Planta Med 2013; 79 - PI28
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1352118

Qualitative and quantitative determination of natural testosterone type steroids in pollen from two Greek Pinus species (P. nigra and P. heldreichii)

K Graikou 1, I Chinou 1
  • 1University of Athens, Dept. of Pharmacognosy & Chemistry of Natural Products, Faculty of of Pharmacy, 15771 Athens, Greece

European Black pine (Pinus nigra L.) is a widespread conifer in South Eastern Europe, while Pinus heldreichii Christ. var. leucodermis is a forest species endemic to the Balkan peninsula, often called white bark pine. It was recently referred by Buhner (1) that pollen from pines contains high percentage of testosterone (and other androgens) among plants which is in accordance with published data from early 70's and 80's confirming that pine pollen contains important quantities of steroids (2, 3). Moreover, pine pollen has been used traditionally throughout Asia and especially in China, for comparable reasons by herbalists. In the Greek market as well as worldwide, there are food supplements, based on pine pollen, recommended for male's diets, claiming of increasing muscular mass and the potential of high content in androsteroids. Due to this commercial uses, the aim of this study was the qualitative and quantitative determination of steroids in pollen from the species Pinus nigra and Pinus heldreichii, growing wild in Greece as to our knowledge they have not been studied previously.

The results showed that Pinus nigra contains epitestosterone, 5α-androstane-3α,17β-diol, 5β-androstane-3α,17β-diol and etiocholanolone which are referred for the first time in this species, while total content of steroids 1.2 µg/10gr, amount comparable with existing bibliographic data (1). Pinus heldreichii, not previously studied, contained the same steroids at a much higher total content of 7.57 µg/10gr of pollen.


[1] Buhner S. 2007. The natural testosterone plan. Healing Art Press, Rochester, Vermont.

[2] Saden-Krehula M, Tajic M, Kolbah D. 1971. Testosterone, Epitestosterone and Androstenedione in the Pollen of Scotch Pine P. siivestris L. Experientia 27, 108

[3] Saden-Krehula M, Tajic M, Kolbah D. 1979. Sex hormones and corticosteroids in pollen of Pinus nigra. Phytochemistry 18, 345 – 346.