Discover the 8 shocking health benefits of bee pollen.
The health benefits of bee pollen are so amazing that the Federal Board of Health of Germany recognizes it as a medicine.
Proponents are quick to praise the benefits of this so-called superfood, saying it can: relieve inflammation, work as an antioxidant, improve liver health, strengthen the immune system, work as a dietary supplement, relieve symptoms of menopause, reduces stress, and accelerates healing
Bee pollen is a pollen ball made by young bees when they land on a flower. It is a mixture of pollen, saliva, and nectar or honey.
The bees carry these balls back to the hive in sacs on their legs and then store them in the hive’s honeycomb. The pollen then ferments into “bee bread,” which feeds a colony of bees.
Beekeepers collect pollen from bees by keeping a thick comb at the entrance to their hives. When bees pass through it, it knocks the pollen off its legs into a compartment. The bees must then go outside to collect more pollen.
Bee pollen in its natural form comes as small, crunchy balls. One spoon contains:
• 16 calories
• 0.24 grams of fat
• 1.2 grams of protein
• 2.18 grams of carbohydrates
• 250 types of nutrients, including vitamins and flavonoids
You can add to foods like yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies. It can be ground as a powdered supplement or in a capsule.
• Adult 20-40 g or 3-5 tablespoons per day
• Children 15g or 1-2 tablespoons per day
If you take it in capsule form, be sure to read the label to make sure you are taking the proper dosage.
In recent years, several scientists have published studies on the supposed health benefits of bee pollen. However, these studies are mostly in animals and have not yet been tested in humans.
Here’s what the research says about the health benefits of bee pollen:
Typical anti-inflammatory drugs include naproxen, phenylbutazone, and indomethacin. They work by blocking enzymes that increase inflammation in the body.
Bee pollen can work in a similar way to anti-inflammatory drugs, according to the researchers.
In a study on rats, scientists found that bee pollen extract reduced inflammation in rats with swollen legs.
Research in mice showed that bee pollen had anti-inflammatory effects when used to treat their liver disease.
Researchers have found that one of the main benefits of bee pollen is that it has very high antioxidant properties similar to fermented foods.
Antioxidants are natural chemicals that exist in plant-based foods, usually those that are red or dark in color, as well as fermented foods.
Some common antioxidants include:
• Flavanols (found in chocolate)
• Resveratrol (found in wine)
• Lycopene (found in tomatoes)
• Vitamins A, C, and E
Antioxidants keep people healthy by counteracting oxidants like air pollution and cigarette smoke that can harm the body.
This organ is in charge of filtering toxins from the body. The researchers found that in rats, bee pollen helps keep the liver healthy and may even aid the healing process after liver damage.
The researchers noted that the rats had no side effects from taking bee pollen, compared to silibinin, a drug that also contains antioxidants but can also cause harm.
A strong immune system is necessary to fight disease and keep you healthy. One study found the benefits of bee pollen to be so wonderful that it naturally inhibits allergic reactions in mice.
Another study suggests that bee pollen has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
These properties could help kill bacteria and viruses, such as Staph aureus, which cause food poisoning.
Bee pollen could potentially work as a supplement to aid your diet and health.
One study examined rabbits that received a bee pollen supplement in addition to their regular diet.
They had a longer life and also greater reproductive success. They delivered healthier and stronger babies compared to rabbits that did not take the supplement.
Another study found that old, malnourished rats experienced improved muscle mass and metabolism after eating a diet containing bee pollen.
Many women who take anti-hormonal medications often experience menopausal symptoms.
One study found that some women with breast cancer who took a bee pollen supplement suffered fewer severe menopausal symptoms than those who did not.
Another benefit of bee pollen is that it can increase blood flow to the body’s nervous system, helping to reduce stress. It’s also effective for tiredness, according to a bee pollen review.
Research shows that bee pollen can be used on the skin to speed healing by increasing blood circulation, killing bacteria, and moisturizing the skin.
Always buy your supplements from a reputable source. It is possible to buy contaminated bee pollen that contains potentially dangerous ingredients reported to cause serious side effects, including increased heart rate, cardiac arrest, and even death.
Talk to a doctor before taking any supplements or herbs. Also, if you are allergic to bee or wasp stings, you should avoid bee pollen. Discontinue the supplement immediately if you experience:
• Difficulty breathing
Experts also recommend that pregnant women avoid taking bee pollen, as it can interfere with pregnancy.
For most people, bee pollen appears to be a safe dietary supplement. There are many claims about its health benefits, but most of the science has been done on animals and cells, not people.
Make sure you buy bee pollen from a reputable source. Talk to your doctor about any health problems you may have before taking bee pollen. Although bee pollen is not guaranteed to help you, it probably won’t hurt either.