Surely they meant “Flower Pollen”?, I wondered. Since I’m sure other people are puzzled as well it’s time to set out clearly what bee pollen is and what it can do for us.
Flower Pollen is the seed collected by bees in their foraging for food. Of course flowers produce their pollen for their own propagation and not for bees or for us.
But when bees collect flower pollen they take it back to their hive and make Pollen balls consisting of flower pollen along with nectar, enzymes, fungi and bacteria from the worker bees.
So bee pollen is flower pollen plus plus plus!
One problem in the way of understanding bee pollen is that it varies so much. Just like honey depends on the flowers and trees that the bees visited and even on the season, bee pollen varies a lot in composition.
This extract from drugs.com may help to get a general picture
It is rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, and amino acids, and contains approximately 30% protein, 55% carbohydrate, 1% to 2% fat, and 3% minerals and trace vitamins. Vitamin C concentrations of 3.6% to 5.9% have also been found in some samples.
The high protein content brings it into the range of the superfoods chlorella and Spirulina. Interesting, so what else is there?
Bee Pollen Benefits
There are mixed messages with regard to how much bee pollen helps athletes improves their performance. One study showed that bee pollen helped athletes recover faster after exercise and another showed that it helped athletes avoid days of illness. The studies were small and not well designed however.
Many men find that as they age the prostate gland enlarges and inhibits urination. This health problem is called BPH – benign prostate hypertrophy. Some times this is treated with the herb Saw Pelmetto, aka Serenoa Repens.
An extract of flower pollen called Cernitin® seems to have anti-inflammatory and anti-DHT properties and it also works on the urinary tract helping to maintain a healthy flow of urine.
According to the Life Extension Foundation
Chemical analysis of Cernitin® indicates that it contains many constituents, including vitamins and minerals, carotenoids, amino acids, enzymes, phytosterols, lipids, and fatty acids.
Good research has been conducted on Cernitin® and many benefits have been found including help in arthritis, and recovery from a wide range of problems such as wound healing, influenza and radiotherapy.
Note – DHT stands for dihydrotestosterone and is a powerful and possibly problematic version of testosterone.
A study involving pollen and Royal Jelly showed significant reduction of nervousness, anxiety, irritability, headache, and most importantly hot flashes.
Summary of Bee Pollen Benefits
The state of the evidence I have reviewed shows that bee pollen and flower pollen are potentially valuable health supplements. The trials have shown some impressive results concerning both prostate health and menopausal symptoms showing some potential for use as an anti-aging supplement.
So far, so good, beyond that all I would say is that provided you are not obviously allergic to honey or other bee and flower products then these Bee Pollen supplements may be worth a personal trial.
As to whether they are superfoods – in my opinion I would say, no. Mind you there is no agreed definition of superfoods and if you tried Bee Pollen and healed something major you may well disagree.
What impressed me in doing the background reading for this article was that Bee Pollen benefits both male and female middle age health problems
Try for yourself and let me know your reaction and opinion, OK?
Photo credit blathlean