Don’t Believe the Buzz

Photo by Shannon Deuel

If you have been somewhere that sells açai bowls, an all-organic health store or a farmer’s market, you have likely seen all the hype about bee pollen. According to claims circling the internet, it’s super healthy and you should be including it into your diet. There are assertions that ingesting bee pollen can strengthen your immune system, provide you with energy, cure and prevent colds, aid in the weight loss process and even help you become immune to allergies.

This is a textbook case of the age-old saying “don’t believe everything you hear on the internet.”

Michele Briggs, owner of Nature’s Pantry in State College, says that for each of these claims, “the science behind it is very weak” at this point in time. Michele says that bee pollen is high in protein and is known to be nutrient dense for its weight, but the other claims have not yet been concretely backed up by science.

Briggs says that when it comes to bee pollen most people are “trying to use it in their diet to inoculate themselves against allergies.” It is said that by consuming the pollen you are training your body to stop reacting to allergens with histamine.

If you choose to believe the hype, bee pollen is available for consumption in pill, powder or liquid forms. Many people enjoy buying it in granules and sprinkling it over foods such as yogurt or cereal, as it is known to have a sweet taste.

Though there is little research on the subject, Briggs says that “no harm in taking it” other than the possibility of having an allergic reaction to the substance, though she has never seen it happen in her experience.

So, the moral of the story is that until the magical science world conducts more research on the topic, you can try using bee pollen at your own risk. If you do want to try incorporating bee pollen into your diet, make sure you buy a local pollen so that you will be possibly protecting yourself against the local allergens.