cell wall must be fractured for the nutrients to become digestible by the human body. The connection between fiber and health is both well documented and well understood. A quick overview of the benefits of dietary fiber include digestive system health and promoting regular elimination, promoting the elimination of the carcinogens found in certain foods (this is why low fiber intake is tied to colon cancer), promoting cardiovascular health, blood sugar regulation, and many other positive health benefits. * Pine Pollen is a rich source of important dietary fiber—including pre-biotic fiber.

In the following table, an overview of the different saccharides, including dietary fiber, present in Pine Pollen is provided.

Saccharide Content of Pine Pollen

Saccharide Percentage
Starch 7.0%
Cellulose 9.9%
Hemicellulose 1.5%
Lignin 25.9%
Fiber 27.3%

Pine Pollen And SOD (Superoxide Dismutase)

Pine Pollen can be a valuable resource in increasing your natural levels of anti-oxidants. SOD (Superoxide Dismutase). SOD is the master anti-oxidant produced by the body, and oxidization is the #1 aging mechanism in the body.* Pine Pollen contains SOD, which may increase your levels of this mater anti-oxidant. *

Pine Pollen And MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

MSM, which Pine Pollen contains in its original, non-synthetic form, is truly a powerhouse in itself. MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is a sulfur compound with potentially strong anti-aging effects.* Use of MSM has been shown to grant pain relief, increase flexibility, build skin vitality, promote hair growth, and offer relief from interstitial cystitis.* MSM uniquely provides healing for those suffering from joint pain, and has been documented to provide significant and often profound pain relief from osteoarthritis, degenerative arthritis, and degenerative joint disease.*

Sulfur compounds are incredibly important in the normal processes which guard the body against premature aging.* Sulfur is a component of the essential amino acid methionine (which Pine Pollen also contains). Sulfur is present in all connective tissue, muscle tissue, and anywhere else that complete amino acids are present. In other words, it is found all throughout the body. Importantly, sulfur is a necessary ingredient in the formation of collagen and keratin, the substances that make up the connective tissues of the body.* Healthy keratin means healthy joints, connective tissue, and skin, to name a few.*

Pine Pollen And Nucleic Acid

Nucleic acids are the building blocks of DNA and RNA—our genetic material. They regulate cell division and growth and they ultimately control the synthesis of new cells and protein.* Nucleic acids are synthesized by the body in the bone marrow, the liver, and the brain. As such, they are not essential nutrients necessary to be consumed. However, newer research has shown that after the age of 20, a person’s ability to produce nucleic acids begins to diminish; resulting in a reduced capacity to form new cells to ensure the health of the skin, brain, eyes, digestive system, and other processes and structures in the body.* In short, declining levels of nucleic acid in the body bring on aging.

Pine Pollen is the regenerative part of the pine tree, and as such, it is rich in nucleic acids. Between 30.55 – 37.7 milligrams of nucleic acids are found in 65 grams of it.

Pine Pollen And Choline

Choline, as the major component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACH), is of vital importance to brain health and memory. Additionally, choline is important in liver health and even in promoting healthy hair growth. Supplemental choline has been used to treat liver diseases, such as certain types of hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver, and it has also been used to treat memory loss and depression.* Chemically synthesized choline is used to treat other brain and neurological disorders as well, including Alzheimer's, dementia, Huntington's, Tourette's, and schizophrenia. *

Supplemental choline has fitness applications as well and it may help to prevent fatigue in endurance-type athletics. Choline is used by pregnant women to help prevent neural tube defects in developing embryos and choline is often added commercially to infant and baby formulas. *

The choline content of Pine Pollen has been tested to average between 130 – 182 milligrams per 65 grams of Pine Pollen.

Pine Pollen And Flavonoids

Flavonoids are yet considered to be in the same class of nutrients as vitamins and minerals, but many nutritionists believe that in the not too distant future flavonoids will be considered essential to human health, just as Vitamin C or protein is. Flavonoids are found primarily in fruits and vegetables; the major signifier that flavonoids are present in food are bright colors. Flavonoids have been shown to have a host of benefits to human health, including antiviral properties, promoting anti-inflammatory actions, are antioxidants, and even assisting the body in combating tumors.*

The flavonoid content of Pine Pollen varies greatly depending on the variety of tree the pollen is harvested, the date of harvest, and the geographical location, and will even vary from tree to tree when all other conditions are identical. In 65 grams of Pine Pollen between 19 and 292.5 milligrams of flavonoids may be present.

Works Referenced


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