by Angela Van Alten, Nutritionist and Beekeeper's Daughter
I receive quite a few testimonials about the results that people from around the world obtain using bee pollen. The word 'magical' has been used more than once...
After reading this study published in the Chemistry Central Journal, I truly feel that we are one step closer to understanding why it is that bee pollen does what it does for so many people. This study without question sheds more light on exactly what it is in bee pollen that allows it to have some many health benefits.
These scientists set out to evaluate the chemical composition and the biological activity of bee pollen (in this study they used a Greek source). Basically, they wanted to further break bee pollen down and examine more closely what it is comprised of and also how it acts when exposed to certain compounds like bacteria or fungus.
What they found was that the pollen showed, in their terms, "interesting antioxidant properties." (this is scientific jargon for "it did really cool things against things that age you") Due to these "interesting properties," they decided to look further at the bee pollen and did further chemical analysis.
In doing so, they found a whole bunch of exciting, powerful, health promoting compounds in bee pollen including seven flavonoids along with sugars, lipid acids, and phenolic acids. While these may sound foreign to most of us, these compounds have been show to possess tremendous health properties and benefits.
The scientists also found that bee pollen had "interesting anti-microbial" properties (an anti-microbial is a substance that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, or protozoans). While they didn't go into detail, this suggests that bee pollen may help keep your immune system up and running and in tip top shape! It protects you...
Chemists from Portugal and Algeria, led by Ana Oliveira-Brett from the University of Coimbra, discovered some unique 'life extending' properties of bee pollen. While developing an analytical process for investigating the antioxidant properties of bee products, they discovered that the extracted polyphenols of bee pollen possessed high levels of antioxidant activity.
Testing of different pollen samples revealed that bee pollen contains a wide range of polyphenols, including several health boosting anthocyanidins and flavanols.
The chemists also conducted the gel electrophoresis step. Gel electrophoresis is a technique used to analyze DNA. This test revealed that bee pollen helped to protect the DNA from damage by soaking up reactive oxygen species.
The researchers from the Greek study concluded that "bee pollen could improve the effects of ageing and well-being" and that it should "be given careful consideration in the future through further scientific research."
A very strong statement in support of bee pollen as an anti-aging compound, to say the least. Scientists don't tend to get excited about research and make suggestions about anti-aging such as these very often. Perhaps they've simply discovered something that Eddy T., a regular reader of this site, has known for quite some time...
"My wife is 63 and looks like she is in her 40's. (this from her friend's compliments) She can still wear the same dresses she wore 35 years ago when first met me. Her secret - she and I started taking bee pollen 30 years ago."
Natural Product Research, Volume 21, Issue 8 July 2007, pages 726-732