Bee pollen is naturally rich in many nutrients and includes virtually every mineral, enzyme, and amino acid known to man, as well as many vitamins. It is also very high in protein (about 35 percent), and is also rich in carbohydrates. Since it contains quite a bit of vitamins A, C, E, as well as the mineral selenium, bee pollen is also a natural antioxidant.
Although most people are familiar with bee pollen, many of us probably couldn’t define exactly what it is. Basically, bee pollen is the male seeds, or gametes, of flowers that are located inside the stamens of flowers. Bees go around from flower to flower gathering up this pollen and then dropping it off at the hives where it is used to feed the young bees who live there.
Because bee pollen is so nutritious, many people have been successful using it to treat a variety of health disorders. For example, studies have found that taking bee pollen can be a potent immune system builder. In addition, it has also been found to help with mental acuity as well as energy levels. For this reason, bee pollen is very popular with athletes who take it in order to help improve their physical stamina. One study conducted by the British Sports Council found that taking bee pollen led to an increase in strength by as high as 40 to 50 percent.
While most people associate pollen with the development of allergies, in the case of bee pollen, the opposite may be true. Researchers have found that by taking small amounts of bee pollen in the weeks leading up to allergy season, many people may become desensitized to it and as a result do a lot less sneezing and wheezing. One long-term study on bee pollen and allergies was conducted by Dr. Leo Conway from Denver, Colorado. Conway found that the patients who took bee pollen for three years did not suffer from any allergy symptoms during that time. Interestingly, where the subjects lived and what type of diet they ate did not appear to factor in to his results, and as a bonus, no side effects were reported.