- BEE POLLEN
- Should you add bee pollen to your smoothies? Here’s what you need to know first
- What is bee pollen, exactly?
- But is it really a superfood? A cure-all?
- What about bee pollen for allergies?
- Bee pollen can be harmful
- What is Propolis?
- What is it used for?
- What is the recommended dosage?
- Side Effects
- Further information
- More about propolis
- Does Bee Pollen Help With Allergies?
- Bee Pollen – The How-To Guide
- How Do You Take Bee Pollen?
- What Does Bee Pollen Taste Like?
- How Do You Store Bee Pollen?
- 10 Ways To Use Bee Pollen:
- Bee Pollen Dosage Recommendations
- It is Important to Start Small
- General Bee Pollen Dosage Guidelines
- Bee Pollen Dosage for Allergies
- Bee Pollen Dosage for Energy
- Bee Pollen for Outstanding Health and Longevity
- Bee Pollen Dosage for Athletes
- Recommended Bee Pollen Products
- Learn the Many Benefits of Bee Pollen:
- Puente S, Iniguez A, Subirats M, et al. . Med Clin (Barc) 1997;108:698-700. View abstract.
- Shad JA, Chinn CG, Brann OS. Acute hepatitis after ingestion of herbs. South Med J 1999;92:1095-7. View abstract.
- Steben RE, Boudroux P. The effects of pollen and pollen extracts on selected blood factors and performance of athletes. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1978;18:271-8.
- Winther K, Hedman C. Assessment of the Effects of the Herbal Remedy Femal on the Symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study. Curr Ther Res Clin Exp 2002;63:344-53..
- Choi JH, Jang YS, Oh JW, Kim CH, Hyun IG. Bee pollen-induced anaphylaxis: a case report and literature review. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res 2015 Sep;7(5):513-7. View abstract.
- Cohen SH, Yunginger JW, Rosenberg N, Fink JN. Acute allergic reaction after composite pollen ingestion. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1979;64:270-4. View abstract.
- Geyman JP. Anaphylactic reaction after ingestion of bee pollen. J Am Board Fam Pract. 1994 May-Jun;7(3):250-2. View abstract.
- Hurren KM, Lewis CL. Probable interaction between warfarin and bee pollen. Am J Health Syst Pharm 2010;67:2034-7. View abstract.
- Jagdis A, Sussman G. Anaphylaxis from bee pollen supplement. CMAJ 2012;184:1167-9. View abstract.
- Komosinska-Vassev K, Olczyk P, Kazmierczak J, Mencner L, Olczyk K. Bee pollen: chemical composition and therapeutic application. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2015;2015:297425. View abstract.
- Martín-Muñoz MF, Bartolome B, Caminoa M, et al. Bee pollen: a dangerous food for allergic children. Identification of responsible allergens. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr) 2010;38:263-5. View abstract.
- Maughan RJ, Evans SP. Effects of pollen extract upon adolescent swimmers. Br J Sports Med 1982;16:142-5. View abstract.
- Nonotte-Varly C. Allergenicity of Artemisia contained in bee pollen is proportional to its mass. Eur Ann Allergy Clin Immunol 2015;47(6):218-24. View abstract.
- Olczyk P, Koprowski R, Kazmierczak J, et al. Bee pollen as a promising agent in the burn wounds treatment. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2016;2016:8473937. View abstract.
- Pitsios C, Chliva C, Mikos N, et al. Bee pollen sensitivity in airborne pollen allergic individuals. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2006;97:703-6. View abstract.
- Gonzalez G, Hinojo MJ, Mateo R, et al. Occurrence of mycotoxin producing fungi in bee pollen. Int J Food Microbiol 2005;105(1):1-9. View abstract.
- Greenberger, P. A. and Flais, M. J. Bee pollen-induced anaphylactic reaction in an unknowingly sensitized subject. Ann.Allergy Asthma Immunol 2001;86(2):239-242. View abstract.
- Iversen T, Fiirgaard KM, Schriver P, et al. The effect of NaO Li Su on memory functions and blood chemistry in elderly people. J Ethnopharmacol 1997;56(2):109-116. View abstract.
- Kamen B. Bee pollen: from principles to practice. Health Foods Business 1991;66-67.
- Krivopalov-Moscvin I. Apitherapy in the rehabilitation of patients with multiple sclerosis — XVI World Congress of Neurology. Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 14-19, 1997. Abstracts. J Neurol Sci 1997;150 Suppl:S264-367. View abstract.
- Lei H, Shi Q, Ge F, et al. . Zhong Yao Cai 2004;27(3):177-180. View abstract.
- Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients Used in Food, Drugs, and Cosmetics. 1996;73-76.
- Lin FL, Vaughan TR, Vandewalker ML, et al. Hypereosinophilia, neurologic, and gastrointestinal symptoms after bee-pollen ingestion. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1989;83(4):793-796. View abstract.
- Linskens HF, Jorde W. Pollen as food and medicine – a review. Econ Bot 1997;51(1):78-87.
- Mansfield LE, Goldstein GB. Anaphylactic reaction after ingestion of local bee pollen. Ann Allergy 1981;47(3):154-156. View abstract.
- Murray F. Get the buzz on bee pollen. Better Nutr 1991;20-21, 31.
- Palanisamy, A., Haller, C., and Olson, K. R. Photosensitivity reaction in a woman using an herbal supplement containing ginseng, goldenseal, and bee pollen. J Toxicol.Clin Toxicol. 2003;41(6):865-867. View abstract.
- Wang J, Jin GM, Zheng YM, et al. . Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 2005;30(19):1532-1536. View abstract.
- Münstedt K, Voss B, Kullmer U, Schneider U, Hübner J. Bee pollen and honey for the alleviation of hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms in breast cancer patients. Mol Clin Oncol 2015;3(4):869-874. View abstract.
- Akiyasu T, Paudyal B, Paudyal P, et al. A case report of acute renal failure associated with bee pollen contained in nutritional supplements. Ther Apher Dial 2010;14:93-7. View abstract.
- Chandler JV, Hawkins JD. The effect of bee pollen on physiological performance: Ann Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Nashville, TN, May 26-29. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1985;17:287.
- Chen D. Studies on the “bionic breaking of cell wall” pollen used as the additive of prawn diet: Shandong Fish. Hilu Yuye 1992;5:35-38.
- Foster S, Tyler VE. Tyler’s Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the use of Herbs and Related Remedies. 1993;3
- Garcia-Villanova RJ, Cordon C, Gonzalez Paramas AM, et al. Simultaneous immunoaffinity column cleanup and HPLC analysis of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A in Spanish bee pollen. J Agric Food Chem 2004;52(24):7235-7239. View abstract.
There’s a buzzy new ingredient that’s got the wellness world’s attention as of late: bee pollen. You’ve probably seen the crunchy nuggets as the latest garnish atop a smoothie bowl, but it has more purpose than looking good on the ‘gram. In particular, there’s been talk about taking bee pollen for allergies. But before we get to that, let’s step back and discuss what, exactly, bee pollen is in the first place.
Basically, bee pollen feeds a hive (and it’s a superfood for humans, too). To create it, bees collect flower pollen and pack it into small granules using saliva and a bit of honey. It’s chock full of nutrients like protein, amino acids, and a litany of vitamins—and it’s also believed to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Dr. Moday likens the effect of bee pollen to allergy shots, which create resistance against an allergen so the body reacts less when it’s around.
Its ability to fight inflammation is, in part, why people eat bee pollen for allergies. (It goes without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: You should always consult a doctor before taking anything to treat a medical condition.) That’s because one way to manage allergies—if you have mild symptoms and want to avoid over-the-counter meds because they don’t work or have bothersome side effects—is to help your body build up a tolerance through exposure to the culprit. “The idea is that when you ingest pollen on a daily basis, it’ll desensitize your immune system over time,” says board-certified allergist Heather Moday, MD, owner of Moday Center for Functional and Integrative Medicine in Philadelphia.
Dr. Moday likens the effect of bee pollen to allergy shots, which create resistance against an allergen so the body reacts less when it’s around. “For some people, it’s not going to make much of a difference,” she says. “For others, it may take away symptoms and be a better option than signing up for shots or taking antihistamines.”
Keep in mind, though, that ingesting bee pollen can only help if you have a pollen allergy, so rule this out if you’re plagued with other year-round allergies to certain foods or furry friends. Plus, its effectiveness as a natural allergy treatment hinges on a few things: For starters, Dr. Moday says if you’re severely allergic to pollen and get chronic sinus infections or asthma attacks, this won’t help—in fact, it’s best to avoid ingesting bee pollen to prevent mild reactions, hives—or worse, anaphylactic shock. But if you’re on the less severe side of the seasonal allergy spectrum, regularly eating bee pollen could help quell symptoms like congestion, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes.
To work, it’s key to eat pollen that contains your specific allergen, so it’s a good idea to get allergy tested to find those triggers. For example, if you have a birch tree pollen allergy, you’d need to eat bee pollen from a hive located near birch trees to feel the difference. Of course, there’s no way to ensure this. Researchers aren’t totally convinced of bee pollen’s ability to relieve allergy symptoms, but small studies have shown a significant decrease in allergy symptoms amongst women who consistently consume bee pollen specific to their allergy.
All regions have different plant life, so buying a jar at a California farmer’s market on a work trip probably won’t help your allergies when you’re back home in New York.
And Dr. Moday says it’s important to eat local bee pollen as it’s more likely to contain your particular allergen from your personal environment. All regions have different plant life, so buying a jar at a California farmer’s market on a work trip probably won’t help your allergies when you’re back home in New York. You can find local bee pollen at farmers markets, specialty food stores, or online. No two bee pollens are the same, so jars contain different colored granules based on what it’s made of, and can taste sweet, nutty or bitter. A word to the wise: Heat renders bee pollen ineffective, so make sure to store it in the refrigerator.
Which brings us to probably the biggest question about taking bee pollen for allergies: How much do you have to eat?
For it to have a chance at being effective, you have to make bee pollen a part of your daily routine in order to build up a tolerance, according to Dr. Moday. Start off with a 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon and work up to a tablespoon daily—try sprinkling it on top of yogurt, acai bowls, and oatmeal or blending it into your smoothies. “It takes a while for your body to become desensitized,” Dr. Moday says. “This has to be done before the season starts, like a few months out, to really get any response.” If you sprinkle it on your oatmeal every now and again during allergy season, you’ll still be a congested mess. Talk about a buzz kill.
If you’re in need of smoothie recipes, here are 7 savory ones to try until fruit comes back in season.
Should you add bee pollen to your smoothies? Here’s what you need to know first
Victoria Beckham loves it, and so, apparently, does Kourtney Kardashian. It can be found in smoothies, on top of acai bowls, and in jars at farmers markets and health food stores throughout North Texas.
But what is it? And is it as good for us as the (cough, cough) experts claim? It depends on who you ask, so we decided to go a step beyond WebMD to find out more.
What is bee pollen, exactly?
It’s what’s carried around on bees’ legs as they fly around, naturally pollinating plants and flowers. When bees make honey, some of this pollen ends up in the sticky substance, too.
The bee pollen that’s sold in stores and in your smoothie is actually a mix of pollen, bee spit, and a little bit of honey.
Some say that bee pollen is nature’s perfect food, a miracle in a jar. A Google search will suggest that bee pollen can do everything from reducing inflammation to strengthening your immune system, that it can give you energy, reduce stress, help with asthma, menopause, and much more.
A bee collects pollen from a sunflower. (John Roark/The Idaho Post-Register via AP)(John Roark / AP)
But is it really a superfood? A cure-all?
Not so fast.
“There is no data supporting that in human beings bee pollen does anything beneficial,” says Dr. Richard L. Wasserman, medical director of pediatric allergy and immunology at Medical City Dallas Hospital.
Bee pollen falls into the category of what’s known as “nutraceuticals,” Wasserman says, a food that’s supposed to have a medical benefit, to cure a known medical disease. Bee pollen is often exempt from FDA scrutiny because bee pollen may not cross state lines, he says. “We believe that people that have chronic ailments have enough burden from their primary disease to not have unproven risks from unproven therapies ,” he adds.
Bee pollen is commonly found on acai bowls and in smoothies.(Lynda M. Gonzalez / Staff Photographer)
What about bee pollen for allergies?
Theoretically, bee pollen might benefit sufferers of allergies, says Elizabeth Stasny, registered dietitian with Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital in Denton. “It could potentially help if the pollen happens to be the same one that you’re allergic to,” she says. “Pollen causes allergies, but in small doses, when it’s eaten, it can help reduce them.”
But how do you know that the pollen that’s in the jar of bee pollen that you just bought is the same pollen that you’re allergic to, and even if it is, how do you know how much of it to take?
You don’t, which is the problem, says Wasserman, who advises against bee pollen, anyway.
“Allergy shots are clearly effective and there are now several oral allergy products proven for ragweed and grass pollen allergies,” he says. “The manufacture of these products is highly precise and highly controlled. The drug companies that make these get proteins from pollen, and extract it in precise amounts and blend it into a serum for allergy shots and tablets. It is highly specific, and bee pollen is completely unpurified and uncontrolled in its composition. You have hundreds of thousands of bees that contribute to bee pollen, so you have this uncontrolled material.”
Granulated bee pollen (Vernon Bryant / Staff Photographer)
Bee pollen can be harmful
All of this means that bee pollen is a wild card. It might be good for you. It might not be. But there’s a dark side to it, too.
“It is potentially dangerous,” Wasserman warns. “Every time a person with pollen allergies takes bee pollen, they’re exposing themselves to the risk of anaphylaxis. Very few people have had near-fatal reactions to bee pollen, but there are those reports.”
So what if the pollen in bee pollen isn’t something that you’re allergic to? “If a person isn’t allergic to that pollen, taking that pollen will do no good,” he says.
And for the claims of bee pollen’s curative properties? Some studies have shown pollen to have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s seen as a promising agent in treating burn wounds when in topical form.
But Wasserman sticks to advising against it. “There are only two reliably predictable results from bee pollen,” he says. “You can enrich the people selling it and you can lose weight in your wallet.”
Propolis also is known as Propolis balsam, propolis resin, propolis wax, bee glue, hive dross.
What is Propolis?
Propolis is a natural resin collected from the buds of conifers and other trees by honeybees. It is used by bees to seal walls and strengthen combs of hives, as well as to embalm dead invaders. It is a sticky, greenish-brown mass with a slight aromatic odor.
What is it used for?
Propolis has been used as a medicinal agent since ancient times. It was used in folk medicine as early as 300 BC for cosmetic purposes, inflammation, and wound healing. It has been used internally and externally and is believed to kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi, to possess local anesthetic, antiulcer, and anti-inflammatory properties, and to lower blood pressure and stimulate the immune system.
Propolis exhibits antimicrobial action against gram-positive bacteria, yeasts, and some viruses. Commonly used in oral and dental preparations, propolis may have a role in reducing tooth decay and oral ulcers and in promoting the health of injured teeth. Cytotoxicity of propolis and its chemical constituents has been demonstrated to stop the growth of tumor in animals and tumor cell; however, clinical studies in human cancer are lacking. Immune system effects, antioxidant actions, and effects on the heart have also been described.
What is the recommended dosage?
There is limited clinical evidence to support specific dosage recommendations for propolis.
Contraindications have not yet been identified.
Information regarding safety and efficacy in pregnancy and lactation is lacking.
None well documented.
Allergic reactions with skin and mucous membrane irritations have been reported. Sensitization to propolis also has been reported.
Information regarding toxicology is lacking.
1. Propolis. Review of Natural Products. Facts & Comparisons . St. Louis, MO: Wolters Kluwer Health Inc; August 2010.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about propolis
- Propolis (Advanced Reading)
Propolis may increase the risk of bleeding in people who take blood-thinning medications or who have bleeding disorders. Since propolis may slow blood clotting, you stop taking propolis at least two weeks before any scheduled surgery.
When it comes to parasitic infections like giardiasis, propolis should not be used as the only treatment for parasites without first consulting a physician.
If you have asthma, some experts advice avoiding propolis completely since it’s believed that some chemicals in propolis may make asthma worse. However, there has also been research that demonstrates helpful effects of propolis for asthmatics. (14) If you have asthma, speak with your doctor before taking propolis.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, check with your health care provider before taking propolis. If you have any ongoing health concerns or are taking any medications, check with your doctor before using propolis.
Bee propolis has been serving honey bees and humans for centuries. While the honeybees use it to keep their hives hole and invader-free, humans use bee propolis both internally and externally for medicinal purposes.
Isn’t it fascinating how bees can produce so many health-promoting things? Science is really showing just how valuable propolis is when it comes to our health. I’m talking everything from cancer to infertility to candida to the common cold. The list goes on, and I’m sure bee propolis will only continue to amaze us in the years and studies to come.
This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you make a purchase through a link on this page.
Did you know that you can extend bee pollen shelf life to a very long time? Bee created pollen will lose its efficacy eventually just like all other natural products; however, you can retain the potency for a longer period if you follow the correct storage procedures.
Shelf life basically refers to how long a product lasts before it goes bad or loses its effectiveness.
Naturally, products that are loaded with preservatives last much longer than organic ones that only contain natural ingredients.
Since bee pollen is 100% natural, it is quite understandable that people would be concerned about its shelf life.
On the average, bee pollen supplements should last up to two years provided that you keep it properly stored. Here are some of the things you can do to prolong bee pollen shelf life:
* Keep it refrigerated – As a rule, you should keep the pollen inside the fridge once you have opened it so that it retains its potency. However, if you live in an extremely cold place, or if it’s the winter season, this may not be necessary, provided the room temperature does not go beyond 20 degrees Celsius.
But if you want the supplement to last even longer, you can also store it in the freezer, especially if you have the ones that come in the form of granules.
* Always close the container tightly – This will keep moisture from seeping in and making the product go bad. It also prevents bacteria and other microbes from contaminating the pollen and reducing its nutritional value.
* Keep it in an opaque bottle – Exposure to sunlight drains pollen of its natural potency, thus cutting its shelf life by a huge margin. You should therefore buy bee pollen supplements that come in opaque containers, preferably those that are tinted white or orange because these are best for blocking the sun’s rays from damaging the contents.
* Go for the encapsulated powder – Pollen supplements come in the form of tablets, granules and encapsulated powder. Tablets last quite a long time but the nutritional value is not that high because these have gone through a heating process, which destroys a lot of the vitamins and minerals in the substance.
Granules do contain more nutrients but have a shorter bee pollen shelf life. Encapsulated powder supplements, on the other hand, offer both great nutritional value and a long shelf life, making it the best choice among the three.
Bee pollen shelf life also varies considerably depending on the brand of product you use. If you want a supplement that last longer, you should choose one that comes from New Zealand because their pollens are 100% pure and do not contain any contaminants that would reduce their potency.
The best brand we’ve come across is Xtend–life Natural Energy. Not only does it have long shelf life but it also has the most nutrients and the fastest absorption rate among all the pollen supplements available today.
A bee collects pollen from a sunflower. (Reuters)
When it comes to supplements, natural doesn’t always mean safe. Experts are warning that taking natural bee pollen supplements may come with the risk of suffering a serious allergic reaction, including life-threatening anaphylactic shock.
Bee pollen is used to enhance energy, vitality, memory and performance, and sometimes even to reduce allergies, though there’s little evidence to support any of these uses. It’s considered a super food because it contains proteins and is rich in vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. It comes from the pollen that collects on the bodies of bees.
The pollen is not just from flowers but also from grass, dandelions and other plants that are responsible for springtime allergies. When taken at the suggested dose, the bee pollen extracts could contain a large amount of airborne pollen. It also contains saliva from bees.
A new report, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, describes the case of a 30-year-old woman who started to take bee pollen and a few other supplements. On day two of her new supplement regimen, she had to be rushed to the emergency room because her eyelids, lips and throat began to swell, and she had difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath and felt faint. Doctors discovered she had suffered from seasonal allergies in the past. The bee pollen apparently put her over the edge.
Though there are not a lot of reports in the science literature on how common or rare reactions are to bee pollen, one Italian study found that, between 2002 and 2007, the Italian national surveillance system for natural health products received 18 reports of adverse reactions associated with propolis, a bee pollen product.
Less scientific, though also troubling, anecdotes of severe reactions abound on the web, even on websites hawking bee pollen. Though one website says that serious reactions are rare, at the same time, they advise anyone taking bee pollen to do a “tolerance test” by starting with one raw bee pollen kernel and putting it under your tongue and slowly increasing your dose each day. The website warns users not to jump straight to a tablespoon of pollen during the first week or so of using the pollen.
Patients with allergies to pollen or bee stings may be at particular risk. Studies that have done skin prick tests on patients found a strong association between being allergic to bee pollen and having allergies to various grasses and other airborne allergens. But there have also been cases reported in people with no history of allergies.
Another problem is that aside from causing a serious reaction, using these supplements may set off an allergy to pollen and bee stings that a person may have never previously experienced, making him or her susceptible of anaphylaxis in the future. That may not be a risk people want to take.
Does Bee Pollen Help With Allergies?
Does bee pollen help with allergies? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Tirumalai Kamala, Immunologist, Ph.D. Mycobacteriology, on Quora:
‘Does bee pollen help with allergies?’
On the contrary, bee pollen could be dangerous for those with allergies. This answer briefly summarizes:
- What bee pollen is.
- Allergy sources and content in bee pollen.
- Case reports of serious health consequences for the allergic from consuming bee pollen.
- Paltry scientific record on purported health benefits of bee pollen.
Bees accumulate a wide variety of pollen as granules, bee pollen, in pollen sacs on their hind legs as they flit from flower to flower sipping their nectar. Beekeepers collect and sell these granules as health foods using screens at hive entrances to force them out of the pollen sacs when bees reenter hives.
According to one study, bee pollen gained popularity as a health food after Finnish marathon runners credited it with their successful performances in the 1972 Munich Olympics (1). In 1977, the Chicago Tribune and the United Airlines Mainliner magazine published reports touting bee pollen health benefits (2).
Allergy Sources & Content in Bee Pollen
Plants can be pollinated by wind, Anemophily, insects, Entomophily or animals (both invertebrate and vertebrate), Zoophily.
Airborne pollen from wind-pollinated plants such as grasses (ragweed, mugwort, etc.) are a major source of respiratory allergies. Marketing bee pollen as health foods relies on a misconception that they contain pollen from only less allergenic insect-pollinated plants. However, bee pollen sources are actually far more diverse and they contain pollen from wind-pollinated plants such as ash, oak, willow and poplar, often the source of allergens for those with allergic rhinitis (3).
- Pollinating mechanisms are obviously far more porous in practice than imagined in theory. Wind-pollinated trees serve as major sources of pollen for honeybees in early spring for instance, a time when insect-pollinated plants aren’t a major source of pollen (4).
- Structural similarities, Cross-reactivity, between pollen from wind- and insect-pollinated plants render such distinctions moot making the latter capable of triggering allergy episodes in some allergic people.
With no international standard, bee pollen products are highly variable, with guidelines or regional standards only available from Australia-New Zealand, Brazil, Bulgaria, Poland and Switzerland as of 2015 (3). With variability an inherent feature of the ways by which bees collect, store and process bee pollen, as well as their sources, habitat and even season, it’s anyone’s guess what if anything could be done to standardize it.
The sheer amount of pollen in bee pollen could be why they’re reported to trigger strong allergy reactions and even anaphylaxis in those with common forms of inhalant allergies such as hay fever. A single bee pollen pellet might contain as many as 2 million pollen grains while one teaspoon of bee pollen is estimated to contain >2.5 billion grains. Specifically one study estimated 1 gram of bee pollen to contain ~0.4 to 6.4 million plant pollen, amounts sizable enough to trigger serious allergy attacks (1). Bee pollen is estimated to contain thousands fold more pollen compared to honey which helps explain its allergic potential (1).
Apart from pollen, bee pollen also contains bacteria, fungi, bee fecal material and insect body parts (1). Some bee pollen supplements have been found to have as much as 6% fungi such as Aspergillus and Cladosporium species (5, 6).
Case Reports of Serious Allergies from Bee Pollen
Fungi in bee pollen was found to cause anaphylaxis in patients with IgE sensitization to such molds (5, 6).
A review concluded bee pollen ingestion can be dangerous to allergic children (7). Bee pollen can cause immediate systemic allergic reactions (1, 2, 3, 6, 8) and even anaphylaxis (5, 9, 10) in people with a history of allergy.
A study that tried to figure out what patients may be reacting to in bee pollen found ~67% of those with atopy and IgE sensitization to olive tree, grass and mugwort pollen reacted positively to bee pollen skin prick tests, implying the bee pollen they tested contained pollen from all these allergy-associated plants (1).
Scientific Record of Bee Pollen Health Benefits is Paltry to Non-existent
Few scientific studies have rigorously examined bee pollen health benefits and a few randomized clinical trials failed to substantiate athletic or health benefits (11, 12).
11. Steben, Ralph E., and Pete Boudreaux. “The effects of pollen and protein extracts on selected blood factors and performance of athletes.” The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness 18.3 (1978): 221.
This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:
- Allergies: What are the dangers of allergen immunotherapy?
- Scientific Research: Should patient data that could be used for lifesaving research be freely available to any researchers that want it?
- Medicine and Healthcare: What is the difference between immunotherapy and targeted therapy (oncology)?
Bee Pollen – The How-To Guide
Bee pollen is considered one of nature’s most nourishing foods! With more protein per gram than any animal product and packed with B-vitamins, and all 22 known essential nutritional elements, it is a favorite among those leading an on-the-go lifestyle or anyone that is looking for an all natural energy and vitamin boost. You can add to smoothies, toast, yogurt, salads, or any of your favorite everyday foods.
How Do You Take Bee Pollen?
First, you must note that when taking bee pollen, just like any other bee products, you must proceed with caution due to an effect it can have on people who are allergic to bee products. Adults can try adding bee pollen a ¼ teaspoon at a time and can increase their daily intake to two tablespoons a day. Children can eat bee pollen, too, and should start with only a few granules.
What Does Bee Pollen Taste Like?
It’s important to note that taste is relative – what tastes one way to one person, might taste another way to someone else. My personal taste of bee pollen is powdery, floral, and slightly bitter but sweet.
How Do You Store Bee Pollen?
The best place to store your bee pollen is in the refrigerator or freezer, or in a cool, dark place like a pantry. Keep it away from UV radiation (i.e. sunlight) as heat will diminish the nutritional value of pollen. When stored properly, it can keep for about three years.
10 Ways To Use Bee Pollen:
Now that you know all of its great benefits, it’s good to know how to use it in your daily diet.
- Use Bee Pollen Granules as a topping over yogurt, cereal or oatmeal.
- Add Bee Pollen to cooling homemade granola.
- Blend Bee Pollen Powder or Granules into a smoothie. Our Antioxidant Smoothie recipe is a fan favorite.
- Incorporate into raw protein bars, raw desserts or candies. This is a great Bee Pollen Granola Bar recipe.
- Sprinkle Spanish Bee Pollen Granules directly over salad.
- Incorporate Bee Pollen Powder into salad dressing such as a honey mustard. Our family loves this Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
- Sprinkle pollen powder over popcorn. Here are some other inspirations for How To Use Bee Pollen Everyday
- Use granules as a garnish on top of dark chocolate, like in our Superfood Chocolate Bark with Bee Pollen recipe.
- Use Bee Pollen Powder as a coating for sugared almonds or hazelnuts.
- Toast whole wheat bread, smear with a nut spread and sprinkle with bee pollen granules.
Stakich Bee Pollen products are all natural and pure with no additives. Our Bee Pollen has never been heated or dried so all of its enzymes are kept intact, providing you with all the nutritional benefits your body needs. Check out our entire bee pollen line here: Bee Pollen Products
Note: Bee pollen can cause severe allergic reactions in some people. Do not consume it if you are allergic to bees. The information on this website has been provided for educational purposes only. We are not certified health professionals and are unqualified to offer medical advice. Talk to your doctor before introducing any new foods into your diet.
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Bee Pollen Dosage Recommendations
by Angela Ysseldyk, Nutritionist and Beekeeper’s Daughter
The correct dose of bee pollen for you will depend on several factors; what form of pollen you’re planning on taking (capsules or granules), the reason you’re taking bee pollen and lastly, if you’ve ever taken it before. Over the years I’ve witnessed effective doses ranging from a few granules a day all the way up to extreme amounts as high as two cups daily. You’ll want to experiment with bee pollen to find the minimum amount you need to take to obtain the maximum benefits.
It is Important to Start Small
If you’ve never taken bee pollen before, it is important to start out with a small, conservative amount regardless of the form you’re taking, and work up to your daily dose, whatever that amount may be.
If you are taking bee pollen granules, begin with 1 or 2 granules on day one. Place them under their tongue and let dissolve or simply chew them. If you experience no reaction, double the amount of granules you consume on day two. Continue this for at least a week.
If you are using a capsule, you’ll need to twist open the capsule and dump a very small amount of the powder out. I suggest mixing it in juice, water or your favorite beverage. Apple sauce, honey, granola or cereal also work well. On day two, slightly increase the amount you remove from the capsule. Again, do this for at least a week while you build tolerance.
General Bee Pollen Dosage Guidelines
Once you’ve determined that you tolerate bee pollen well, you can begin taking a full dose on a daily basis.
- For general health purposes, my recommended bee pollen dosage is 1 – 2 heaping teaspoons of the raw granules per day. Mix them in juice, a smoothie, yogurt, apple sauce, cereal or simply chew them and swallow.
- For general health purposes, my recommended bee pollen dosage is 1000 mg – 2000 mg per day taken with water or juice.
If you are treating a specific health condition or concern, you may wish to take larger amounts of bee pollen daily than those listed for general health.
Below I’ve made specific bee pollen dosage recommendations for more specific conditions.
Bee Pollen Dosage for Allergies
Allergies are a tricky thing. My husband Mark has battled with seasonal allergies for most of his life. As he will tell you, adding bee pollen and other bee products helped him more than any other product out there.
More than Claritin. More than Allegra. More than allergy shots.
And all without any side effects.
So here are some recommendations and pointers.
- Start with bee pollen early. If you have allergies in June, start taking pollen in January. The longer you give your immune system to adapt to the pollens the better.
- Read this article on bee pollen and allergies. In fact, many people report that their second summer of using pollens is usually much better than their first. Use it continuously through the summer and winter leading into the next allergy season.
- Follow my tolerance test to determine your sensitivity to bee pollen. Especially when dealing with allergies.
- Work your way up to a standard daily dose of 1 tablespoon of raw granules or 2000 mg to 3000 mg in capsule form.
- Consider also taking local, raw honey in addition to bee pollen for your allergies. Read this article on how best to use it.
Bee Pollen Dosage for Energy
Much of the world is in an energy crisis. I’m not talking about the global oil supply. People are flat out tired. And no wonder. We work too much, rest too little and fuel our bodies with foods devoid of any nutritional value. Plus we’re exposed to about 200 different chemicals every day that our ancestors weren’t.
And don’t get me started about our consumption of stimulants. Read my article on bee pollen for energy if you can’t wait for your next grande cappuccino or Red Bull.
The fact is, there are much healthier ways to go about ensuring you have abundant, natural energy throughout the day. Bee pollen is one of them.
Loaded with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and amino acids , bee pollen literally has every nutrient needed by man to not just live, but thrive. It hasn’t been referred to as ‘Nature’s Most Perfect Food’ for decades for no reason.
The human body is a metabolic engine. Feeding your body bee pollen regularly is like putting high octane fuel in your car. It just runs better.
Dosage Recommendations for Energy:
- Take one to two tablespoons first thing in the morning with a balanced breakfast. I mix my morning pollen right in with my protein power smoothie. This will ensure clean burning, nutrient rich, balanced energy for the first part of your day.
- Need a quick snack? Take up to a half cup of pollen if you’re on the go and need a healthy snack that will leave you feeling full. I find one to two tablespoons in a pinch can hold me for a couple of hours easily.
- Pre-workout energy boost? Take a tablespoon one hour before your workout. Especially if you’re trying to lose body fat. I find bee pollen makes me feel quite full despite being very low calorie.
If you’re using capsules or tablets, take 3 – 6 thirty minutes before you train. Generally, capsules have been pre-ground so they are easier to digest and are absorbed more rapidly.
Take another tablespoon or 6 – 12 capsules immediately after your workout to stimulate the recovery process.
Bee Pollen for Outstanding Health and Longevity
We’re a pill taking society obsessed with living forever. As a result, things like multi-vitamin supplements have had entire industries created around them.
Most multi-vitamins are made in a lab. A lot of companies do a pretty good job. Man-made, synthesized vitamin supplements have been shown to extend life span without question.
But I suspect that you’re not interested in just extending your life. If you’re like me, you’re interested in outstanding health AND longevity. Abundant energy, no need for doctor prescribed chemicals, a powerful immune system and a body that can enjoy life.
That is where bee pollen comes in.
No scientist, no pharmaceutical company, no supplement company has ever developed something that contains over a dozen vitamins, 28 minerals, 11 enzymes and co-enzymes, and 14 fatty acids as well as 10 amino acids. And they likely never will. For the most complete, bio-available, health promoting multi-vitamin and mineral supplement on the planet, try taking a heaping tablespoon of raw bee pollen every morning.
If you’re taking capsules, take at least 2000 mg per day.
Bee Pollen Dosage for Athletes
It is common knowledge that the heavy demands of training many athletes put themselves through increases their nutrient requirements to levels much higher than the average sedentary adult.
We also know vitamins and minerals are lost at high rates through sweat as well as through the increased need for anti-oxidants to combat the additional free radicals generated by intense exercise. These facts alone suggest adding bee pollen to an athlete’s nutritional regime might be wise.
Bee pollen is 25% protein and contains all the essential amino acids including the critically important Branch Chain Amino Acids. BCAA’s just so happen to be your muscles first choice for energy during intense activity. If you’re an athlete of any type, you are likely aware of the additional protein requirements you have. Furthermore, if you’re an athlete who doesn’t tolerate the milk based proteins (whey or casein) that make up most of the protein supplement market today, bee pollen is a perfect fit for you.
Have you tasted hemp or rice or soy protein? Ugggghhh. Despite many advances in flavoring, these vegetable proteins still taste quite….’earthy’ to say the least. Bee pollen on the other hand actually tastes quite nice.
Perhaps even more important than the amino acid content of bee pollen are the vitamins and minerals it contains . Like I said earlier, intense exercise generates tremendous amounts of free radicals. Free radicals can only be stopped by anti-oxidants such as Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.
All of these just so happen to be found in bee pollen in a perfectly bio-available state. A state that nature created and can not be duplicated by man in a lab.
As an athlete, you also tend to experience increased sweat loss. Most vitamins and minerals are water soluble. This means that you only need water to absorb them. But it also means that you can and do lose them through sweat. And the more you sweat, the more you lose. So replacing a mineral such as magnesium, which has over 300 duties in the body including helping manage your heart rate, is very important.
Magnesium also aids in proper muscle function.
Raw Granules: up to 2 cups of bee pollen per day. Consume a 1/2 cup one hour before your workout and an additional half or full cup post workout within one hour of completion.
Capsules: up to twelve 500 mg capsules per day. A typical athlete’s dosage might be 6 caps 1 hour before a workout and an additional 6 within 1 hour of completing the workout.
If you have a question about how much bee pollen to take for a condition not listed above, email us here.
Recommended Bee Pollen Products
There are many bee pollen products on the market, many of which are very poor quality with very suspect ingredients. I regularly get solicited by companies from all over the world selling cheap, low grade bee pollen that is contaminated with antibiotics, heavy metals and other impurities. I use and only recommend Dutchman’s Gold Bee Pollen. You can find them here.
Read Next: The Top 20 Benefits of Bee Pollen
Learn the Many Benefits of Bee Pollen:
Do you have something to say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below. I’d love to hear from you!