#FitFoodFacts - Bee Pollen
Bee pollen is said to have been used for centuries by warriors and athletes for performance benefits. It has been reported that Bruce Lee, Muhammed Ali and Daily Thompson all supplemented with Bee Pollen.
But, is there any basis behind these claims and is it safe for consumption?
• According to fatsecret.co.uk there are 314kcal per 100g of bee pollen although a typical serving would be a teaspoon yielding 16kcal.
• Per 100g bee pollen contains 24g of protein, 41g of carbohydrates (most of which is sugar) and 4.9g of fatty acids.
• The first hit on google takes you to an article by internet physician Dr Mercola. Mercola is on a Dr Oz level of quackery and a quick look at the article shows that it’s basically a sales pitch, meaning you can discount any of his claims surrounding bee pollen.
• Having searched the internet, we couldn’t find any sound research on the benefits of bee pollen and no set limits in terms of dosage.
• Examine.com has a page dedicated to ‘Royal Jelly’ which is the jelly-like substance produced from pollen by worker bees. Royal Jelly is being researched for its testosterone containing properties and may even be banned by the FDA if this is confirmed.
• Claims that royal jelly increase longevity are not confirmed by research and should be taken with a pinch of salt.
• Also, according to Exmaine.com chrysin, a property of pollen, has been found to increase testosterone when injected into the genitals. The testosterone is not absorbed through digestion.
• Consumption of honey is said to lower histamine production and a teaspoon of honey a day for 6 weeks prior to hay fever season and throughout may reduce symptoms but, again, there is no evidence of this being a benefit of bee pollen.
• Some people with pollen allergies may experience reactions as severe as anaphylaxis when consuming pollen.
• Extraction of bee pollen may be contributing to the alarming issue of dwindling bee
populations and the disastrous effect this could have on our environment.
Although bee pollen is now widely available in most health food shops and often prescribed by herbalists there is no scientific evidence to support the benefits of bee pollen. There are also question marks over its safety. All of the nutrients found in bee pollen will be freely available within any normal balanced diet. With that in mind, Muhammed Ali may have become a legend in-spite of bee pollen rather than because of it.