Natural Living

Bee Pollen

I started taking Bee Pollen this week just to help combat some of the menopause issues I am going through. I read how powerful a wellness tool it is so I am giving it a trial to see how I feel after a while. The following information I got from the healthline.com website and it’s very interesting…

What are the benefits of bee pollen?

Bee pollen is considered so beneficial that the German Federal Board of Health recognizes it as medicine. Advocates are quick to tout the benefits of this so-called superfood, saying it can:

  • relieve inflammation
  • work as an antioxidant
  • boost liver health
  • strengthen the immune system
  • work as a dietary supplement
  • ease symptoms of menopause
  • reduce stress
  • speed up healing

What is bee pollen?

Bee pollen is a ball of pollen made by young bees when they land on a flower. It’s a mixture of pollen, saliva, and nectar or honey. Bees carry these balls back to the hive in sacs on their legs and store them in the hive’s honeycomb. The pollen then ferments into “bee bread,” which feeds a bee colony.

Beekeepers collect pollen from bees by keeping a thick comb in the entrance of their hives. When bees pass through it, it knocks the pollen off their legs into a collection bin below. The bees then must go out to collect more pollen.

Nutrition facts

Bee pollen in its natural form comes as small, crunchy pellets. One tablespoon of bee pollen 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 it to foods like yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothies. It can be ground down as a supplement powder or into a capsule.

Recommended dosage
Adult20-40 g or 3-5 tbsp. per day
Children15 g or 1-2 tbsp. per day

If you take it in capsule form, be sure to read the label to ensure you’re taking the appropriate dose.

What the research says

In recent years, a number of scientists have published studies on the supposed health benefits of bee pollen. However, these studies are mostly on animals and have yet to be proven on humans.

Here’s what the research says about bee pollen benefits:

Relieving inflammation

Bee pollen may work similarly to anti-inflammatory drugs, according to researchers. In one studyTrusted Source on rats, scientists found that bee pollen extract reduced inflammation in rats with swollen paws. ResearchTrusted Source on mice showed bee pollen had anti-inflammatory effects when used to treat their liver disease.

Working as an antioxidant

ResearchersTrusted Source have found that bee pollen has very high antioxidant properties similar to those of fermented foods. Antioxidants are naturally occurring 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:

  • flavenols (found in chocolate)
  • resveratrol (found in wine)
  • lycopene (found in tomatoes)
  • vitamins A, C, and E

Antioxidants keep people healthy by counteracting oxidants such as air pollution and cigarette smoke that can damage the body.

Read more: Benefits of raw honey »

Boosting liver health

The liver is responsible for filtering toxins out of the body. ResearchersTrusted Source found that in rats, bee pollen helps keep the liver healthy and can even help the healing process after liver damage.

Researchers noted that the rats had no side effects in taking bee pollen, compared to silibinin, a medication that also contains antioxidants but can also cause harm.

Strengthening the immune system

A strong immune system is necessary for fighting off disease and keeping you healthy. One studyTrusted Source found that bee pollen naturally inhibits allergic reactions in mice. Another studyTrusted Source suggests that bee pollen has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. These properties could help kill off bacteria and viruses, such as staphylococcus aureus, which causes food poisoning.

Working as a dietary supplement

Bee pollen could potentially work as a supplement that helps your diet and health. One studyTrusted Source looked at rabbits that received a bee pollen supplement in addition to their regular diet. They had a longer lifespan and also greater reproductive success. They gave birth to healthier, stronger babies compared to rabbits who didn’t take the supplement.

Another studyTrusted Source found that malnourished, old rats experienced improved muscle mass and metabolism after eating a diet that contained bee pollen.

Easing symptoms of menopause

Many women who take antihormonal medications often experience symptoms of menopause. One studyTrusted Source found that some women with breast cancer who took a bee pollen supplement experienced fewer, less intense menopause symptoms than those who didn’t.

Read more: Symptoms of menopause »

Reducing stress

Bee pollen can increase blood flow to the body’s nervous system, helping reduce stress. It’s also effective for tiredness, according to a review of bee pollenTrusted Source.

Speeding healing

ResearchTrusted Source shows that bee pollen can be used on the skin to speed healing, as it boosts blood circulation, kills bacteria, and moistens the skin.

What are the side effects of bee pollen?

Always buy your supplements from a reputable source. It’s possible to buy tainted bee pollen that contains potentially dangerous ingredients reported to cause serious side effectsTrusted Source, including increased heart rate, cardiac arrest, and even death.

Talk to a doctor before taking any supplements or herbs. Additionally, if you’re allergic to bee stings or wasps, you should avoid bee pollen. Discontinue the supplement immediately if you experience:

  • itching
  • swelling
  • lightheadedness
  • trouble breathing

Experts also recommend that pregnant women avoid taking bee pollen, as it may interfere with pregnancy.

Takeaway

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.

Be sure to buy bee pollen from a trusted source. Talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have before taking bee pollen. While it’s not guaranteed that bee pollen will help you, it probably won’t hurt you either.

This is where I got that information from. It’s a very interesting read isn’t it!

Categories: Natural Living

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