Bees collect pollen as they flit from flower to flower.
Bee pollen that is collected in traps set at the bottom of beehives is rich in vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, protein and lipids. Bee pollen can also contain bee saliva apart from pollen granules.
Bee pollen is not similar to natural honey, bee venom, honeycomb or royal jelly, all which do not contain this ingredient.
For years, nutritionists have touted the many benefits of bee pollen as a food supplement. Although research has been conducted, there is no concrete evidence to back these claims.
Table of Contents
Bee pollen supplements
Bee pollen supplements are available at health food stores as tablets, granules or capsules. It can also be used as an ingredient in skin care products for eczema or baby diaper rash products.
Many herbalists recommend the use of bee pollen for stomach problems, asthma, allergies, alcoholism, to improve athletic performance, to decrease chemotherapy side effects and improve symptoms of asthma and allergies.
Benefits of bee pollen supplements
Bee pollen supplements are rich in B-vitamins, and therefore help the body to metabolize nutrients and this increases energy. Bee pollen also helps to control weight.
Lecithin found in bee pollen removes excess fat from the body. Another medicinal action of bee pollen that has been publicized in recent times is that it helps improve sperm count and therefore improves sexual functioning. It also helps increase self-confidence and concentration levels.
Bee pollen gets quickly digested and is found in the bloodstream very soon after consumption. This could be another reason it improves energy and can help with weight loss programs.
Bee pollen is also said to contain anti-microbial properties and hence can fight harmful viruses and bacteria. Since it is said to boost energy, it can reduce fatigue and increase alertness.
Other benefits of bee pollen supplements include help in the treatment of cancer, constipation, colitis, indigestion, gastric ulcers, general infections, anemia and multiple sclerosis.
Another claim about the benefits of bee pollen supplements is that it has ergogenic effects. Ergogenic substances are said to help utilize energy to the maximum.
Bee pollen is said to increase speed, endurance, strength and stamina. It also improves alertness, physical reaction and resistance prior to exercising.
Therefore it is said to improve athletes performance since it helps quicken rate of recovery, breathing and returns heart beat to normal swiftly.
This helps athletes ready themselves quickly for the next performance. Hence, doctors, coaches and professional athletes are using bee pollen supplements more and more as an aid to improving performance.
While there is no substantive proof of the benefits of bee pollen supplements, small studies and personal testimonials do back some of the claims.
Recent methods of production make bee pollen more bioavailable to humans and this could improve its nutritional benefits. While you can’t believe all the claims about its benefits, bee pollen supplements can still be considered an excellent nutritional source.
How to select bee pollen supplements
To enjoy the various benefits provided by bee pollen supplements, it is important to know how to select the right product. There are many bee pollen supplements available in the market and most of them do not contain sufficient active ingredients.
Hence, they do not provide the necessary benefits. This is partly because herbal supplements do not have government regulation.
Hence, it is up to the customer to choose the right product. Bee pollen crystals have a protective shell around them and this is not digestible.
Therefore, even with high-grade bee pollen supplements, the body absorbs only 5% of the active ingredients. There are supplements that come with nutrients, which can naturally dissolve the protective shell and release more of the active bee pollen ingredients.
Bee pollen also acts better with certain other vitamins, amino acids and minerals. Organic bee pollen powder is a good supplement if it contains added nutrients. Take the right dosage that will be mentioned on the label.
Precautions while choosing bee pollen supplements
We need to exercise precaution when consuming bee pollen supplements since there are some side effects that we can experience.
Allergic reactions are common to bee pollen products especially if you have a history of allergies. These include sneezing, itching, headaches and swelling of the body. Anyone who has allergies to honey, bee stings, chrysanthemum and ragweed must not take bee pollen products.
There are some who do suffer severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This causes swelling of the airways, tongue, throat, and face. It is a life-threatening condition and anyone who suffers from these symptoms must stop using bee pollen at once and call emergency services immediately.
Bee pollen supplements can also cause gastrointestinal side effects like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Always remember to consult your doctor before including new supplements like bee pollen in your diet.