Bee Pollen Health Facts I
Bee Pollen is one of the richest natural foods ever discovered, and the incredible nutritional and medicinal value of pollen has been known for thousands of years.
Bee pollen grains contain the male germ cells that are produced by all flowering plant species. It plays an essential role in the fertilization and propagation of these plants.
One teaspoonful of bee pollen contains approximately 1,200 pellets or 2.5 billion grains, each of which has the capacity to supply those factors that are necessary in order to fertilize and reproduce the particular plant species that it represents (such as a fruit, grain, flower, or tree). Pollen is composed of myriads of microspores that are produced in the anthers of flowers and in the cones of conifers. Each grain measures approximately .002 inches in diameter and each bee-collected pellet contains approximately two million grains of pollen.
Bees are extremely discriminate about selecting the best pollen from the millions of grains that are present. Of these, only two types are found, namely, anemophile pollen grains (which are not collected by bees, and produce allergic reactions) and entomophile pollen grains (which are collected by bees, and possess greater nutrient content). It is apparent that the bees only select those grains of pollen that are rich in all the nutrients, especially nitrogenous materials. The bees mix the pollen grains with a sticky substance that is secreted from their stomachs, which allows the pollen to adhere to their rear legs in “pollen baskets” in order to safely transport it to their hives.
Bee pollen contains the richest known source of vitamins, minerals, proteins, amino acids, hormones, enzymes and fats, as well as significant quantities of natural antibiotics. Most of the known vitamins in pollen exist in perfect proportion, which further enhances their value.
The protein content of bee pollen (including certain peptones and gloculins) ranges from 10 to 35 percent (according to its plant origin). Forty to fifty percent of this may be in the form of free amino acids. All pollens contain the exact same number of 22 amino acids, yet different species produce varying amounts. The amino acids found in whole dry pollen fluctuate between 10 and 13 percent (26.88% protein or albuminous substances). This equals from 5 to 7 times the amino acid content found in equal weights of beef, milk, eggs or cheese.
Bee pollen contains from 10 to 15 percent natural sugars, including fructose, glucose, pentose, raffinose, stachyose and sucrose. These are essentially the same simple natural sugars that are found in honey, and which exist in easily-digested chains and bonds. Many are converted to a predigested form by the enzymatic action of the bee’s salivary glands.
The highly-resistant exterior wall membranes of bee pollen are composed of sporonine and cellulose. Until recently, this complex carbohydrate was unextractable from pollen and was the major cause of low bioavailability and rare allergic reactions to bee pollen which some people experienced.
Bee pollen also contains lecithin, amines, nuclein, guanine, xanthine, hypoxanthine, vernine, waxes, gums, resins, hydrocarbons (0.57%), sterols (0.6%), polypeptides, DNA, ribose, desoxyribose, hexuronic acid, vegetable oils (5% average) and various growth factors.
Certain enzymes are also present in bee pollen, and are the essential biological catalysts during the digestive process (bee pollen also aids in the proper digestion of other foods). The enzymes found in bee pollen include amylase, catalase, cozymase, cytochrome, dehydrogenase, diaphorase, diastase, lactic acids, pectase and phosphatase.
The water content of fresh bee pollen ranges from 3 to 20 percent. This water content must be carefully removed by proper dehydration methods (desiccation) in order to retain its fragile elements, as well as to preserve the total integrity of its properties.
Bee pollen also contains active antibiotic substances that immediately destroy harmful pathogenic bacteria upon contact.
Bee pollen usually contains nectar and saliva. When mixed with honey, this pollen may be stored in comb cells where it undergoes a lactic acid fermentation process in order to produce “bee bread” (which contains high levels of vitamin E and K).
Bee pollen is superior to both honey and royal jelly, and possesses a similar (but more stable) composition to that of royal jelly. The overall stability of bee pollen is more advantageous when used in dietetics, as well as an effective form of skin care during corrective dermatology. Since pollen contains fatty acids, this may account for its favorable effect upon the skin and dermal tissues. The anti-fungal action in human perspiration is due to the presence of certain fatty acids such as caprylic, propionic and undecyclenic acids.
Many of the active ingredients in bee pollen consist of substances (such as hormones) that accelerate plant growth.