Youve probably seen jars of bee pollen available at your local health food store, and its becoming more popular on menus as a smoothie add-in, salad ingredient, or finishing touch to an aai bowl. Proponents of the powdery substance say it has tons of health-boosting benefits ranging from immune support to heart health. But how can you benefit from bee pollen, exactly?
Bees collect pollen from flowering plants and mix it with digestive enzymes. They then transport this mixture, known as bee pollen, back to beehives and store it there as a source of food for the rest of the hive. The substance, along with other bee-related products like honey and beeswax, have long been collected and used as a natural health supplement.
Because many of the studies supporting the potential benefits of bee pollen were performed on rodents, we dont know how much those results apply to humans. There aren't any benefits supported by a robust evidence base, explains Ryan Andrews, R.D., of Precision Nutrition. That doesnt mean bee pollen is useless, per seit just means much more research is needed in order to establish definitive claims. But here's what we know so far:
Bee pollen is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and enzymes, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. Though the exact nutritional makeup of bee pollen depends on which plant the pollen was taken from, a 2012 analysis published in Molecules found that 22 samples of organic bee pollen collected in Portugal averaged 67.7% carbohydrate content, 21.8% crude protein, 5.2% crude fat, and 2.9% ash. The samples also contained substantial phenolic compounds, including flavonoidsthe Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University notes that flavonoids might be linked to vascular health, blood sugar control, and other health benefits.
Many people use bee pollen to treat seasonal allergies, says Sofia Norton, R.D. Studies on the anti-allergic properties of bee pollen in humans are limited, so most allergy-related claims stem from research performed on rodents. For a 2008 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, researchers gave bee pollen phenolic extract (BPPE) to mice and rats with ovalbumin-induced allergies. Data showed that BPPE reduced the production of IgG1 and IgE antibodies, both associated with allergic reactions, and helped protect the rodents against anaphylactic shock.
Bee pollen is rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids, which are antioxidant compounds that inhibit the action of inflammatory enzymes in your body, Norton explains. A study published in the International Journal of Advanced Research in 2015 found that bee pollen improved inflammation in albino rats with prostatitis (a swelling of the prostate gland).
A 2016 study published in the Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences found that bee products, including bee pollen, helped rats heal from liver damage. Researchers think that this is linked to the antioxidant properties of bee pollen. A 2013 study, also performed on rats, found that bee pollen helped protect liver cells from oxidative stress and promoted cell healing.
A 2016 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine studied the healing of burn wounds on two pigs. Researchers found that topical application of bee pollen sped up healing time when compared to untreated wounds, wounds treated with a salt solution, and wounds treated with silver sulfadiazine (a common burn wound disinfectant). Study authors believe bee pollen could be available in burn therapy, and have called for further research in this area.
According to research published in Phytotherapy Research in 2007, bee pollen extract might cause prostate cancer cells to die. The research was conducted on isolated cells in test tubes rather than on humans or live animals, meaning that considerable further research is needed to see if bee pollen could help treat cancer.
Animal studies suggest that bee pollen extract might help lower LDL cholesterol levels (a.k.a., the bad cholesterol). A 2017 study in Nutrients observed mice that were fed a high-fat diet to induce atherosclerosis (the buildup of fatty material on artery walls). Mice that were also given bee pollen extract were less likely to have atherosclerosis, and had much healthier cholesterol levels.
The Mayo Clinic notes that bee pollen allergies are rare, but says they can cause adverse reactions including wheezing, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and arrhythmia. A 2012 case study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal details how a 30-year-old woman experienced an anaphylactic shock after taking bee pollen supplements, causing facial swelling, shortness of breath, hives, trouble swallowing, and lightheadedness. The patient was successfully treated with epinephrine, diphenhydramine, and IV fluids, and advised to stop taking bee pollen supplements after a skin allergy test showed a strong reaction to bee pollen.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), you should be cautious about taking bee pollen if you already take warfarin, prescribed to treat blood clots. Bee pollen can interact with warfarin and increase your chances of bruising or bleeding.
Make sure to avoid supplement companies acquiring pollen in a way that's destructive to bee populations, Andrews says. Bees are an essential part of earth's biodiversity. While some of the pollen bees collect from plants will be mixed with salivary gland secretions or nectar and stored back at the beehivethis is bee pollensome of this pollen is necessary for plant pollination, and it will be transferred to different plants to allow for fertilization. As humans, we want to avoid interrupting this process of pollination.
If youre interested in trying bee pollen supplements, experts say you should consult your doctor first to see if it can interfere with any medications or health conditions. The NIH rates bee pollen as possibly safe when taken by mouth for up to 30 days at a time, but it should be avoided if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or allergic to pollen.
Support from readers like you helps us do our best work. Go here to subscribe to Prevention and get 12 FREE gifts. And sign up for our FREE newsletter here for daily health, nutrition, and fitness advice.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
This commenting section is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page. You may be able to find more information on their web site.
- Regenerative Therapy by Dr. Roshni Patel on Better CT - Farmington, CT - Patch.com - September 20th, 2020
- Four-Year Data Continue to Show Superior, Long-Term Survival Benefit with Opdivo (nivolumab) Plus Yervoy (ipilimumab) in Patients with Previously... - September 20th, 2020
- The Top 10 Biotech Companies Brewing at... - Labiotech.eu - September 18th, 2020
- CRISPR Market to Witness Exponential Growth by 2020-2027 | Leading Players Thermo Fisher Scientific, Editas Medicine, Caribou Biosciences, CRISPR... - September 18th, 2020
- Case 29-2020: A 66-Year-Old Man with Fever and Shortness of Breath after Liver Transplantation - nejm.org - September 18th, 2020
- Frequency Therapeutics Presents Results Demonstrating Sustained Improvement in Hearing Loss Patients Treated with FX-322 - Business Wire - September 18th, 2020
- Faulty exon splicing is cause of rare subtype of Parkinson's disease, pointing to new drug targets - BioWorld Online - September 15th, 2020
- Treating dogs diagnosed with GBM, getting Swedish patients back to work, orphan designation for improved radiotherapy drug plus gene therapy - Brain... - September 13th, 2020
- Histogen Announces Completion of Dosing Milestone in its 1b/2a Trial for Androgenic Alopecia in Men - StreetInsider.com - September 13th, 2020
- BeyondSpring (BYSI) Receives Breakthrough Therapy Designations from Both US FDA and China NMPA for Plinabulin in Chemotherapy-Induced Neutropenia... - September 8th, 2020
- Hematopoietic Stem Cells (HSCs) Market 2020: Potential Growth, Challenges, and Know the Impact of COVID-19 on Industry | Key Players: Kite Pharma... - September 8th, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy Market Scope and Opportunities Analysis 2017 2025 - StartupNG - August 31st, 2020
- Im Optimistic That We Will Have a COVID-19 Vaccine Soon - The Atlantic - August 31st, 2020
- Health insurance with maternity cover: All you need to know about features and inclusions - CNBCTV18 - August 31st, 2020
- Emerging Treatment Options of Regenerative Medicine in Severe Corona Virus/COVID 19 Infections - DocWire News - August 31st, 2020
- MaaT Pharma Announces Positive Data for Its Lead Microbiome Biotherapeutic MaaT013 in Intestinal Acute Graft-versus-Host-Disease at the Virtual 46th... - August 31st, 2020
- Exosome Therapeutic Market 2020-2026 is Growing So Rapidly || Leading Players THERAPEUTICS, EXOCOBIO, Exopharm, AEGLE Therapeutics, United... - August 20th, 2020
- Inside the race to ditch formula and grow breast milk in the lab - Wired.co.uk - August 20th, 2020
- Animal Stem Cell Therapy Market: Rising Demand and Growth Opportunity - Owned - August 20th, 2020
- Health Spotlight: Have You Heard Of Dr. Jeffrey Tucker? - LATF USA - August 20th, 2020
- Viruses have big impacts on ecology and evolution as well as human health - The Economist - August 20th, 2020
- Merck's KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) in Combination With Chemotherapy Significantly Improved Overall Survival and Progression-Free Survival Compared With... - August 20th, 2020
- Umbilical cord blood banking: Is it worth it? - mtltimes.ca - August 19th, 2020
- G1 Therapeutics Announces Acceptance and Priority Review of NDA for Trilaciclib for Patients with Small Cell Lung Cancer - GlobeNewswire - August 19th, 2020
- A question of scale the growing pains of cell-based meat - just-food.com - August 19th, 2020
- What do we need to know about our bone health during this pandemic - Times of India - August 19th, 2020
- Researcher John Craig Venter Is Awarded the 2020 Edogawa-NICHE Prize for His Accomplishment in Human Genome Research - Business Wire India - August 19th, 2020
- Cellect Biotechnology Ltd ADR (NASDAQ:APOP) Receives an Approval of a Pivotal Patent for Stem Cells Activation from the European Patent Office - BP... - August 13th, 2020
- A rapid, sensitive, and reproducible in vivo PBMC humanized murine model for determining therapeuticrelated cytokine release syndrome - Wiley - August 13th, 2020
- Autologous Stem Cell Based Therapies Industry Market 2020 Explain What is the current size of the market? And key players analysis: Athersys,... - August 13th, 2020
- Dr. Park on the Benefits of Off-the-Shelf CAR T-Cell Therapy in ALL - OncLive - August 11th, 2020
- CELLECTAR BIOSCIENCES : Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (form 10-Q) - marketscreener.com - August 11th, 2020
- Trumps Unprecedented Attacks on Our Public-Health System - The New Yorker - August 11th, 2020
- New Report: Regenerative Medicine & Advanced Therapies Sector Thriving Despite COVID-19 - PharmiWeb.com - August 11th, 2020
- The NIU BODY Rebrand: millennials have grown up and so has their skin care - CosmeticsDesign.com USA - August 11th, 2020
- Embryos could be susceptible to COVID-19 from second week of pregnancy - Gulf News - August 9th, 2020
- Coronavirus Live Updates: Latest News and Analysis - The New York Times - August 9th, 2020
- How to live longer: The health drink that reduces risk of Alzheimers and boosts longevity - Express - August 9th, 2020
- The global cell and gene therapy market by revenue is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 30.90% during the period 20192025 - GlobeNewswire - August 5th, 2020
- Research Report on Cell Theraputics Market by Current Industry Status, Growth Opportunities, Top Key Players, and Forecast to 2025 - AlgosOnline - August 5th, 2020
- Pediatrics in Brevard: Nothing beats the benefits of breastmilk for newborns - Florida Today - August 5th, 2020
- How can nanomedicine be applied to cannabis? - Leafly - August 5th, 2020
- Cell Expansion Market Analytical Overview, Growth Factors, Demand, Trends and Forecast to 2027 - CueReport - August 5th, 2020
- FDA hands MorphoSys and Incyte a quick OK on their potential blockbuster CAR-T alternative - Endpoints News - August 5th, 2020
- Fighting for a life unlimited with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust - Health Europa - August 5th, 2020
- World Breastfeeding Week 2020: The Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Mother And Baby - News18 - August 5th, 2020
- Stem Cells Cryopreservation Equipments Market to grow significantly in future | Worthington Industries,Cesca Therapeutics,Shengjie Cryogenic Equipment... - August 3rd, 2020
- Stem Cell Therapy Market Latest Trends, Development, Revenue, Demand And Forecast To 2022 - Market Research Correspondent - August 3rd, 2020
- Global trade impact of the Coronavirus Synthetic Stem Cells Market Report 2020-2026 Research Insights 2020 Global Industry Outlook Shared in Detailed... - July 30th, 2020
- World's First Plant and Cell Based Bacon and Pork Belly - One Green Planet - July 30th, 2020
- FDA Approves New CAR-T Therapy for Mantle Cell Lymphoma - Cancer Health Treatment News - July 26th, 2020
- Of mice and SARS-CoV-2 - The Hindu - July 26th, 2020
- Ruxolitinib passes another PhIII test for graft-versus-host disease, a win for Incyte and Novartis - Endpoints News - July 24th, 2020
- Study finds the real reason you get goosebumps - Big Think - July 24th, 2020
- Harvard study finds that stem cell stimulation gives us goosebumps - New Atlas - July 24th, 2020
- Celltex Therapeutics Webinar | Houston, TX Patch - Patch.com - July 24th, 2020
- Bioreactors Market Forecast to 2027 Covid-19 Impact and Global Analysis by Product Class, Material, Cell ; Molecule ; Technology ; End User, and... - July 24th, 2020
- Association of TNF- Gene Expression and Release in Response to | DMSO - Dove Medical Press - July 24th, 2020
- 'Missing link': Bayer, Morningside help catapult a new kind of delivery tech to cell and gene therapy - Endpoints News - July 24th, 2020
- Regulation of advanced therapy medicinal products in the EU - Regulatory Focus - July 18th, 2020
- Coronavirus Drug and Treatment Tracker - The New York Times - July 18th, 2020
- UCSD Researchers Discover and Manipulate Different Aging Processes in Cells - Times of San Diego - July 18th, 2020
- Restorative therapies for erectile dysfunction: Where are we at in 2020? - Urology Times - July 18th, 2020
- Flow Cytometry Market Size Forecast to Reach $6.71 Billion by 2025 - Reported Times - July 18th, 2020
- Cryopreservation Equipments in Stem Cells Market Innovative Technology Growth, Business Strategies and Trend 2027 - Owned - July 16th, 2020
- Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products Market Break Down By Leading Companies, Countries, Applications, Challenges, Opportunities And Forecast 2020-2026... - July 16th, 2020
- Foodtech of the future post-COVID: Robot bartenders, insects and cannabis drinks - EU-Startups - July 14th, 2020
- Pancreatic cancer hides from the immune system by destroying the cell's danger signal - Massive Science - July 14th, 2020
- Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) and Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs) Market 2020 Size By Product Types, End-Users, Regional Outlook, Growth Potential, Price... - July 10th, 2020
- Fate Therapeutics Announces FDA Clearance of IND Application for First-ever iPSC-derived CAR T-Cell Therapy - StreetInsider.com - July 10th, 2020
- Fasting is not starvation or a fad, it is a discipline: Luke Coutinho - The Indian Express - July 10th, 2020
- FDA Approves Talaris Therapeutics' IND for Its Allogeneic Cell Therapy FCR001 to Be Evaluated in Patients With a Severe Form of Scleroderma -... - July 10th, 2020
- Orchard Therapeutics and MolMed Announce Extension of Gene Therapy Manufacturing Collaboration - BioSpace - July 10th, 2020
- Blood factors transfer beneficial effects of exercise on neurogenesis and cognition to the aged brain - Science Magazine - July 10th, 2020
- Ziopharm Oncology Announces Initiation of Phase 1 Trial Evaluating Rapid Personalized Manufacturing CAR-T Technology in Patients with Relapsed CD19+... - July 10th, 2020
- Benefits of Ashwagandha tea and how to make it - TheHealthSite - July 10th, 2020
- Live Cell Imaging Market Poised for Steady Growth in the Future 2020-2024 - Jewish Life News - July 10th, 2020
- Hematopoietic Stem Cells Transplantation Market to Eyewitness Massive Growth by 2028: Leading Key Players Kite Pharma, Thermo Fisher Scientific,... - July 8th, 2020
- One common infection could kill our baby girl but one simple act could change her life forever - The Sun - July 8th, 2020
- Multidrug Combinations and CAR T-Cell Therapies for Heavily Pretreated Multiple Myeloma Shine at ASCO - Targeted Oncology - July 8th, 2020