A bewildering array of nutritional supplements on the market today, many of which derive from plants and plant extracts. But have you ever considered taking a supplement made from bee pollen?
Bee pollen supplements typically combine pollen, royal jelly, and other ingredients made by bees that humans have ingested as a nutritional supplement for centuries. Pollen itself is a unique mixture of flower pollen, nectar, enzymes, wax, honey, and other bee secretions.
So what are the benefits of taking a bee pollen supplement?
How Bee Pollen Supplements Improve Your Health
Below are some of the best health effects of taking bee pollen supplements on a regular basis:
1. Vitamins and minerals. First, bee pollen serves as a well-balanced nutritional supplement. Individual granules of pee pollen include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, water, and a combination of other substances. The latter include a mixture of vitamins and minerals, many of which are essential for healthy human functioning. Bee pollen is not an acceptable substitute for a healthy diet, but it can serve as a valuable complement to the other foods you eat.
2. Protection against free-radical damage. Bee pollen is also packed with antioxidants. These compounds, typically found in berries and other foods, guard against free-radical damage in the body. Ordinarily, free radicals will damage the cells of your body, which can lead to diseases such as cancer, type-2 diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. Antioxidants bind to free radicals, and prevent them from causing harm.
3. Decreased risk of heart disease. Some evidence suggests that bee pollen can reduce your risk of heart disease. Heart disease is highly correlated with high blood lipids and high blood cholesterol; bee pollen may play a role in lowering these risk factors. It may also play a role in stopping lipids from oxidizing, which results in less-restricted blood vessels.
4. Improved liver function. There’s also evidence to indicate that bee pollen may be helpful in promoting liver health. Your liver’s job is to destroy and remove toxins from your bloodstream, ultimately keeping you healthier. With bee pollen, the liver has been shown to function better: removing more waste products and increasing its resilience to toxic substances.
5. Anti-inflammatory effects. Inflammation is a common symptom associated with various afflictions. You might experience inflammation and/or swelling as a result of a direct injury, as a result of an infection, or in the form of a symptom of a chronic disease. Bee pollen contains multiple compounds that can reduce inflammation, including omega-6 fatty acids, as well as specific antioxidants like quercetin.
6. Immune health and anti-bacterial effects. Bee pollen supplements may also play a role in supporting the immune system, while also killing bacteria. The antimicrobial properties of bee pollen aren’t well understood by medical science, so bee pollen should probably not be taken as an antibiotic, or as a direct cure or treatment for any infectious disease. But when taken regularly, bee pollen supplements may play a role in improving your overall immune system, which would give you a better chance of fighting off illnesses on your own.
7. Decreased cancer risk. Bee pollen isn’t the cancer cure we’ve all been hoping for, but some evidence has suggested it may decrease your risk of developing cancer—and may even play a role in inhibiting the growth of tumors. In early test tube studies, bee pollen extracts were found to interfere with the growth of cancerous tumors, and simultaneously stimulating apoptosis (the death of such cells). Bee pollen’s anti-estrogen properties may also play a role in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer, including breast, prostate, and uterine cancers.
It’s essential to note that we’re still in the early stages of understanding the complex potential effects of bee pollen supplements. Their powers are currently supported by limited scientific evidence, and there’s still a lot we don’t understand. It’s entirely possible that bee pollen may offer additional benefits we don’t yet understand.
Are There Any Side Effects?
According to our current level of understanding, bee pollen is a safe supplement when taken in moderate amounts over the duration of a short period. It’s vital to recognize, however, that if you have pollen-related allergies, a bee pollen supplement may cause a serious allergic reaction. Do not take bee pollen supplements if you know you’re allergic to pollen.
In addition, it’s advisable to avoid bee pollen supplements if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Supplements may also interfere with blood thinners and certain other medications. Be sure you speak with your doctor before taking any new supplements or medications.
Bee pollen supplements aren’t a magic cure-all, but they do appear to deliver a wide range of positive benefits to the body and mind. Look into taking them if you want to improve your well-being, or you’re hoping to capitalize on one or more of its demonstrated and specific benefits.