Cracked Cell Wall Pine Pollen Vs. Non-Cracked – What is the Best Pine Pollen Supplement

Cracked Cell Wall Pine Pollen Vs. Non-Cracked – What is the Best Pine Pollen Supplement

When it comes to choosing the best pine pollen supplement, one major consideration is whether to opt for cracked cell wall pine pollen or non-cracked pine pollen.

While cracked cell wall pine pollen is commonly found in the market, non-cracked pine pollen is gaining popularity among health enthusiasts—and for good reasons.

This article will explore the differences between cracked cell wall pine pollen and non-cracked pine pollen to help you determine which one is the best pine pollen supplement for your needs.

What is Pine Pollen?

Pine pollen is a powdery substance collected from the male cones of various pine tree species, such as Pinus tabuliformis, Pinus massonia, Lodgepole (Pinus contorta), and Ponderosa (Pinus ponderosa). It has been used by indigenous communities for centuries to promote health and wellbeing—and is now a popular ingredient in dietary and health supplements.

Packed with a high content of bioactive nutrients (over 200)—including vitamins, minerals, free radical scavengers, phytoandrogens, polyphenols, living enzymes, essential fatty acids, minerals, polysaccharides, flavonoids, and amino acids—pine pollen is often referred to as a "superfood" or "a nutritional powerhouse."

Its unique composition makes it a valuable addition to a healthy diet or biohacking regimen, providing essential nutrients that support overall health and well-being.

Pine Pollen Benefits

With its rich nutrient profile, pine pollen has garnered significant attention from health enthusiasts and researchers alike. As a supplement, it offers a wide range of health-supportive benefits, making it an excellent addition to a healthy lifestyle.

Below are some of the key pine pollen benefits:


  • A Source of Powerful Free Radical Scavengers: Pine pollen is loaded with free radical scavengers like Glutathione and Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). These compounds support the body's natural defenses against the damaging effects of free oxidative stress caused by free radicals. By assisting in neutralizing these harmful molecules, free radical scavengers in pine pollen can support a healthy aging process and promote overall health.

  • Promote Endocrine Balance: Pine pollen is one of nature’s best sources of plant-based hormones (also known as phytoandrogens or brassinosteroids), including DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), androstenedione, testosterone and androsterone. Research suggests that these phytohormones play a role in supporting healthy hormonal processes in the human body.

  • Support Brain Health: Certain pine pollen nutrients such as free radical scavengers, polyphenols, and amino acids show potential in supporting brain health, which may aid in promoting cognitive faculties like memory, focus, and clarity.

  • Promote Healthy Detoxification: Another benefit of pine pollen supplements is their role in a Healthy Detoxification Regimen. Ascent Nutrition’s Pine Pollen Tincture is an excellent source of Glutathione, SOD, phosphatidylserine, and other beneficial compounds that support the body's natural metabolic and filtering processes to maintain normal healthy function.

  • Support Cardiovascular Health: Pine pollen benefits for cardiovascular health are linked to its free radical scavenging properties and the role of beneficial components such as arginine that stimulate the healthy production of Nitric Oxide (NO). Nitric Oxide is crucial for healthy vascular function and circulation.

Cracked Cell Wall Pine Pollen Vs. Non-Cracked Pine Pollen

For anyone looking to experience pine pollen benefits, two primary types of pine pollen supplements are available in the market: cracked cell wall pine pollen and non-cracked cell wall pine pollen.

Both types of pine pollen offer potential health benefits, but they differ in several aspects. Here are the differences between cracked cell wall pine pollen and non-cracked:

What is Cracked Cell Wall Pine Pollen?

Cracked cell wall pine pollen is a term used when the outer cell wall of the pollen has been broken down to expose the nutrients inside.

Proponents of cracked cell wall pine pollen claim that this process increases the bioavailability of the nutrients, making it easier for the body to absorb and utilize them. However, there is little evidence to support this claim.

Some sources show that cracking the cell wall of pine pollen modestly increases the water solubility of proteins and starches. While proteins and starches have their place in a health regimen, most people take pine pollen for its rich array of bioactive nutrients like brassino-compounds and other phytochemicals, not starches and proteins that are readily available through diet.

Cracking the pollen wall also exposes the nutrients inside to oxygen, heat, and other elements that can lead to rapid degradation of the fragile compounds. The pollen wall is designed by nature as a self-defense mechanism to help protect the light-sensitive phytocompound within pine pollen.

The rich blend of nutrients that are associated with all the pine pollen benefits discussed earlier may begin deteriorating as soon as the protective wall is compromised.

As a result, cracked cell wall pine pollen products may develop a darker hue, brown color, and bitter taste due to oxidation and decomposition.

What is Cracked Cell Wall Pine Pollen

The bin at the bottom with a darker brown hue represents cracked cell wall pine pollen. It has already oxidized and many of the beneficial nutrients have lost their potency. Ascent Nutrition’s Pine Pollen is the two yellow bins.

Additionally, the harsh chemical and mechanical techniques used to crack the cell wall may also damage the precious contents inside.

For these reasons, the process of cracking the cell wall of pine pollen is not only unnecessary but may also compromise the quality of the product. The modest increase in bioavailability of starches and proteins is offset by the oxidation and degradation of light-sensitive phytohormones and other delicate compounds that are within the cell of pine pollen.

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What is Uncracked Cell Wall Pine Pollen?

Uncracked pine pollen comes directly from the harvested pollen grains. The hard outer shell or cell wall remains completely intact around the inner phytonutrients.

The cell wall serves as a barrier against oxidation and light damage. This retains the structural integrity of the compounds, providing the most whole, unaltered form of this ancient superfood. All the nutrients remain protected in their natural state.

This preservation may offer unique pine pollen benefits not found in cracked cell wall pine pollen supplements.

Contrary to some assumptions, humans can effectively digest and assimilate nutrients from non-cracked pine pollen.

According to a study published in the Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, exposing pine pollen to hydrochloric acid (i.e., as found in the gastric juice in our stomachs) pokes holes in the cell wall of pine pollen, allowing the nutrients to be extracted for digestion and assimilation [1].

In conclusion, non-cracked pine pollen is a superior option for pine pollen supplementation. By maintaining the natural, unaltered structure of the pollen, non-cracked pine pollen offers a more stable and potent source of nutrients that are less susceptible to degradation. It's the supplement closest to consuming whole, unaltered pollen straight from the tree.

What is the Best Pine Pollen Supplement?

Choosing the best pine pollen supplement is essential for reaping the numerous pine pollen benefits.

A quality pine pollen product should be in uncracked form, harvested sustainably, sourced from pristine environments, unadulterated by unnecessary binders, flavors, or other additives, potent, and rigorously tested.

Ascent Nutrition’s Pine Pollen Tincture meets all the above criteria as the premier source of high-quality uncracked pine pollen.

As one of the best pine pollen supplements available, the product delivers the closest thing to foraging pure pollen straight from the tree.

The pine pollen is sustainably wild-harvested from pristine Canadian forests. Our unique harvesting and extraction method allows us to keep our pine pollen raw, alive, and unheated.

For pine pollen in its purest, natural, and most potent form, Ascent Nutrition’s Pine Pollen Tincture stands unmatched as evidenced by our customer reviews.


  1. Prabhakar, A. K., Lai, H. Y., Potroz, M. G., Corliss, M. K., Park, J. H., Mundargi, R. C., ... & Cho, N. J. (2017). Chemical processing strategies to obtain sporopollenin exine capsules from multi-compartmental pine pollen. Journal of industrial and engineering chemistry, 53, 375-385: 

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