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The Bee Pollen Myth

The Goji Berry contains 18 amino acids, (six times higher than bee pollen).

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How many times have you seen this on Goji websites? What an interesting little obfuscation of the facts. This statement presents at least two distinct questions. Do they (Who are ‘THEY’ anyway?) mean that if Goji has18 amino acids then pollen has only 3 amino acids? Or do they mean that the quantity by weight or volume of these acids is 600% of the given weight or volume of the same 18 amino acids in an equal amount of bee pollen? So far this is not rocket science and yet many thousands of well intentioned (hopefully)people simply repeat this type of nonsense without ever giving it a second look.

The truth is very simple. Bee Pollen has more amino acids by type and also by weight than Goji. When you consider what pollen actually is then it becomes much more obvious. Pollen that is collected by bees is actually the sperm cells of male flowers. Each micro-granule of pollen is nearly invisible because it is so small. As pollen is collected by the bees it accumulates into ‘grains’ which are about 2 mm in diameter when you buy them.

Goji on the other hand is a fruit produced by a flowering plant. This fruit has flesh containing water, fibre, cell walls and all the cellular structures and functions of plant “material”. This includes the seeds which themselves have tremendous cell structure and material that does not exist in the finer makeup of sperm cells. To show the incredible nutrient density of Bee Pollen I present for your clarity the following report which led me to become a consumer of bee products many, many years ago.

A Chemical Analysis of Pollen
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Carl Hayden Bee Research Center of The University of Arizona
2000 E. Allen Road, Tulsa,Arizona   85719

Ammino Acids (Protein)

  • Tryptophan
  • Aspartic Acid
  • Leucine
  • Hydroxyproline
  • Lysine
  • Carbamic Acid
  • Isoleucine
  • Alanine
  • Threonine
  • Valine
  • Histidine
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Methionine
  • Proline
  • Phenylalanine
  • Serine
  • Arginine
  • Citrulline
  • Glycine
  • Asparagine
  • Tyrosine
  • Ornithine
  • Cystine
  • Isovaline
  • Butyric Acid
  • Glycine

7 – 35% with an average of 20 %, 40-50% may be free amino acids.


  • Gum – Pentoses - Cellulose Sporonine ( 7 – 57%)
  • Starch (0 – 22%)
  • Polysaccharides - Raffinose - Ribose - Desoxyribose
  • Total Sugars (30 – 40%)
  • Sucrose, Glucose, Fructose, Reducing Sugars (0.1 – 19%)


  • Xanthophyll (20 – 150 ml/gm)
  • Alpha/Beta Carotene (50 – 150 ml/gm)
  • Chlorophyll

Enzymes & Coenzymes

  • Lactic Dehydrogenase
  • Succinic Dehydrogenase
  • Cytochrome Systems
  • Saccharase
  • Catalase
  • Phosphatase
  • Pectase
  • Amylase
  • Disstase
  • Diaphorase
  • Cozymase


  • Calcium        1 – 15% of ash
  • Phosphorus  1 – 20% of ash
  • Iron            1 – 12% of ash
  • Copper        0.5 – 0.8% of ash
  • Potassium    20 – 45% of ash
  • Magnesium   1 – 12% of ash
  • Manganese   1.4% of ash
  • Silica            2 – 10% of ash
  • Sulphur        1% of ash
  • Sodium
  • Titanium
  • Zinc
  • Boron
  • Iodine
  • Chlorine
  • Molybdenum
  • Selenium

Pollen contains all 28 minerals found in the human body but all were not measured for this report.


  • Provitamin A (Carotenoids) 5-9 mg% §
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 9.2 Ml/G% §§
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
  • Vitamin (B3 Niacin)
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) 20-50 Ml/G%
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 5 Ml/G%
  • Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin H (Biotin)
  • Choline, Inositol
  • Folic Acid – 5 Ml/G%
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Rutin 16 mg%
  • Vitamin PP (Nicotinamide)  *+*

Fatty Acids (up to 5.8%)

  • Caproic (C-6)
  • Caprylic (C-8)
  • Capric (C-10)
  • Lauric (C-12)
  • Myristic (C-14)
  • Palmitic (C-16)
  • Stearic (C-18)
  • Uncowa
  • Palmitoleic (C-15) 1 double bond
  • Oleic (C-18) 2 double bonds
  • Linoleic (C-18) 2 double bonds
  • Brucic (C-22) 1 double bond
  • Arachidic (C-20)
  • Behenic (C-22)

*Pseudotduga dry pollen contains 0.76 – 0.89% of fatty acids. Major are Oleic, Palmitic & Linoleic.
*Pinus dry pollen contains 1.25- 1.33% fatty acids. Major are Linolenic, Oleic & Stearic.

Fats & Oils (5%)

  • Hexadecanol may be 0.14% of pollen by weight.
  • Alpha-amino Butyric Acid is present in pollen fat.
  • Unsaponifiable fraction of pollen may be 2.6% by weight.


  • 3 – 20% of free pollen by weight.

Editor’s Note:

§ - mg% indicates the number of milligrams of that chemical in 100 millilitres of volume
§§ - Ml/G% indicates the number of milligrams of that chemical in 1 kilogram of weight (also known as PPM or parts per million)
*+* corrected spelling error from the original report, see

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This report was hand typed almost verbatim from a copy of the report which has been circulating through the hands of beekeepers for the last 25 plus years. I have removed the one blatant error which only someone with my background in biochemistry of nutrition would notice. The beekeepers have all been circulating a blurred report with a typing error that includes the words “Cyamoco Balamin” in brackets beside Vitamin B12. I have corrected that to read “Cyanocobalamin”. The original blurred report which I have in my files from 1995 came from the late George Rother who used to sell me pollen from his 800 bee hives. To see this report online with the spelling error in place just go to  To prove to yourself that Cyamoco Balamin is an error just Google it and you’ll see that it only comes up on bee related websites. This is the problem with even well intentioned copy and paste. Any biochemist, especially one who has studied vitamins will spot this immediately.

Summary:    The fact that Bee Pollen is more nutrient dense than Goji, really takes nothing away from Goji. Goji has many substances that are not found in Bee Pollen. Both qualify as superfoods in my view and both are essential components of my personal nutrition program.

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