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IV.3.1.4.POLLEN

 

The pollen is the male element of the flowers, which is harvested by the bees in tiny grains with a size of 10-50 microns, each ball weighing 0.015 grams. Each grain of pollen is composed of two nuclei, which are "the core" useful in nutrition and therapy. The nuclei are protected by two shells (membranes): an outer shell called exine and an inner shell called intine. The exine is lysed by the gastric juices. The intine is indigestible, but it has a number of holes through which penetrate the gastric juices, interacting with the vitalizing principles of the two nuclei (Andriţoiu, 2005). "The secrets of the pollen are the secrets of the plants that nature has let  us have at hand to treat many of the diseases the mankind suffer from. The people are able to build atomic bombs that could destroy the world – says the Frenchman Alain Caillas - but failed, although they tried it,  to recreate in the laboratory  a grain of pollen covering all its component elements "(Caillas, 1975 ).

The introduction of the pollen in apitherapy has a somewhat random starting point: the Russian academician L. Titanic of the  former USSR, conducted a study on the longevity of the people over 100 years, and found that the most longevous people were the beekeepers consumers of pollen. The biochemical composition of the pollen is indeed of an impressive complexity. Of the nutritional point of view, the pollen can not replace the need for the plastic nutritious substances, but its many biostimulant substances recommend it as a valuable supplement (Ciaceri et al., 1972; Caillas, 1975, Pallares et al., 1987, Campos et al., 1997 , Mateescu, 2005; Andrițoiu, 2006).

Carbohydrates as reducing sugars in an amount of 20-40%, of which: a) poleyne b) glucose - from 3.27 to 34.62%, c) fructose - from 3.19 to 43.84%, d) lactose e) raffinose f) stochlosa g) ribose, unreducing sugar: 20% or more (Andrițoiu, 2005; Păunescu et al, 1988). In pollen were also detected starch, dextrin, cellulose (Mărghitaş, 2005).

Lipids: up to 20% as esters of fatty acids: oleic, linoleic, linolenic, palmitic, stearic, arachidonic (Andrițoiu, 2005). The pollen also contains, as minor but essential amount, the sterols. The most types of pollen containing less than 0.5% sterols are necessary in metabolizing the cholesterol by the bees (Mărghitaş, 2005). Studies made by Ivanov et al (1985) revealed the complexity of the components present in polyfloral mixtures of the pollen collected by the bees.

Organic acids: citric, tartaric, malic, malonic, succinic, aconitic, gibberellic, adipic, indolil acetic, fumaric, alpha-ketoglutarate (Andriţoiu, 2005). RNA and DNA - the two nucleic acids - are plentiful in the pollen. In fact, this is true for any substance capable of reproduction (Monterde et al., 1989; Mateescu, 2005).

Proteins : The proteins represent 11-45% of the pollen in their structure being essential and nonessential amino acids, all having a role in nutrition (Andriţoiu, 2005, 2006). The high biological value of the pollen result from the important and varied content of essential amino acids indispensable to the life. The content of amino acids: arginine - 5.70%, histidine - 2.40%, isoleucine - 4.50%, leucine - 6.70% Lysine - 5.70%, methionine - 1.80%, phenylalanine-3, 90%, threonine - 4.0% tryptophan - 1.30%, valine - 5.70%. (Marin et al., 1966; Caillas, 1975; Mărghitaş, 2005; Andriţoiu, 2005, 2006).

The nutritional studies performed based on these data showed that the pollen can be used in an average daily ratio of 25g/day. Studying the total content in free amino acids in the pollen collected by the bees, Giner Pallares et al (1987) concluded that these represent, as a percentage, an average level of 28.69 mg / g of pollen compared to its dry weight and the praline, very abundant in all species of pollen, may be found out in an average concentration of 19.51 mg / g pollen. Although classified as non-essential amino acids, the proline and hydroxyproline are essential components of the collagen, they are proteogenical and glycogenical (Mateescu, 2005; Andriţoiu and Andriţoiu, 2010).

Nitrogenous substances: xanthine, hypoxanthine, geranine, trimethylamine (Caillas, 1975; Mărghitaş, 2005; Andriţoiu, 2005).

Vitamins: a) all fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), b) all the vitamins of group B, c) vitamin C (Mateescu, 2005; Andriţoiu, 2005, 2006).

Pigments: their quantities and diversity are almost impossible to list, depending on the nectareous flora; among these there is the routine that increases the capillary resistance (Okuda, 1999; Mărghitaş, 2005). The vitamins present in the pollen in concentrations justifying the use of this product as a dietary supplement play, in addition to the role of enzyme cofactors, many other essential roles in the proper functioning of the body. It was found that the pollen is an important vegetable source of vitamin B12, vitamin whose role is well known as proteic factor of animal origin with an extremely high biological activity (Mateescu, 2005; Andriţoiu, 2006; Andriţoiu and Andriţoiu, 2010).

Minerals: sodium, potassium, nickel, titanium, vanadium, chromium, phosphorus, zirconium, beryllium, boron, iodine, zinc, lead, silver, gold, arsenic, plutonium, gallium, strontium, barium, uranium, silicon, aluminum, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, copper, calcium, silica, sulfur, iron, chloride, barium, palladium, tungsten, iridium, cobalt, platinum, cadmium (Păunescu et al, 1988; Andriţoiu, 2005, 2006). The multitude of minerals of the pollen is of great importance, some of them as components of proteins, the other of phospholipids and others as coenzymes. (Andriţoiu, 2005; Mărghitaş, 2005). The nickel appears to be particularly associated to the ribonucleic acid; it protects the thermal distortion of the structure of the ribosomes and activates certain enzymes. The nickel deficiency causes changes in the ultrastructure of the liver and alters the cholesterol in the liver membranes. The selenium is present in the pollen and it is the essential component of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which is necessary to protect the membranes of the red blood cells (RBCs) and of other tissues from the damage caused by peroxides; it is an activator of the vitamin E.

Enzymes: a complex of enzymes: amylase, Invertase, protease, lipase, phosphatase, catalase, lactase (Mărghitaş, 2005; Andriţoiu, 2005, 2006).

Other constituents of pollen: ribose and dezoxyribose, pectin (in exine and intine - with a role in peristalsis), lignin, cellulose - 0.5 to 4.9%, ash - 0.9 to 7%, inositol, growth factors for plants and animals in the form of phosphates or in the composition of some phospholipids), antibiotic substances in their nature. (Battagliani et al., 1969; Bosi et al., 1975; Ricciardelli et al., 1979; Campos, 1997; Almaraz-Abarca et al., Campos, 1997, 2003, 2004; Andriţoiu, 2005, 2006; Andriţoiu and Andriţoiu, 2010).

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