The Supplements Section
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Bee Pollen Supplements
The term bee pollen refers to the plant pollen that collects on bees as they gather nectar. It is gathered with a special device designed to brush the material from their hind legs as they enter the hive. Bee pollen has been called nature’s perfect food and is said to contain vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids found in every plant from which bees collect pollen. It is used to increase energy, boost the immune system, and fight the effects of aging.
Bee pollen may help build the immune system. It contains protein, carbohydrates, fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and lecithin, beta-carotene and selenium; all nutrients that have been shown to have powerful antioxidant effects in the body. Thus, it has been theorized that bee pollen could help treat conditions associated with free-radical damage, such as cancer, heart disease, and decreased mental function. Bee pollen has also been touted as an anti-aging supplement, and its proponents claim that it can prevent the weight gain, decreased libido, lethargy, and decline in muscle and skin tone associated with aging.
Bee pollen has also been used to treat allergies, the idea being that small amounts of bee pollen will, like allergy shots, gradually build immunity to all the plant pollens collected from the bees. However, some health professionals warn that using bee pollen to treat allergies could cause dangerous allergic reactions in some people, because it is impossible to determine the exact amount or type of pollen present in each supplement.
Bee pollen has been recommended for treatment of just about everything, including nausea, insomnia, all types of infection, suppressed immune system following chemotherapy, low libido, low blood pressure, anemia, heart disease, cancer, and constipation, to name a few. It is also sometimes used to improve athletic performance and mental function.
Many in the scientific community are skeptical about the health claims made by bee pollen advocates. They point out that plant enzymes get digested in the human body and so they do not have any effect on human metabolic function. They also point to the lack of scientific evidence to support the use of bee pollen for treatment of any human health condition.
Bee pollen products are available at health-food stores, drugstores, mail-order suppliers, and at online distributors. It comes in capsules, tablets, and granules. People with allergies to plants should take this supplement with caution; bee pollen could cause allergic reactions.
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