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Bee Pollen

Other name(s):

pollen

General description

Pollen is found in flowering plants. Bees collect pollen while they’re searching for nectar. Pollen can be gathered from bees. It can also be harvested from plants by machines. Bee pollen contains the male reproductive cells of flowers. It also contains digestive enzymes from bees.

Pollen is rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, and amino acids. It’s also a great source of antioxidants. Its exact makeup varies. This depends on the plant where the pollen was taken. The protein in bee pollen is harder to digest than other sources of protein.

Medically valid uses

There are no well-established uses for bee pollen. Many claims are made for pollen, but no solid studies support these claims.

Unsubstantiated claims

Note that this section reports on claims that have not yet been backed up by scientific studies.

Many healthcare providers feel that the benefits of using bee pollen don’t outweigh its risks.

But people use bee pollen for many reasons. These can include helping symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia and inflammation of the prostate (chronic prostatitis). It’s also used to ease allergies and protect the liver from effects of some toxins. Bee pollen is also claimed to lower cholesterol, reduce hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), improve metabolism, and increase hormone levels. It may also improve stamina and sexual strength, reduce depression, and ease bleeding problems.

Dosing format

There is no best dosage for bee pollen. It’s best to take only a small amount at first. This way, you can test it in case you have a reaction. 

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should talk with their healthcare provider before taking any supplements.

Side effects, toxicity, and interactions

Some people may be allergic to bee pollen when it’s taken by mouth. Allergic reactions range from mild to fatal. Symptoms can include wheezing, discomfort, and a rash. In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction can happen. This is called anaphylaxis. People who have allergies or asthma should not use bee pollen.

There are no known food or medicine interactions to bee pollen.

More information

The nature of bee pollen depends on the flower where it came from. Carbohydrate and protein content can vary from one species to another. Pollen taken from plants growing in areas with environmental contamination may be affected by the toxins in that area. This is especially true for heavy metal contamination.

Online Medical Reviewer: Diane Horowitz MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2018
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