Bee Pollen: A Superfood with Health Benefits and Digestibility Challenges

Piyush Agrawal, Jaspreet Kaur and Prasad Rasane

Abstract

For centuries, alternative medicine has used bee products due to their functional properties, identifying their role as a useful aid in diverse treatments. One such valuable product is bee pollen which is gathered by honeybees from different plants. It has a remarkable nutritional profile due to which it is widely used in dietary supplements in the form of granules, capsules, tablets, pellets, and powders. It is loaded with enzymes, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, fiber, and various bioactive compounds including polyphenols, carotenoids, and flavonoids. These bioactive compounds exhibit a wide range of biological properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, hypoglycemic, and anti-cancer. However, the digestibility of the bee pollen is greatly affected due to its robust outer layer which makes it difficult for the digestive enzymes to penetrate the pollen pellets. This significantly reduces the bioavailability of bee pollen by 50% or more. Many processing techniques have been developed to improve the digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients present in bee pollen, for its beneficial impact on human health. Thus, a comprehensive comprehension of digestibility becomes imperative. This review paper aims to present a comprehensive overview of the nutritional composition of bee pollen and its multiple therapeutic attributes. This article also delves into the digestibility of bee pollen, the factors affecting the bioavailability of its bioactive compounds, and the underlying biomolecular pathways that propel its positive influence on various health conditions.

Published on: November 14, 2023
doi: 10.17756/jfcn.2023-s1-061
Citation: Agrawal P, Kaur J, Rasane P. 2023. Bee Pollen: A Superfood with Health Benefits and Digestibility Challenges. J Food Chem Nanotechnol 9(S1): S483-S489.

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