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Bee Pollen: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?

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BEE POLLEN: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?

Other names: bee pollen, flower pollen.

Indications
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Potential Effectiveness
Flower pollen rye - Reducing nocturia associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia.
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Uncertain effectiveness
Bee Pollen - Relieve symptoms of menopause.
Ineffective
Improve physical performance.
Traditional use
Bee Pollen - Treating seasonal allergies.
Dosage of pollen
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Insufficient data on the efficacy and safety of products containing pollen as well as large variations in the composition of these products do not suggest a dose.

Description pollen
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The pollen is the male seed produced by the stamens of flowers . It consists of a multitude of microscopic elements, pollen grains, each measuring 20 to 40 microns (0.02 mm to 0.04 mm). These tiny particles form a dust easily blown away, allowing them to go fertilize the female parts of the flowers (pistils). This fine dust is the cause of seasonal allergic rhinitis. All higher plant species, that is to say, those that produce flowers, so small they produce pollen.

Foraging in the flowers to extract the nectar they turn into honey, bees accumulate pollen on their hind legs. They form small balls in it back to the hive for use as food. These pellets contain, in addition to the pollen of various plant species, enzymes. Bees produce these enzymes to dissolve the solid casing that encloses the nutrients inside each tiny grain of pollen.

The bee pollen consists of 30% to 55% of carbohydrates (sugars), 25% to 30% of proteins (proteins and free amino acids), from 1% to 20% fat (fat), and for the rest, vitamins (especially B group) and minerals (calcium, chlorine, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sulfur). It also contains small quantities of antioxidant and immunostimulatory substances. Based on this composition, manufacturers and distributors, including the Internet, are numerous allegations and qualify pollen miracle product, panacea or "perfect food." For now, little scientific evidence supports these claims.

PollenBeekeepers have developed traps pollen they have at the entrance of the hive, allowing them to harvest about 10% of collected pollen on flowers by the workers of the hive. The pellets are dried and sold as such or are pulverized. This powder is available in bulk, formatting capsules or tablets , or otherwise incorporated in various nutritional or therapeutic preparations.

In recent years, some manufacturers offer a flower pollen harvested by machine directly on flowers. This product has the advantage of only contain pollen from a particular plant species or group of selected, unlike the product collected by bees which includes all species of pollen species they foraged .

The manufacturers of this type of pollen (called "pollen of flowers") allege that their product does not cause allergic reactions associated with bee pollen, since it has not come into contact with insects and that contains, therefore, no specific allergens in bee products. That being said, we must still remember that the pollen itself is allergen for part of the population.

History of pollen
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It is not until the early XX th century that beekeepers have developed techniques to collect large amounts of bee pollen . The medicinal uses of this product are relatively recent. In China, bee pollen is one of several traditional medicinal preparations of which, for example, is supposed to improve memory in the elderly.

The methods for producing the " pollen of flowers "in substantial quantities were developed there forty years by a Swede called Cernelle, who gave his name to the most popular of such extracts or Cernilton and Cernitin® ®.

The popularity of the pollen has boomed in the 1970s when Olympic athletes (especially Soviet) assigned its "fabulous" performance. Subsequently, the development of techniques for progressive desensitization to allergens has opened another outlet for pollen.

Research on pollen
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Prostate disorders
Potential Effectiveness Benign prostatic hyperplasia. Systematic synthesis conducted with an extract of flower pollen rye (Cernilton®) clinical trials was published in 2000 1 . Authors scrutinized two placebo-controlled trials and two controlled trials involving a total of 444 Participants who were suffering from benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). They concluded that the Cernilton® reduced nocturia (emission largest urine at night than during the day, unlike the normal rhythm of urine output), but it does not have a positive effect on other symptoms of benign prostatic hypertrophy. According to them, other tests are needed to determine the right dosage.

Four trials have been conducted since, Russia 2.3 , and China 4.5 : the results are inconclusive, but we can not assess their methodological quality, because they have not been translated. According to one study, the optimal dosing Cernilton to reduce symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia and slow the progression of 750 mg per day in the long term 4 .

Note. Results obtained with this flower pollen extract rye or can not be extrapolated to bee pollen or other types of pollens.

Uncertain effectiveness Prostatitis. Results of a double-blind study on 60 subjects indicate that pollen extract (Prostat / Poltit®) can be useful in cases of chronic nonbacterial prostatitis 6 . Two trials in Russia on Cernilton® come to the same conclusion, but we can not assess their methodological quality, as they were published in Russian 2.3 .

Uncertain effectiveness Menopause. Results of a double-blind study with placebo (64 subjects) indicate that pollen extract (Femal®) can reduce hot flashes associated with menopause 7 . In 1994 and 2004, two clinical trials of a preparation containing royal jelly, pollen and vitamin C (Melbrosia®) gave good results in the reduction of many symptoms of menopause 8.9 . As this is a product containing other ingredients, it is unclear what role the pollen played during the study.

Ineffective Enhanced physical performance. Despite the allegations of many athletes to the effect that the pollen improve physical performance, the results of two clinical trials conducted in 90 sports and 1970 have apparently there was inconclusive . These tests have not been published but have been reported in an article in the New York Times in 1977 10 . In 1982, bee pollen, taken for 6 weeks, has not had a positive effect on performance young swimmers 11 . The authors still found that subjects who took pollen were absent less often workouts due to illness. Two other trials, published in 1978 and 1985, report insignificant results in athletes who took bee pollen for more than 10 weeks 11,12 .

Traditional use Seasonal allergies. therapists recommend that people allergic to take bee pollen preferably produced locally to treat their allergies. To our knowledge, there has been no clinical trials conducted to verify the effectiveness of pollen bee counter for this indication. In addition, the wide variability among products offered and difficulty accurately measure the administration of specific allergens are a number of limitations to the use of bee pollen immunotherapy. Especially since, even when administered at low doses, this product has already caused severe allergic reactions in some patients.

Since 2006, an immunotherapy treatment against grass pollen allergy ( hay fever ) is marketed in Europe. The Grazax®, available by prescription only, is in the form of sublingual tablets must be taken throughout the year. It contains an extract of pollen of timothy ( Phleum pratense ) and has been the subject of several clinical trials conclusive 13-15 .

For now, the effectiveness of Grazax®, has not yet been satisfactorily compared to that of a subcutaneous injections of conventional treatment based immunotherapy 16.17 . This drug is not approved in Canada.

Precautions
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Watch out
The pollen , whether or not originating in the hive is an allergenic substance that can trigger strong reactions in some people. This allergy can manifest suddenly in older people.
The safe use of pollen during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been established.
Cons-indications
People allergic to pollen or, in the case of bee pollen, bee products.
Adverse effects
The pollen can cause, even in low doses, itching, swelling and breathing difficulties or even anaphylaxis potentially fatal in people with allergies.
Interactions
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With plants or supplements
None known.
With drugs
Since it contains small amounts of immunostimulating substances, pollen can theoretically interfere with immunosuppressive drugs.
The opinion of our expert
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Note that the efficacy and safety of many plants and supplements are much better documented than those of pollen for different applications mentioned in this sheet.

Moreover, although the pollen contains many vitamins and minerals and other potentially beneficial substances, its content can vary significantly from one product to another and from one season to another. There is no guarantee that these substances are present in the right proportions to be useful to the human body. It can not therefore be regarded as a reliable extra nutrients, unlike a multivitamin, for example.

Because of the potential allergen pollen , I do not recommend to use this substance.

Sandra Miller, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University,
November 2009

On the shelves
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The pollen is a fragile substance, which must be harvested, cleaned and stored with care before being dried to keep well. It may be contaminated with residues hive with pesticides, fungi or bacteria 18 . It's best to buy a pollen producer whose contact information clearly displayed on the packaging if you want to know more about his working methods.

After harvest, the pollen is either frozen or dried. Frozen pollen, once thawed, will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator. It can also be dried: it then retains much longer, provided they are protected from moisture.

The pollen bees imported from countries where surveillance and health regulations are absent or inadequate may be contaminated. For example, in China, the hives can be painted with paints containing lead which can contaminate the pollen 19 .

Beware of health claims that link the pollen to a panacea and that the call "perfect food." It is indeed a perfect food, but ... for the bees, of course!

The Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission reminds American regular agenda manufacturers and distributors of pollen, because many of them are unfounded about the virtues of their product claims 20,21 . Some had to pay large fines for misleading statements 21 .

Article Wiki Closed - BEE POLLEN: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?
asked Aug 13, 2014 by Lancomega Level (10,245 points)
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