Did you know that plants produce steroids? Yup, just like you and I plants produce steroids like testosterone and estrogen that are just as essential to their survival as they are for you and I. Pine pollen is one of the most densely packed sources of these plant steroids and as a result has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal qualities.
What Is Pine Pollen Extract?:
Pine pollen extract is exactly what it sounds like…pollen builds up on the outside of pine cones in order to fertilize new plants which are collected and then purified typically through an alcohol and hot water extraction. Most pine pollen extracts come from:
- Masson’s pine (Pinus massoniana)
- Chinese red pine (Pinus tabulaeformis)
- Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)
This extraction method leaves a number of beneficial compound in the resin including:
- Antioxidant Molecules (like flavonoids and polyphenols)
- Vitamin A (as retinol and Beta-Carotene, provitamin A)
- Multiple B-vitamins
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D3 and 1, 25 OH D (active, steroid form of Vitamin D)
- Vitamin E
- 18 Different Amino Acids
Although pine pollen extract has been used for hundreds to thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine, pine pollen has risen in popularity in recent years for a number of supposed benefit...
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Benefits Of Pine Pollen Extract:
There is currently not a lot of research on pine pollens effectiveness on humans, so many of its claims come from anecdotal use in traditional Chinese medicine. That being said a number of interesting studies have appeared on the benefits of pine pollen extracts both in humans, mice and in-vitro studies:
- This study found that pine pollen extract exhibited potent anti-inflammatory actions in-vitro from lipopolysaccharides (the “bad” bacteria in our gut).
- This study performed on mice found an improvement in dyslipidemia, the dysregulation of fats/lipids in our bloodstream, in addition to an improvement in the composition of our gut microbiota and bile regulation on top of an increase in the production of short-chain fatty acids..
- Another study in mice found that due to its anti-inflammatory effects pine pollen extract may be useful in treating arthritis.
- Lastly, this study done to examine the potential anti-aging benefits of pine pollen on mice found that pine pollen was able to successfully increase the ability of mice’s cells to replicate for a longer period of time.
Although there is not currently much (if any) human evidence on the effects of pine pollen on humans we can make some inferences due to its composition and use in ayurvedic medicine. Because pine pollen contains both testosterone and a few derivatives of testosterone, vitamin D we can make the assumption that it will have anabolic effects and may be able to increase testosterone levels and Vitamin D levels. This also coincides with the many anti-inflammatory compounds found within pine pollen that may act as adaptogens helping to decrease the amount of stress in the body. Lastly, we can guess that there may be some beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity due to the B-vitamins, vitamin C and E. Again, this is largely speculation as we do not know if the amount of the hormones and their analogues in pine pollen extract are enough to make a quantifiably effect. That being said, many people that have used pine pollen extract do experience in their health and well-being.
How To Supplement With Pine Pollen:
Most pine pollen extracts come in either a tincture or in powdered form. When purchasing a pine pollen supplement it’s important to make sure it’s from a well-sourced company that does not add any additives or fillers to the product. Additionally, it may be worthwhile noting what type of tree the pine pollen is extracted from, as the three pine trees likely exert slightly different effects from having varying hormonal profiles.
Personally, I recommend Crucial Four’s mPOWER | PINE POLLEN EXTRACT (no affiliation).
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