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When comes to the utilization of pine pollen, priority issue is its safety to most people. More than 1500 years’ application history and a series of modern experiments including acute toxicity test, short-term toxicity test, mutagenesis test, teratogenesis test and carcinogenic test in China all showed that pine pollen is safe for human consumption. Pine pollen contains all the nutrition and active substances needed to breed a new life entity of pine tree. So far, substances identified from pine pollen are more than 200 kinds including a variety of proteins, more than 20 kinds of amino acids(8 of them are essential to human), 15 kinds of vitamins, more than 30 kinds of mineral elements, nearly a hundred kinds of enzymes and coenzymes as well as other nucleic acid, unsaturated fatty acids, flavonoids and saccharides. All these ingredients are not only complete in variety but also with a rich and balanced proportion. Content of some ingredients are significantly higher than content in food human daily intake; protein in same quantity pine pollen is 7-10 times higher than in same quantity beef and egg, crude fatty acids content is 3 times higher than bee source flower pollen at average, beta carotene content is 20-30 times higher than in carrots, iron content is 20 times higher than in spinach. And the researches also pointed out nutrition and bioactivity of pine pollen are significantly superior to all the rest edible plant pollen.

Protein and Amino Acids
Protein is material base of life which has a close relationship with formation, existing and extinction of life. Deficiency of protein, human will suffer from a poor health, weaken immunity, delayed growth, anemia; in some serious cases, it will cause edematization even threat to life. Protein accounts for 16.3% of human weight, that is to say there is around 9 kg protein for a 55kg adult. Proteins in human are a variety of types with different properties and functions which undergoes continuous metabolism and updates in the body. Protein is composed by polypeptide while basic unit of polypeptide is amino acid; therefore protein is a kind of organic compound consist of different amino acids. The marshalling sequence difference of amino acid result in variety of protein types and different protein has different physiological functions which involve in the metabolism of life. Lack any of essential amino-acid will lead to abnormity in physiological function thus affect the normal operation of antibody metabolism and result in different diseases. Lacking of some non-essential amino acida may also cause disorders of antibody metabolism.

Proteins in food that human intake are disintegrated to amino acids under the action of digestive enzymes, and these amino acids will reorder in a certain sequence to combine to new proteins after absorbed by human body; meanwhile, old proteins undergo continuous metabolism and decomposition which makes them balanced in the body. Therefore quality & quantity of protein and ratio of different amino acids in human body concerns quality of protein synthesis; and whether people could enjoy a longer life has a close relationship with quality and quantity of protein in daily food. Besides synthesizing to new protein, amino acids also play a very important role in some physiological function independently. There are more than 20 kinds of amino acids that can be tested in pine pollen, including 8 essential amino acids which body can’t synthesize on their own and the ratio is very close to criterion that made by WHO(World Health Organization) and FAO(Food and Agriculture Organization). Compared with other bee source pollens, amino acids contents in pine pollen are distinctly higher.

Content of major amino acids in pine pollen
Types of Amino acids Content(mg/100g) Types of Amino acids Content(mg/100g)
glutamic acid 1579 serine 522
alanine 564 methionine 168
lysine 802 proline 880
glycine 698 arginine 998
aspartic acid 1098 cystine 112
leucine 846 valine 646
isoleucine 539 tryptophan 149
threonine 492 tyrosine 365
histidine 189 phenylalanine 572

 

Contrast of content of 8 human body essential amino acids in pine pollen and FAO standard(% of the total)
Name Content(mg/100g) Percentage FAO standard percentage
phenylalanine 572 5.1 6.0
isoleucine 539 4.8 4.0
lysine 802 7.1 5.5
tryptophan 149 1.3 1.0
leucine 846 7.6 7.0
threonine 492 4.4 4.0
methionine 166 1.5 3.5
valine 646 5.8 5.0

 

Contrast of major amino acids content in pine pollen and in several other bee source pollen(mg/100g)
Pollen types
Amino acids
Pine pollen Brassica flower pollen Corn flower pollen Buckwheat flower pollen
aspartic acid 1098 11.0 20.2 0
threonine 492 17.6 0 17.3
serine 522 40.9 80.4 17.3
glutamic acid 1579 14.2 10.1 62.8
glycine 698 14.7 3.1 8.0
alanine 564 68.8 25.1 39.6
valine 646 27.9 10.7 21.6
methionine 166 4.9 1.6 29.4
isoleucine 539 19.5 14.8 40.3
leucine 846 19.9 11.0 32.4
tyrosine 365 34.9 98.7 0
phenylalanine 572 10.7 0 12.7
lysine 802 26.1 21.6 20.8
histidine 189 15.5 20.4 4.7
arginine 998 36.0 68.0 7.4
proline 880 799 525 37

 

Direct physiological actions of 8 human body essential amino acids in pine pollen
Name of amino acid Physiological actions
phenylalanine Participate in and eliminate the damage/wastage of kidney and bladder function
isoleucine Participate in adjustment and metabolism of thymus gland, spleen and pituitary gland, pituitary gland acts as the chief commander to work on thyroid gland and sexual gland.
lysine As a component of liver and gallbladder; promote brain development and fat metabolism; adjust function of pineal gland, mammary gland, corpus luteum and ovary; prevent degeneration of cells.
tryptophan Promote production of gastric juice and pancreatic juice.
leucine Work to balance isoleucine.
threonine Transfer some certain kinds amino acids for a balance in human body.
methionine Formed part of hemoglobin and serum; promote spleen, pancreas and lymph.
valine Act on corpus luteum, mammary gland and ovary.

Vitamins
Vitamins are a type of essential organic compounds to maintain human life activities as well as important active substances to preserve human health. Vitamins are neither the components of body tissues and cells nor can they produce any energy to support body; but its vital function is to participate in body metabolic regulation. Human body is like an intricate chemical workshop, within which different biochemical reactions are happening constantly and all these reactions cannot complete without catalysis of enzymes; while activity of enzymes requires participation of coenzymes and many known vitamins are important component of coenzymes. Vitamins account for a very small amount in human body and daily required amount is extremely small too, generally they are counted by milligram or microgramme. However vitamins play a very important role in process of growth, metabolism and development in human body; lack of which will cause corresponding vitamin deficiency disease and damage human health. Most of vitamins can’t be synthesized or synthesis is not enough in the body, which can’t meet with body demand and often need to be obtained from daily food. Lack of vitamins in food will result in metabolic disorders; for example, vitamin A deficiency will cause nyctalopia, xerophthalmus or dry skin, vitamin D deficiency will cause rickets, vitamin B1 deficiency will cause dermatophytosis, vitamin B2 deficiency will cause cheilitis, angular cheilitis, glossitis or scrotitis, vitaimin B12 deficiency will cause pernicious anemia, vitamin C deficiency will cause scurvy.

Present known vitamins have dozens of types, and could be divided into two major categories as liposoluble and water soluble vitamins. Chemical composition of liposoluble vitamins only contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and those vitamins co-exist with lipid in the food which could dissolve in liposoluble solvent rather than water. Liposolube vitamins together with fat could be absorbed by lymphatic system in intestinal tract and discharged with a small amount from bile, most of them are stored in fat tissue after taken in. Liposoluble vitamins deficiency symptom won’t show up in a short time and can’t evaluated by urine examination. Water soluble vitamins are not only composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen but also other elements like sulfur, nitrogen and cobalt, and they can dissolve in water rather than other liposoluble solvent or fat and spare part could be discharged with urine after meeting with body requirement. Most water soluble vitamins participate in different enzymes system and metabolic activity in form of co-enzymes. Water soluble vitamins deficiency symptom will shows up in a short period and can be evaluated by urine examination.

Vitamins that tested in pine pollen are more than 10 kinds, below are the content of different kinds of vitamins in pine pollen and benefits brief of each vitamin:

Names Content(ug/100g) physiological action
Vitamin B1 6070 Regulate nervous system, prevent and cure dermatophytosis,constipation and pachulosis.
Vitamin B2 486 Promote growth, activate cell, beautify eye skin, cure irregular menstruation, may cause angular cheilitis and spots on hand or feet.
Vitamin B5 14230 Help skin, digestive organs, nerve, muscle diseases, synthesize sex hormones.
Vitamin B6 1300 Promote growth, resist anemia, detoxification, treat early pregnancy reaction; may cause pachulosis, nervous insomnia, anemia, measles and skin infection.
Folic acid 934 Act as a co-enzyme in process of nucleic acid synthesis, resist anemia, protect mucosa, resist cancer, promote normal development of fetus neuraltube.
Vitamin C 56200 Effective on scurvy, gingivitis, dental bleeding and other symptoms, improve skin microcirculation, scavenge free radical and resist cancer.
Vitamin E 3240 Promote body hair growth, go against the infertility, treat neural and muscular diseases, scavenge free radical.
Vitamin A 43.2 Maintain eyesight reaction, normal form and function of epithelial tissue, promote bone development, prevent nyctalopia and wrinkles.
Vitamin D3 22.8 Prevent and cure rickets, osteomalacia, tetany of infant.
Beta Carotene 26 Help eye health, growth&development, acnes, wrinkles, prostate&uterine health; inhibit cancer to grow.
Content of Vitamin C in several common pollens(mg/100g)
Name Pine pollen Brassica flower pollen Camellia flower pollen
Content 56.2 41.0 67.5

Saccharides
Saccharides are a type of widely distributed important organic compounds in nature, generally divided into monosaccharide, disaccharide, oligosaccharide and polysaccharide. Saccharides also are named as carbohydrate because its molecule structure are composed by one atomic oxygen and two atomic hydrogens which are similar to composition of hydrone. Saccharides could release plenty of energy via oxidation action to meet with vital movement of living body as their direct energy source, 1 gram sugar could decompose and release 4 kilocalorie calories after total oxidation. Human physiological activity including organs like brain, heart and muscle tissues can’t function without saccharides. Metabolism of saccharides in human body are regulated by insulin, and they will be directly stored in liver or in subcutaneous tissue after transferred to fat in form of hepatic glycogen if the saccharides are excessive in blood.

Saccharides in pine pollen are mainly polysaccharide including starch, cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and coarse fiber; among which cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and coarse fiber are main components of pine pollen cell wall and they are also the major dietary fiber substances. Dietary fiber neither can be digested or absorbed nor can provide any nutrition and calories to human body but they have close relationship to human health. Dietary fiber plays a vital role to preserve the health of digestive system, its direct function is to promote intestines peristalsis and effectively prevent constipation from happening. It can clear the digestive wall, enhance digestive function, dilute and accelerate the elimination of cancerogenic substances in food, and prevent colorectal cancer. Meanwhile, it can rapidly discharge cholesterol to make the blood sugar and cholesterol at a balanced level for prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and other related diseases. That’s why dietary fiber are praised as “the seventh nutrient of the world”.

Starch and cellulose contents in pine pollen
Item Content(%)
starch 7.0
cellulose 9.9
hemicellulose 1.5
lignin 25.9
coarse fiber 27.3

Minerals and microelements
Minerals are also named as inorganic salt; and content of those exceeding ten thousandth in the body are macroelements, less than ten thousandth ones are microelements. Microelements are often given special attention because they play a very important role in human physiological activity although they account for a very low amount in the body. All these microelements in the body are depriving from time to time under influence of metabolism; therefore it’s necessary to supplement timely everyday via various food or this will result in metabolic disorder. Body neither can maintain the normal forms or structures of tissues and organs nor absorb and utilize different nutrition without minerals, that’s why minerals have an important role on human health.

Of particular note is that some microelements are needed at a very low amount in the body, which result in the scope between physiological dose and poisoning dose is extremely narrow. Excessive intake of those microelements will lead to toxic and side effects; so we should be careful of the amount/dose of microelements intake and try to choose those natural food which are rich in microelements in their biological state instead of those synthetic reinforcer. Pine pollen as a natural nutrition source not only carries those macroelements like potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus; but also microelements like Iron, manganese, zinc, copper, selenium and chromium.

Content of different minerals in pine pollen and their physiological actions
Macroelements Name Content(mg/100g) Physiological actions
potassium 128.3 Regulate function of heart and muscles; may cause muscle weakness disease, muscular paralysis, maldevelopment, chronic disease and high blood pressure.
sodium 10.5 Regulate osmotic pressure and acid-base balance; maintain irritability of nerve & muscle; components of pancreatic juice, bile, sweat and tears
calcium 80.6 Constitute bones and teeth, and it’s especially important to infant, baby and pregnant woman.
magnesium 110.3 Constitute bones and teeth; are especially important to infant, baby and pregnant woman; activate enzyme; may cause hemangiectasis, congestion, palpitation and other symptoms.
phosphorus 218.3 Constitute bones and brain; compound to nucleic acid; regulate acid-base balance and metabolism of saccharides, fat and protein.
silicon 201 Promote formation of bones, cartilages, connective tissue and skin.
Microelements iron 24.2 Essential to make hemachrome of blood and myohemoglobin of muscle.
copper 0.4 Anti-Arteriosclerosis; cholesterol reduction; radiation resistance, anti-cancer, helping impotence.
zinc 3.3 Have close relation with activity of more than 200 kinds enzymes; play a vital role in metabolism of organizing and absorbing the protein, fat, saccharides and nucleic acid; improve activity of sperm; maintain immunity; anti-cancer; anti-aging; zinc deficiency may cause decreased appetite and bad intelligence development.
selenium 0.0031 Powerful anti-cancer effect.
manganese 8.74 Participate in metabolism of human body; improve absorption of protein; manganese deficiency may increase the activity of bone damage cells which may result in osteoporosis and weakening bones.
molybdenum Less than 0.01 Constitute flavoprotein which could promote growth, protect angiocarpy, maintain myocardial energy metabolism, prevent decayed tooth and cancer.

Fat
Fat as a necessary thermogenic substance for human body is one of the 3 substances of energy sources, every 1 gram fat could provide 9 kilocalorie calories after complete oxidation. Fat owns very important physiological actions; for example it can help absorb liposoluble nutrition in the body, vitamin E as the example; it can be stored under the skin and utilized when body has particular needs of energy; it also can prevent mechanical injury and calories from emitting. Fat is made of glycerinum and fatty acid; therefore property and feature of fat are decided by fatty acid, fatty acid being divided into two types as saturated fatty acid and unsaturated fatty acid. The quality of fat we evaluate is from the category, content and ratio of saturated fatty acid and unsaturated fatty acid. Pine pollen carries different types unsaturated fatty acids including oleic acid, linoleic acid and linolenic acid which account for 72.5% of total fat, there being only one saturated fatty acid as palmitic acid. This proves that pine pollen is an excellent plant fat which are totally different from animal fat because they won’t cause obesity, high blood pressure and high blood fat.

Fatty acids content in pine pollen
Name oleic acid linoleic acid linolenic acid palmitic acid
Content(mg/g) 3.65 0.19 0.11 1.95

Nucleic acid
Nucleic acid is genetic material which carries all the genetic information of life entity. They fall into two types as Ribonucleic Acid/RNA and deoxyribonucleic acid /DNA, and they exist in chromosome of cells. Nucleic acid control and regulate cell division and growth, direct the synthesis of protein, life activities from generation to death being controlled by nucleic acid. Before the nucleic acid is discovered, life was regarded as the existence form of protein and protein as the base of life; however this changed after nucleic acid is discovered, nucleic acid being supposed to be the most essential substance of life. At present, opinion that protein and nucleic acid both are base of all vital movement is are universally recognized. Nucleic acid could be synthesized via liver, marrow and brain, so people believed it’s not necessary to intake nucleic acid in a long period of time. However latter researches showed that self-synthesis ability for people over 20 years of age will be greatly reduced and they can’t synthesize enough nucleic acid for physiological need which will result in aging skin, memory loss, poor vision and degeneration of intestines and stomach function, then it will be necessary for external acquirement from food to make up for this deficiency. Pine pollen as the generative cell of pine tree is rich in nucleic acid, every 100g pine pollen containing 47-58 mg; therefore, pine pollen has been regarded as the best natural source nucleic acid.

Choline
Choline as a type of quasi-vitamins substance was separated from pig’s bile for the first time in 1849; and it was officially named as choline in 1862 and now it has been used as a common food additive. United States Code lists choline as a generally recognized as safe product; and EU Regulations issued in 1991 allow choline to be added in infant food. It has a very important physiological function in human body, for example it could be transferred to acetyl choline ( ACH ) after acetylation which is as a vital neurotransmitter in living organism. Acetyl choline ( ACH ) could promote the synthesis of phospholipid which is a strong anti-fatty liver agent; therefore intake of pine pollen could prevent fatty liver. And choline content is tested around 200-280mg in every 100g pine pollen.

Flavonoids
Flavonoids are a type of derived yellow pigment on basis of flavone as their nuclear parent. They are widely existed in the plant and those fruits and vegetables with different colors contain with high content bioflavonoid. Pine pollen carries several kinds of flavonoids compounds and their functions are to protect the nucleic acid which is as the genetic substance from radiation destruction via its own radioresistance character in order to guarantee the genetic stability of pine tree. Flavonoids in pine pollen owns similar physiological functions with rutin like they can preserve toughness of blood capillary, are effective to prevent the capillary permeability barrier, retinal hemorrhage and cerebral hemorrhage, as well as the function to lower the blood pressure. Researches showed that flavonoids as a natural compound has a good effect to regulate blood sugar, prevent atherosclerosis, lower cholesterol, resist radiation and cancer.

Existing researches results showed that pine pollen of almost all the pine trees family contains rich flavonoids except some minority. The content of flavonoids in Pine pollen from different kinds pine tree has a big difference, for example pine pollen from Pinus massoniana contains 29.3mg every 100g, pine pollen from pinus thunbergii contains 200mg every 100g, pine pollen from Yunnan Province China contains around 450mg every 100g. However the content of each composition is affected by many factors like the collection time which means even the pine pollen from same type pine tree, the flavonoids content may show some difference due to different collection time.

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