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Sport and fitness

Bee bread stimulates anabolic processes in the human body. The amino acid profile is a precursor to the synthesis of human growth hormone (HGH). It contains a gonadotropic hormone, very similar to the human pituitary hormone gonadotropin, which functions as a sex gland hormone (e.g. testosterone) (Pathak, 2016). Furthermore, bee bread regulates and enhances protein metabolism (Denisow et al., 2016), strengthens muscle function and increases body mass (Salles et al. 2014). Research shows that the product has high nutritional value as well as a property of fast supplementing nutritional deficiencies (Tikhonov et al., 2006; Attia et al., 2011). In combination with the high levels of vitamin D3, considered a true steroid hormone (Cutolo et al., 2014), bee bread becomes a powerful anabolic stimulator and recovery tool.

Daily doses of 0.25 to 0.5g to a kilogram (2.20 lbs.) of bodyweight significantly enhances muscle gains, stamina, and resilience of athletes, especially in aerobic sports (football/soccer, running, cycling, swimming, tennis, etc.). Moreover, the body does not lose energy when absorbing bee bread. In contrast to artificial fitness supplements, it does not burden the liver and does not form internal body fat around organs (Uzbekova et al., 2003). A number of studies conducted on professional athletes confirm the positive effect on performance and recovery (Asafova et al., 2001; Nechaeva, 2009). Therefore, regular intake is extremely beneficial to individuals who undertake hard physical and mental work (Nakajima et al., 2009; Carpes et al., 2007; Tikhonov et al., 2006).

Weight loss

Additionally, hormones such as insulin, testosterone and thyroxine contained in bee bread, stimulate lipid metabolism (Manning, 2001; Juzwiak et al., 1989). Fibres also act to restrain appetite and create a sense of fullness (Burton-Freeman, 2000). Therefore, bee bread supports fat-loss and weight control.

Energy booster

Research proves pollen has a high nutritional value as well as a property of fast supplementing the nutritional deficiencies in animals’ organisms. The components playing the vital role in the process are dispensable amino acids, vitamins, and simple sugars which make bee bread a powerful energy booster (Attia et al., 2011; Khalil et al., 2010; Tikhonov et al. 2009).

Nervous system

Bee bread has numerous positive effects on the nervous system as well. It improves memory due to the increase in the levels of red blood cells and creatinine (Iversen et al., 1997). Due to its nutritional and tonic properties alongside the improvements in blood supply, it boosts mental capacity and strengthens the nervous system (Wojcicki, 1989; Wojcicki, 1991).

Anti-depressant

Long-term intake of bee bread, even in small doses enables gradual mood improvement, restores desire to live and reinforces the organism physically.

Moreover, anti-depressants are usually MAO enzyme inhibitors. Bee bread constrains MAO secretion and strongly empowers the effect of antidepressants in a short period of time, thus allowing for lower doses (Yildiz et al., 2014).

These properties make the product effective in treating physical and mental overtiredness, asthenia, apathy and depression (Wojcicki, 1991).

Overall health

Bee bread has numerous positive effects on the overall health. It improves the functioning of the cardiovascular system, serves as an anticarcinogen, protects the liver, regulates the immune system, prevents allergic reactions, has positive effect on the nervous system, improves gut and gastroenterological health and stimulates the reproductive system. The article now explores these properties one at a time.

Effects on the cardiovascular system.

Bee bread acts as a hypolipidaemic, mainly ascribed to it because of the presence of unsaturated fatty acids, phospholipids, and phytosterols (Samochowiec et al. 1981). It decreases the total content of lipids, triacylglycerol and cholesterol (Polanski et al., 1998; Samochowiec et al., 1981). In patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases, scientists observe that bee bread reduces blood viscosity and effectively decreases plaque formations and platelet aggregation (Pascoal et al., 2014; Yakusheva, 2010). It stimulates the activity of the fibrinolytic system as well, which also controls platelet aggregation. Additionally, bee bread works well in postinfarction conditions as well as in systemic circulation disorders and arterial hypertension (Wang et al., 1987). Accordingly, the blood-thinning, antiplaque and antiplatelet properties make bee bread a great antiatherosclerotic which protects from heart diseases and brain strokes (Samochowiec et al. 1981).

Bee bread also induces a rise in red blood cells (Chauvin, 1968), increases hemoglobin and the digestive absorption of iron (Haro et al., 2010). Therefore, it can be highly beneficial to people suffering from anemia (Bogdanov, 2017).

Effects on the gut and gastroenterological health

Bee bread consists of a complex of various live ferments; thus, it acts as a powerful probiotic (Vasquez et al., 2009; Yerlikaya, 2014). Moreover, the rich fiber complex stimulates the healthy functioning of the gut (Spiller et al., 2001). Numerous clinical studies show positive effects on several gastroenterological disorders such as diarrhea, colitis, enteritis, chronic constipation and ulcer (Bogdanov, 2017:21).

Liver protection, antioxidizing and detoxifying effect

The bioactive substances in bee bread improve liver function (Uzbekova et al., 2003). Antioxidative effects (inactivation of oxygen radicals) of bee bread is attributed to the activity of antioxidant enzymes as well as to the content of secondary plant metabolites such as phenolic substances, carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione (Carpes et al., 2007; Eraslan et al., 2009). They support electrophile inactivation and free radical scavenging, thus preventing mutagen formation (Pascoal et al., 2014). Bee bread lowers pathological levels of enzymes in individuals poisoned with organic compounds or drugs (Uzbekova et al., 2003). Moreover, studies show flavonoids bind metal ions hence they cleanse heavy metal or pesticide intoxication (Pascoal et al., 2014; Linskens et al., 1997). Therefore, bee bread is recommended in acute and chronic inflammatory conditions, initial degenerative conditions, and cholestatic liver diseases as well as in toxic and post-traumatic damage to the organ (Wojcicki et al., 1985).

Anticarcinogenic activity

Several studies show that bee bread has antimutagenic properties in certain types of cancer (Munsted et al. 2009; Furusawa et al. 1995; Abdella et al., 2009). These activities are based on its powerful antioxidant functions, i.e. suppression of oxygen reactive species (ROS) formation and removal or their deactivation (Szczesna, 2006; Pascoal et al., 2014; Campos et al., 2003). Reports also reveal the ability of the product to induce apoptosis and stimulate secretion of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) (Wu et al., 2007). Thus, bee bread and its cytotoxic activity inhibits the development of cancer cells (Pascoal et al., 2014).

Anti-allergenic

Bee bread also enhances anti-allergic reactions by inhibiting activation of mast cells (Ishikawa et al., 2008). This anti-allergic property is expressed by prevention of IgE binding to its receptor (FcϵRI) and inhibition of histamine secretion, the main factor for an allergic response.

Natural, Raw and Vegan

Honey bees do not consume raw pollen as collected in the field. Instead, pollen is stored in comb cells with little bee saliva and is then sealed with a drop of honey (Gilliam, 1979a). Stored in this manner it undergoes a fermentation process and thus becomes what is called bee pollen or bee bread (Herbert and Shimanuki, 1978; Bogdanov, 2017). The various biochemical transformations break down the walls of flower pollen grains and therefore make the effect of the product much more powerful and nearly 100% absorbable by the human organism (Mutsaers et al., 2005; Zuluaga et al., 2015).

Bee bread is therefore naturally produced, extremely potent in its raw form and as bees cannot be artificially forced into making it, it is vegan as well.

Immunostimulator

Bee bread strengthens the immune system – it makes the human body more resistant to harmful physical, chemical and biological factors (da Silva et al., 2014). It stimulates the humoral immune response and changes reaction of delayed-type hypersensitivity (Dudov et al., 1994). Bee bread serves antibacterial and antifungal functions (Pascoal et al., 2014).

These effects are associated with the property of glucose oxidase, an enzyme produced by honeybees (Campos et al., 2008). It has also been shown that microbiological activity is related to phenolic acids and flavonoids as they destroy bacterial and fungal cells’ cytoplasm membrane (Erkmen et al., 2008).

Substantial evidence suggests that pollen compounds (e.g. polyphenols or flavonoids) exert beneficial effects on numerous cells (i.e. macrophages, T cells, B cells, NK cells, hepatocytes, mast cells, basophils, neutrophils, eosinophils), which play a crucial role in host defence against invading pathogens and in inflammatory processes (Campos et al., 1997; Pascoal et al., 2014). The anti-inflammatory property of flavonoids is owed to quercetin, known to inhibit arachidonic acid metabolism (Middleton, 1998). A decrease in the arachidonic acid level reduces the level of proinflammatory prostaglandins and provides the anti-inflammatory effect (Rzepecka-Stojko et al., 2012). As a result, scientists observe positive effects on pain relief (Salles et al., 2014; Bogdanov, 2014). Another important effect on cell function is the capacity to stimulate or inhibit protein phosphorylation and thereby to modify cell signalling pathways, including inhibition of cell proliferation (Richardson et al., 2000; Szczesna, 2006).

The anti-inflammatory effect is also related to the presence of fatty acids and phytosterols, which are active in the anti-inflammatory process (Pascoal et al., 2014; Choi, 2007). Bee bread is particularly beneficial in removing swellings of cardiovascular and renal origin (Yakusheva, 2010). Generally, the anti-inflammatory capabilities of bee bread is compared to such non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as naproxen, analgin, phenylbutazone or indomethacin (Pascoal et al., 2014). Complementing conventional therapy with bee bread also improves the condition of patients with asthma (Burke et al., 2010).

Antibiotic activity

Bee bread is a powerful natural antibiotic effective on the pathogen for human Gram-positive bacteria, for example, Staphylococcus aureus, and Gram-negative bacteria, including Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeurgionsa, and on fungi such as Candida albicans. The responsibility for this activity lies in flavonoids and phenolic acids (Derochette et al., 2013; Carpes et al., 2007). Its effects are comparable to such nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as naproxen, analgin, phenylbutazone, or indomethacin (Pascoal et al., 2014).

Probiotic

A wonderful probiotic complex that contains over 50 live ferments, 24 of which are Lactobacillus species (Herbert and Shimanuki, 1978; Bogdanov, 2017).

Rejuvenation

Thanks to the large amount of vitamins A, B, E, C, folic acid, and amino acid complex, bee bread helps tissue recovery.

What is more, kaempferol, a bioactive substance found in bee bread, inhibits two enzymes: hyaluronidase, the enzyme which catalyzes the degradation of hyaluronic acid; and elastase, which breaks down elastin (responsible for strengthening of the connective tissue and sealing of blood vessels). This results in decreased transudation, inflammatory reactions and swells. Blood circulation also improves and, therefore, the skin becomes moistened and tight (Bogdanov, 2014; Sahin et al., 2014; Kanashiro et al., 2007).

Bee pollen is a valuable dietary supplement. Experiments reveal organisms fed with pollen show a higher vitamin C and magnesium content in thymus, heart muscle, and skeletal muscles as well as a higher hemoglobin content and a greater number of red blood cells when compared to animals given standard feed. Moreover, pollen also lengthened the lifespan of experimental animals (Oliveira et al., 2009; Attia et al., 2011; Khalil et al., 2010). In starved animals and those being on a nonvitamin diet, pollen caused faster weight gains than a normal diet. Research proves that pollen has a high nutritional value as well as a property of fast supplementing the nutritional deficiencies in animals’ organisms. Bee bread’s nutritional properties and the metabolism regulating processes are applicable in the cases of children’s lack of appetite, developmental delay, and malnutrition of children and adults. Moreover, pollen is recommended in recovery periods, after surgeries and to people who exert physical and mental activities (Oliveira et al., 2009; Attia et al., 2011; Khalil et al., 2010).

Aphrodisiac

The multi-profile nutritional properties of bee bread strengthen the whole organism (Salles et al., 2014). The rich vitamin complex, in combination with the amino acids naturally increases the body's secretion of testosterone (Manning, 2001; Cutolo et al., 2014). Furthermore, in females, bee bread is a stimulant of progesterone and estradiol (Kolesarova et al., 2013). Therefore, the product not only rouses sexual desire but also improves sexual performance.

Bee pollen is a valuable dietary supplement. Experiments reveal organisms fed with pollen show a higher vitamin C and magnesium content in thymus, heart muscle, and skeletal muscles as well as a higher hemoglobin content and a greater number of red blood cells when compared to animals given standard feed. Moreover, pollen also lengthened the lifespan of experimental animals (Oliveira et al., 2009; Attia et al., 2011; Khalil et al., 2010). In starved animals and those being on a nonvitamin diet, pollen caused faster weight gains than a normal diet. Research proves that pollen has a high nutritional value as well as a property of fast supplementing the nutritional deficiencies in animals’ organisms. Bee bread’s nutritional properties and the metabolism regulating processes are applicable in the cases of children’s lack of appetite, developmental delay, and malnutrition of children and adults. Moreover, pollen is recommended in recovery periods, after surgeries and to people who exert physical and mental activities (Oliveira et al., 2009; Attia et al., 2011; Khalil et al., 2010).

Beauty

Thanks to the large amount of vitamins A, B, E, C, folic acid, and amino acid complex, bee bread helps tissue recovery.

What is more, kaempferol, a bioactive substance found in bee bread, inhibits two enzymes: hyaluronidase, the enzyme which catalyses the degradation of hyaluronic acid; and elastase, which breaks down elastin (responsible for strengthening of the connective tissue and sealing of blood vessels). This results in decreased transudation, inflammatory reactions and swells. Blood circulation also improves and, therefore, the skin becomes moistened and tight (Bogdanov, 2014; Sahin et al., 2014; Kanashiro et al., 2007).

When applied directly to the hair or skin, bee bread’s bioactive components improve their health.

Bibliography