Bee Pollen and Weight Loss
Bee pollen contains active ingredients which may assist in weight loss and weight regulation*.
There have been many documented studies showing bee pollen to be beneficial to weight loss and weight regulation, but what is it specifically about this product that may help you lose weight?
Many of the clinical studies of bee pollen have focused on the following:
Metabolism – how it impacts the rate at which your body burns fat.
Ergogenic Properties – maximizing energy usage, increasing stamina and endurance during physical activity.
Appetite suppression – and also the reduction of cravings for food and other addictive substances.
It is important to remember that bee pollen is actually a food, indeed some refer to it as a ‘super-food’. The nutrients it contains are very concentrated meaning that even small amounts may provide effective and valuable levels of nutritional support – these nutrients include antioxidants, bioflavonoids and polyphenols in particular, along with lecithin and a substance called rutin.
These essential components of nutrition are often deficient or missing entirely from modern diets since we generally incorporate too few of the recommended daily amounts of fruits and vegetables into our diet, and because the foods we do eat in many cases are nutritionally deficient.
Weight Loss Specifics
Foods are digested and enter the bloodstream at a specific rate, termed the Glycemic Index. The substance with the highest glycemic index rating is sugar (100). Food substances with higher GI’s cause a high rise in the creation of insulin, which is essentially a delivery system hormone for the storage of fats. Ingesting foods with a lower GI (proteins, fibers and certain fats with a positive nutritional benefit) help balance and control the release of insulin and go some way towards minimizing the creation and retention of unwanted body fat.
Bee Pollen and weight loss – Our body processes all nutrients and deals with them according to the type and quantity consumed. Consumption rates for calorie-bearing nutrients, coupled with the rate of our physical activity and metabolism, will generally determine whether we create fat, maintain our body weight or use stored fat to fuel activity, thus losing weight.
However, we can help our body become more efficient in processing certain nutrient types and certain food types. By supplementing our food intake with certain nutrient combinations, we may be able to create an environment where we become more efficient at processing carbohydrates, fats and sugars, and may be able to minimize under some circumstances the production of excessive body fat.
Bee Pollen may help us create a more efficient environment for weight management. It contains over 5,000 enzymes and co-enzymes, considerably more than is present in any other food. These enzymes are necessary in the body for digestive function and immune function. These enzymes are considered important in creating a chemical balance and assisting the metabolism. This ‘balancing’ or ‘regulating’ function may be the key factor in bee pollen’s ability to assist in weight regulation*.
Ingesting bee pollen in supplement form can be a great way of assisting the body in processing and ‘burning’ carbohydrates and converting calories into energy, and it can also supplement nutritional intake in certain areas that are inadequately catered for by the foods that we eat – providing the essential vitamins and minerals that are deficient in processed foods.
Bee pollen is an excellent source of protein and fatty acids which have a low GI rating and do not elevate levels of insulin – it is also high in lecithin which helps break down fats.
But doesn’t that suggests one may need to replace a significant amount of what we eat with this product, for it to be effective?
Actually no, not necessarily. The issue comes about through our requirement for key nutrients. Most of the processed foods that are featured predominantly in western diets are nutrient deficient and high in calories.
Think about white breads, pasta, rice, and almost any food that comes to you in a packet. Our body requires nutrients to function healthily and it can’t get the nutrients it needs from these empty calories, so it encourages you to continue eating beyond the point where you’ve consumed sufficient foods to meet your energy demands.
So the excess food is simply converted to body fat and stored on your hips and thighs! But by simply adding a nutritionally dense ‘super-food‘ to your diet, you may find that your body reaches its target nutrient intake with a far lower rate of calorie consumption – put another way, it requires you to eat less.
How to take bee pollen
When taking bee pollen as a diet supplement, it is best consumed an hour or so before meals. You should then respond to your body’s signals and not succumb to your normal eating habits. If you are taking a substance which suppresses appetite, yet continue to eat the same sized food portions, then the appetite suppressing properties of the bee pollen are not going to be effective for you. Stop eating when your hunger is satiated, regardless of having food left on the plate. The following day, serve yourself a smaller food portion.
In support of this – S. Blauer (Hippocrates Health Institute) “Bee pollen minimizes, reduces or eliminates the normal person’s cravings for heavy concentrated protein… [Bee Pollen] aids in the digestion of other food”
When investigating its role as a natural appetite suppressant, Dr. J. Chen and Dr. L. Chu (Aerospace Medicine & Life Sciences), “… found the average daily food consumption in the substance fed group was generally 15-20% less.”
Where body weight is normal, and there is no desire to loose weight, it may be consumed with, or directly following a meal.
So what’s the catch? – well, it’s a VERY BIG one. When you’re eating reasonably healthily you may wonder why you’re not getting the nutrient content that you need. We start the day with a glass of OJ, we eat our fiber breads, drink our milk and appear on the surface to be consuming a fairly healthy and balanced assortment of foods.
The problem is two-fold.
Firstly, due to modern crop-growing practices and the over-utilization of growing land, even ‘healthy’ foods can be nutrient deficient.
Secondly, in many cases our foods have been pasteurized and/or irradiated before landing on our tables. Pasteurization of milks and natural fruit juices is a legal requirement in the USA, and many vegetable products are irradiated to reduce bacterial content for storage and transportation. Yes, even fresh fruits and vegetables in many instances are irradiated and/or treated with chemicals at source.
What has this to do with bee pollen, I thought that’s the reason we SHOULD take it? Yes, provided it hasn’t been irradiated or heat treated – if it has, you’re back to square one in the sense that your body is not getting what it needs from it.
How to shop for bee pollen.
Find a trustworthy supplier / manufacturer, one who uses domestic USA ingredients and has the knowledge and expertise specific to processing food products for the vitamin supplement industry.
If the stuff you are buying presently is from a major chain or online pharmacy, and you’re paying $5 to $10 a bottle, then you can bet that it originated overseas and its quality and nutritional integrity cannot be relied upon. In fact, in February 2015 the results were published on a study instigated by the New York Attorney General’s office into the contents and labeling of popular brand name supplements found at the larger chain stores such as Walmart and Walgreen. The study concluded that “Overall, just 21% of the test results from store brand herbal supplements verified DNA from the plants listed on the labels. The retailer with the poorest showing was Walmart. Only 4% of the Walmart products tested showed DNA from the plants listed on the labels”. You can read a more comprehensive report here.
If you’d like to read about a very specific example of how bee pollen, coupled with a number of key lifestyle changes, helped someone to lose a large amount of body fat, and increase all around health and vitality, then take a read of this weight loss journal here.
Bee Pollen Supplements – Side Effects and Negative Reactions
We’ve covered the most commonly requested information relating to bee pollen supplements and weight loss, but many people ask us about their side effects and if they may cause any negative reactions when consumed. The fact is that all foods (bee pollen is classed as a food and not a vitamin or herb) can cause negative reactions in certain individuals, and bee pollen is no different in this regard. In terms of documented reactions, there are actually very few. Considering some food products like peanuts, eggplant etc, which have many thousands of documented cases of negative reaction, bee pollen is actually statistically very safe in comparison.
But there will be some individuals with whom bee pollen causes a negative reaction or side effect, so it’s important to understand how to take it and what to look for. Firstly, all supplements should be taken under some form of medical supervision, particularly if you are very young, old, pregnant / nursing or have other ailments or are taking any other medication. Talk with your health practitioner first and seek their advice. The newer generation of Doctors seem to be more receptive to the use of natural health products, which is certainly a significant step forward, in my opinion. In most cases your practitioner won’t discourage you for embarking on any journey towards dieting and losing excess weight, unless he/she knows of a specific concern.
Start of with small doses of the product, if you haven’t taken it before or haven’t taken it recently. Quite often you can place a small amount on the back of your tongue and you’ll feel a mild burning or itching sensation as a warning of a potential negative reaction. Clearly, if this happens you should discontinue use. There are some cases where this simple test may not actually prove helpful. For example, royal jelly can have a slightly acidic quality which causes a sensation on the tongue almost like course ground black pepper, where there’s a slight burning sensation. Clearly this would be normal and not necessarily a sign of an intolerance to the product.
If you begin taking the product, and it doesn’t agree with you, then there are a couple of signs that are more commonly reported than others. –
Hives – a slight reddening or patchiness on the skin, usually the face, is reported from people who have negative reactions to bee products.
Stomach cramps – if you feel any cramping in the stomach then cease taking the product.
These are extremely rare side effects, in the overwhelming majority of cases bee pollen and other bee products can be taken safely.
If in doubt, seek help and always err on the side of caution in all matters concerning your health.
At The Natural Shopper, we don’t make a song and dance about nutritional integrity then sell something which has been heavily processed, pasteurized or heat treated. Our goal is to retain our customers and we can only do that if we supply products which provide the user with a real and tangible benefit.
We offer a variety of products containing premium quality domestic USA bee pollens, and also several combination bee products which utilize other potent herbs.
Ranked in order of effectiveness for weight loss and weight management:
#1 Symbiolean™ – bee pollen blended with royal jelly, propolis, green tea extract, apple cider vinegar, dandelion root and honey. Buy it here.
#2 Total Bee Plus – royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and honey – the original combination bee supplement! Buy it here.
#3 Bee Pollen Whole Grain Granules in a capsule – pure whole grain bee pollen, with nothing added. Capsulated for convenience and to retain freshness. Buy it here.
#4 – Bulk whole grain bee pollen granules – fresh and potentiated for digestive assimilation. Buy it here.
We firmly believe that though bee pollen is beneficial in single form, a combination supplement provides so much more than the sum of the individual parts.
In combining the four beehive ingredients into one ‘Symbiolean™‘ capsule, and including the added weight loss benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, Green Tea and Dandelion Root, we offer the full spectrum of vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids in a convenient and affordable format. And of course we operate with the same degree of care when we’re processing/selecting our royal jelly, propolis and honey ingredients as we do with our pollens.
As a complete supplement, the benefits of Symbiolean™ may extend to energy, health and general wellness, including weight regulation and natural weight loss.