Cancer causes abnormal cells to divide uncontrollably and attack surrounding tissues. These cells can also invade the lymph and blood systems and thus spread throughout the body.
There are different cancer types and under these, you can find many more sub-types depending on the parts of the body they occur.
Carcinoma is a type of cancer that begins in the tissues or linings surrounding internal organs in the skin. Sarcoma begins in cartilage, bone, muscle, fat, blood vessels, supportive or connective tissues.
Multiple myeloma and lymphoma both attack the cells of the immune system.
Leukemia starts in blood-forming tissues like the bone marrow. It causes several abnormal cells to be formed and invade the blood.
Cancers that attack the brain or spinal cord are called malignancy or central nervous system cancers.
Based on these major types of cancers, a few of the cancers that can develop are adrenocortical carcinoma, adult soft tissue sarcoma, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, hairy cell leukemia, etc.
Cancer is at present accountable for 1 in 4 deaths in the US. It is usually treated using radiation, chemotherapy or surgery.
Sometimes, food supplements like bee pollen are said to help in the management of cancer.
Honeybees collect nectar and flower pollen as they fly from flower to flower.
This is brought back to the hives where they are gathered in traps at the entrance by beekeepers and sold as bee pollen.
Bee pollen is rich in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins, trace elements and so on.
It also has powerful anti-oxidant properties. Bee pollen is sold as a nutritional supplement and is said to prevent or treat various ailments like alcoholism, allergies, diabetes, prostatitis and as a weight loss product.
It is available as jellies, granules, capsules or trials.
Bee pollen for cancer
While there is limited scientific proof of the benefits of bee pollen for cancer.
However, there are some promising studies. For example, propolis is one of the ingredients that is found in bee pollen and it is said to help kill cancer cells especially in those with prostate cancer.
Propolis is got from cone-bearing trees and buds of poplar trees and is a material that resembles resin. It is often found in bee products like bee pollen and never in its pure form.
It is said to act against bacteria, viruses and fungi and believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, it is sometimes used in the treatment of cancer sores.
Propolis tincture was used on prostate cancer cells in a laboratory experiment and improved cancer cell death. This then suggests that propolis benefits chemoprevention of prostate cancer.
Scientists also believe that propolis has antimicrobial and anti-cancer properties. When exposed to colon cancer cells also, propolis helped to kill them by necrosis, while not affecting healthy cells.
Chemotherapy kills both healthy and abnormal cancer cells. This new research on bee pollen ingredients and cancer shows its benefits and many people who take these supplements are said to live long and healthy lives.
In laboratory experiments conducted on lab mice several decades ago, Dr Robinson studied the effect of bee pollen on tumors. The laboratory mice were bred to develop tumors.
Once they did so, they were divided into two groups. One group was fed regular mice food and the other was given bee pollen in addition to the food in a ratio of 1:10,000 bee pollen is to food.
It was found that 100% of all the untreated mice developed mammary tumors at the expected time. Of the other group fed bee pollen, some develop similar tumors but after a delay of around 9.8 weeks and 7 out of the group did not develop any tumors until the tests ended after 62 weeks.
It was concluded that the mice without bee pollen died at the expected time. However, no further tests were done to back these claims.
Another study conducted on 25 women with uterine cancer was undertaken in the University of Vienna. These women could not undergo surgery and were only being treated with chemotherapy.
A few were given bee pollen in their diet and quickly developed greater antibody production, greater amounts of immune-system cells that fight cancer and red blood cells that can fight infections. They also suffered less of the dreadful side effects that accompany chemotherapy.
Their hair loss was minimal and they suffered less nausea symptoms. Hence, these women also suffered less from insomnia. The group that did not receive bee pollen did not have the same relief.
White blood cells or lymphocytes help the immune system get rid of dangerous substances like cancerous cells, diseased or mutant cells, metabolic trash, virus etc.
Gamma globulins are proteins that are found in the blood that closely mimic the activity of protein and help the body fight off infections. A study in Romania found that levels of proteins, gamma globulins and blood lymphocytes increased in subjects who were given bee pollen.
This therefore improved their immune system and helped to strengthen the organic system.
One thing that must be remembered is that bee pollen is a nutrition supplement and not a drug to treat cancer or any other illness. Bee pollen can be mixed with juices, yoghurt, sauces, cereals, granola, smoothies etc.
It can even be chewed plain and swallowed.
Precautions using bee pollen for cancer
Bee pollen is generally considered safe. However, since there is no way to predict the types of flowers that honeybees visit, the pollen could be contaminated with fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.
Those who suffer from specific plant pollen allergies like ragweed or chrysanthemum must also be careful not to consume it since they have no knowledge where the bees have been. Bee pollen could also be contaminated by fungi and mycotoxins.
Anyone who suffers from plant or seasonal allergies must test themselves for tolerance levels before using it in diet. Too much of bee pollen can cause side effects like itching, swelling, breathing problems or liver damage.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are generally advised to avoid bee pollen product for it could stimulate the uterus and create problems with pregnancy.
It could also affect the baby. Anyone who suffers from allergic symptoms must stop bee pollen products and go to the hospital at once.
The appropriate dosage depends on the health, age and history of allergies of the user.
Since there is limited scientifically proven information about the doses, always consult your doctor before taking it.
Bee pollen is not a treatment for cancer, so do not stop conventional treatment.