Fab or fad?
WHAT IS IT? Grains of pollen packed into balls by bees, along with honey or nectar. Described as a ‘complete food’ because it contains protein, fat and carbs, along with vitamins, minerals and abundant antioxidant polyphenols.
WHY TAKE IT Health claims range from weight loss and improved athletic performance to immune support, gastric health and bone preservation. A 2010 study reported a mild anti-inflammatory effect, but much of the research to date has been conducted on animals, often rats. Earlier this year, Polish researchers concluded that bee pollen shows promise, but good-quality human studies are needed.
ANY DANGERS? Diverse sources make it tricky to guarantee nutrient content or safety. There have been some reports of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis.
THE VERDICT Some good buzz but more research is needed.
THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF GRAMS OF PROTEIN PER MEAL THAT PRESERVE MUSCLE MASS AND STRENGTH IN MASTERS ENDURANCE ATHLETES. 1