Institute for Healing Arts Research : Director, Andrew Kochan, M.D.
Clinical Specialties: Apitherapy

Bee pollen is the male seed of a plant that bees collect to eat in the hive and also to process for feeding the queen bee. Pollen is about 25% protein and contains all the essential amino acids needed by humans. It is the primary source of dietary protein for bees. It has become a popular energy-enhancing nutritional supplement because it contains all of the essential vitamins and minerals needed by humans, except Vitamin B12. Pollen is also a good source of enzymes and it contains all of the amino acids the body needs. However, it does not contain the correct proportion of nutrients needed to sustain humans for an extended period of time. Because of its nutrient density, one to two teaspoons of pollen is equivalent to a serving of vegetables. Therefore, supplementing pollen into your diet is a great way to significantly improve your nutrient intake.

There is scientific evidence that pollen has a variety of anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-arthritis properties. It has been reported to be useful in many medical conditions including: varicose veins, high cholesterol and triglycerides, fatigue, infertility, impotence, anorexia, obesity, constipation, diarrhea, hypertension, prostatitis, depression, scar formation, and recovery from illness and surgery. Studies have shown that pollen supplementation can prevent altitude sickness. Pollen also has the highest ORAC index (a measure of antioxidant activity) of any fruit or vegetable, so it can be helpful in anti-aging therapies. Due to its antiallergic, anti-inflammatory and immune system normalizing phytochemicals, bee pollen is used therapeutically to desensitize people who have hay fever and pollen sensitivities. This is done through oral desensitization and is analogous to the way allergists treat people with desensitization injections. The therapy consists of giving a patient tiny amounts of a substance that a person is allergic to, and slowly increasing the amount over time. Pollen is compatible with other therapies, it can be used long term, has no toxicity even at high doses for those who are not sensitive or allergic, and can even be supplemented during pregnancy.

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