Are bee pollen supplements right for you?
Most of us never think much about bees, unless we're swatting them away during a picnic or a baseball game. But bees are actually incredibly complex creatures, and bee pollen is a sophisticated substance that, when taken as part of a balanced diet, can not only provide you essential vitamins and nutrients but also boost your overall health and happiness.
Bee pollen, also known as bee bread because it is the main food source for worker bees, may well be Nature's perfect food. It has high levels of vitamins A, B, C, D and E; it is composed of nearly 40 percent protein; and it is said to contain more than 90 different nutrients. In fact, in scientific studies, mice fed nothing but bee pollen showed no signs of malnourishment.
Scientists have tried to concoct synthetic bee pollen, but it never comes close to the real thing—when the man-made substance was fed to worker bees, the bees died within a week.
Benefits and Indications
Bee pollen supplements have been said to do everything from aid weight loss to boost your immune system. Because it contains many compounds identified as antioxidants—such as amino acids, folic acid, polyunsaturated fatty acids and carotene—bee pollen can help with many different ailments.
One of the common bee pollen uses is stress relief. Its amino acids and fatty acids help regulate your mood. It's also said to increase energy levels and rev up your sex drive.
Bee pollen can also help build resistance to common allergies. Bees eat pollen from many different sources, which means their pollen contains elements from all kinds of plants, including those that can trigger hay fever. For this reason, some experts recommend regular doses of bee pollen to build your resistance to allergens.
Side Effects and Warnings
Because natural bee pollen, sometimes called ambrosia, is made when bees feast on myriad flowers and plants, people with plant allergies should avoid it (unless it's prescribed by a professional to help weaken allergies, as described above). Pregnant women and small children should also take extreme caution with bee pollen because it may cause severe allergic reactions. Of course, before beginning any sort of dietary supplement, you should always consult a medical professional.