There are hundreds of super foods out there and miracle cures and all kinds of natural remedies that promise to make you feel better and stay healthier for longer by merely supplementing your diet. Of course all of us like the idea of feeling and looking better by just eating a naturally occurring substance, but the promises don’t always ring true. Here we will look at one example of a naturally occurring health product – bee pollen – and whether or not it can deliver on its promises.
Benefits of Bee Pollen
We’ll start by looking at the purported claims of bee pollen and what it promises to do for your body. We’ll then go on to examine precisely which parts of this are true and whether or not this is a case of snake skin oil or not (though that said, snake skin oil actually is quite good for you… ).
First of all, bee pollen is a good source of antioxidants. This means that it can destroy the free radicals that are loose in our body. This is good news because free radicals are carcinogens that are also responsible for causing wrinkles and the visible signs of aging. Essentially these are substances that roam loose in the body and attack cells in order to damage their outer walls and eventually damage the nucleus at the center which stores the DNA leading to cancer.
Don’t be too won over by this fact though – while bee pollen may in fact be a good source of antioxidants it is by far the only source and there are hundreds of other sources that are just as beneficial and more readily available in your diet with no need for sometimes costly herbal products. You can get antioxidants for instance in vitamin C, in omega 3 fatty acid (found in tuna and salmon) and in a range of other fruits and vegetables.
Bee pollen is a great source of nutrition and contains a healthy cocktail of proteins, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates and more. This is great news for those looking to get a balanced nutritious diet and is certainly beneficial for most people. However at the same time it is also far from the only way to get those vitamins and minerals and there are many other great sources of all these things.
So bee pollen is an antioxidant and has lots of vitamins and minerals in it. However it is not a silver bullet or ‘remedy’ as many marketers would have you believe. Claims of the health benefits of bee pollen include that it can:
- Increase metabolism (thus burning fat)
- Protect the veins
- Detoxify the liver
- Improve prostate health
- Rejuvenate skin health
- Treat allergies via natural antihistamines
- Reduce bad cholesterol
- Increase production of natural antibiotics thereby preventing illnesses
Bee pollen is found in a vast range of health and beauty products and is commonly used in skin softening products and eczema creams. It is also often recommended by herbalists for treating alcoholism, asthma, chemotherapy side effects and more. Some athletes also use it to try and improve performance. However despite rigorous testing there is no scientific evidence to back up any of these claims and it seems that bee pollen is no more than a good source of nutrition.
One website claims that bee pollen has been used ‘in Russia’ where it has been recorded to increase the life span up to ‘150 years’. This is the exact kind of claim that you should be weary of when reading about herbal remedies – in fact no one has been recorded to live this long and such vague statements are nothing other than misleading. In fact contrary to the claims of herbalists, bee pollen does not treat allergies but may actually worsen them.
Bee pollen is safe when taken in the short term, but in the long term it can cause problems for those who have pollen allergies and it can cause serious allergic reactions including shortness of breath, hives, swelling and ultimately potential anaphylaxis. It is not recommended for pregnant women to use bee pollen.
In conclusion there are better sources of nutrition than bee pollen, and when it comes to treating serious illnesses you should listen to your doctor and not pin your hopes on tenuous claims.