The human race has always turned to the environment when seeking answers to baffling questions as far back as the ancient times. The bee pollen is one of the natural ingredients that has provided answers to questions with regard to health problems. Today, it is considered as a food supplement that is highly beneficial to the user. It is marketed as excellent in antimicrobial effects and in antioxidant properties. In addition, it seems that bee pollen is also becoming more popular among individuals who are searching for miracle substances that can help them lose weight effectively.
But is there some truth about bee pollen’s benefits as a weight loss supplement?
What is bee pollen and what does it contain?
Aside from ants, some of the busiest workers of Mother Nature are the bees. They go out in the open fields and work hard to find the finest flower blooms so they can gather a lot of nectar, which they process into food. The food they make out of the nectar is then given to other bees inside the hive. They can go as far as several miles and yet remain efficient in bringing home the best nectar. This means that their nectar collection is composed of different varieties of flowers because they move from one type of flowering plant to another. Since they move, they buzz in the air and this allows them to catch other substances such as pollen. When they return home, their baskets are also filled with pollen.
A powdery substance, pollen can have a coarse or fine texture depending on the type of plant they came from. Each pollen has grains, which are referred to as the plant species’ male gametocytes. The other way to look at it is a sperm cells collection that must be deposited into another flower’s stigma. Those that bees are carrying are already called bee pollen.
One study revealed that bee pollens may contain:
- 1 to 32 percent fatty acids, which include oleic acid and linolenic acid
- 2 to 60 percent proteins, of which 40 to 60 percent are amino acids
- 3 to 10 percent minerals and vitamins
- 40 to 60 percent simple sugars like fructose and glucose
- at least 30 different bacteria species
- at least 190 different fungi species
The composition of every bee pollen has a noticeable substantial variability because the pollen came from different species of flowering plants. Bees, as widely known, are very fond of flowers with color yellow, white, purple and blue because they associate these colors to flowers that give them more amount of nectar. On the other hand, they hate flower petals that are packed tightly. They also hate those with color red.
Bee pollen, according to herbalists from all over the world, is one of the healthiest when it comes to the food supplements that any man can have. Anyone can manage numerous health problems when bee pollen is consumed. However, people in the medical field do not accept these claims because of lack of empirical studies that can support bee pollen as a beneficial natural substance.
But even so, there are people who attest to the effectiveness of bee pollen. They are those who have been using the substance for many years.
How can bee pollen aid in weight loss?
It is very important to look for a company that can provide you bee pollen with the best quality to ensure that you are getting the best results. A company of Chinese origin is not reputable when it comes to providing high quality bee pollen. Only bee pollens with good quality can effectively help you in losing weight. In addition, you should also carefully read the label because the product you are holding may contain phenolphthalein, sibutramine, and other banned substances. These banned substances are effective in helping users burn more fat but they also have undesirable negative effects. So make sure that you buy from a reputable seller. If you can’t be sure about the seller, there is nothing wrong in choosing sensible exercise and eating habits as ways to lose weight.
Going back to bee pollen, here are the ways an unadulterated bee pollen is said to be effective in burning fats and help you losing weight in the process:
1. Increases the metabolic rate of the body.
Increasing the rate of metabolism of the body is one of the known benefits of bee pollen when it comes to weight loss. This results to heat generation that requires more amount of energy to keep metabolism going. Sounds complicated? It’s simple.
Let’s say, for example, you are driving your truck or SUV and you will use 1 gallon to travel 25 miles as you normally do. However, you have a mobile home that you have to tow to a resort at a lakeside. You of course won’t get the same mileage, will you? Your engine will have to work twice as hard because of the motor home’s added weight. It will have to burn more fuel to be able to do so. Hypothetically, let’s say that the 25 miles your engine can travel is now reduced to just 15 miles. That is a 10-mile reduction. If there is 100 miles between your mobile home and the resort, then you will have to use 4 gallons of fuel. But then again, you are towing a heavy mobile home. This will require your engine to use 2.67 gallons of fuel, which is more than the usual amount you use. It is also equivalent to 6.67 gallons.
We can say that the truck is your body while the engine’s work is your metabolism. You need more fuel to increase metabolism or work. As a human, you get the fuel from food. The dilemma, however, is that the food you consumed will require a long time before it can be converted into chemical energy. During the waiting time, the body has to look for other sources of fuel and that is the stored fat. With this, it is just correct to say that if you don’t consume anything and you also have higher metabolic rate, then a greater amount of your stored fats will be burned and converted into fuel. This is the way by which high rate of metabolism is helping you lose weight.
Bee pollen products have a wide variety of chemical constituents, which make it difficult to really pinpoint how bee pollens are capable of increasing the rate of metabolism. It is not like other products such as coffee that, whatever is the product brand, contain the same ingredient active in providing people with benefits.
Though it’s hard to support the claim of bee pollen’s ability to increase metabolic rate, there are anecdotal evidences that can provide explanations that are truly plausible. It is you who will decide whether or not you will believe the claim.
2. It acts as appetite suppressant.
There are several mechanisms that can help you suppress your appetite. Serotonin is claimed to have a huge role in the suppression of our appetite. Bee pollens have substances that specifically help in the increased production of serotonin. These substances also increase the amount that can be released.
We can say that a dish is good just from the way it is presented. If it looks appetizing, then we will think that it’s going to taste good. Dopamine is responsible for this reaction. It is a neurotransmitter that is associated to feelings of pleasure. When we start to taste the flavor of the food, which includes its texture and aroma, our brain receives a signal to release more dopamine. This results to a tendency to eat more of the food. But this is not always the case. Serotonin is also produced to stimulate the nerve cell receptors that produce dopamine. When this happens, production of dopamine is stopped. This is when we feel like we already had enough of the dish we are eating.
Bee pollen acts as an appetite suppressant in a way that it increases serotonin secretion, which also increases stimulation of the nerve cells that produces dopamine. This results to dampened dopamine action. The brain will then signal that we already have a full stomach. The overall effect is that we won’t crave for more of the dish. We’ll be able to consume less than the amount we normally eat. The ultimate result is less calories taken inside the body and, therefore, no fat will be stored. When there is fewer stored fat we will have a leaner body.
But when the need arises, the body will resort to the stored fat if it requires more energy than it usually does.
Unfortunately, the claims above are not supported by any clinical evidence. This is because one bee pollen product has different chemical composition compared to other bee pollen products. We have to go back to the fact that a pollen is composed of different types of gametocyte molecules as they came from flower stamens of different plants. Undeniably, each pollen can be hugely different to the other pollens in terms of chemical composition. Scientists have been pointing this out previously. It is very difficult to establish an irrefutable certainty about pollens having the same active ingredients and chemicals because there is no way it can be done.
However, it can be said that bee pollen is effective in significantly reducing appetite as attested to by the many user testimonials. We can say that serotonin has something to do with the appetite suppression.
The stimulation of substances that are leptin-like is another plausible explanation. These substances are like leptin in their actions and they are a product of fat cells or adipocytes. When the brain receives leptin it tells the body that there is still enough amount of energy that are specifically stored inside the abdominal cavity’s inner lining and in the skin’s subcutaneous tissues. As a result, the brain is instructed to not trigger the alarm for hunger. This prevents the body to have the tendency to eat. Hunger pangs are toned down as an effect. If there’s leptin in our brain and at the same we’re hungry, we won’t actually feel the hunger because there is enough supply of energy as the brain is told.
Like the other claims above, there is no plausible explanation and clinical evidence that can support bee pollen’s role as one of the best appetite suppressants. Again, there are only experiences as told by those who use bee pollen.
3. Reduces the intake of calorie.
A benefit that is related closely to the appetite suppressant role of bee pollen, reduction of calorie intake is very easy to understand. Because you won’t have appetite for eating, then you will eat less of the dish presented to you. As a consequence, you take in fewer calories. Less food consumed mean less calories taken inside the body.
But this is not always the case. The body has the ability to correct itself as it is programmed to do so. It will adjust its metabolic rate automatically if it is sensing that it is not receiving sufficient energy from food. As much as it can, it will try to conserve energy. This is to convert the little food you eat into molecules that are dense in energy. In this way, the body is able to store energy for use in the future.
However, this won’t work for a long time. Metabolic abnormalities and malnutrition are going to be the result of prolonged starvation. When there are no more glycogen and fat reserves and you are not eating to replace the burned reserves, then your body will burn proteins. This will result to emaciated appearance and muscle wasting.
Yes, you can lose weight through a low-calorie diet but you should do it in a way that the body is still receiving the nutrients that are essential for it to survive. This is where the claim of herbalists comes in. They say that bee pollens are nutrient-dense and are packed with essential substances even if consumed in small amounts. It will already keep the body functional. If this is the case, then you can definitely lose weight without doing your body harm.
4. Burns fat more efficiently.
The ability to increase mobilized fat breakdown is related closely to bee pollen’s ability to boost the metabolic rate of the body. Technically speaking, you are also stimulating the autonomic nervous system whenever you increase your rate of metabolism. This leads to the release of neurotransmitters that effectively activate hormone and neurologic systems. Norepinephrine is one of the hormones released and it helps in increasing the discharge of stored fats. This happens through the process called gluconeogenesis or the process of stored fats being converted into energy that is usable.
When looking for energy, another mechanism that the body does is to convert stored glycogen into usable energy through the action of glucagon. It should be emphasized though that it is only secondary to the metabolism of fat. The reason is the fact that energy in highly concentrated forms are contained in fat molecules. A fat molecule has more than twice the energy a carbohydrate molecule contains. This is why the body utilizes fat when looking for stored energy.
Fat breakdown and usage become faster when there is increased metabolism. This is one way we benefit from the weight loss wonders of bee pollens.
What are the other benefits of bee pollen?
Aside from weight loss, bee pollen has other benefits such as:
- immune enhancer
The Bottom Line
Unlike weight loss benefit that does not have any clinical evidence, these other benefits have documents that can prove the effectiveness of bee pollen. There are numerous studies that have been conducted and showed that bee pollen truly has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. Plant flavonoids are some of the excellent antioxidant that bee pollens contain. These are beneficial in the fight against aging. In addition, these flavonoids can also boost the function and activity of the immune system because of the mineral and vitamin content. Because the effects of pro-inflammatory substances are dampened, these flavonoids are able to reduce inflammatory processes and thus, improve the condition of the immune system.