By Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva
I know how frustrating it is to live with PCOS symptoms: irregular periods or no periods at all, problems getting pregnant, excessive hair growth, unexplained weight gain, hair loss, and acne. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed. However, when it comes to managing PCOS, often simple lifestyle choices make an enormous difference. I love to add healing rituals into my busy days, and nothing’s better than settling down with a warm mug of tea with honey.
Being a PCOS Diva, you know I don’t use any old honey! Years ago, at a health conference, I discovered Beekeepers Naturals raw, sustainably sourced honey powered with bee pollen and started enjoying it in my daily tea. Then I came across emerging research showing that bee pollen is actually a promising therapy for PCOS. What a pleasant surprise! Read on to learn all the buzz about bee pollen and five ways it can help with PCOS.
What is Bee Pollen?
Bee pollen consists of nectar, enzymes, honey, wax, flower pollen, and actual bee secretions.
Here’s how it works: To create bee pollen, the pollen from the plants is mixed with nectar and the saliva from the bees as it returns to the beehive. Once in the hive, it becomes food, so it has to be nutrient-rich.
They are typically sold as granules or finely ground powders and are yellow to orange in color. They look like large-grain sand.
You can also find bee pollen in Beekeepers Superfood Honey – what I use (along with royal jelly and raw bee propolis extract).
Benefits of Bee Pollen: What’s all the buzz about?
So let’s get to it! Here are some of the science-backed benefits of bee pollen:
#1 A Nutritional Powerhouse
Bee pollen may not look like much, but it contains more than 250 different substances, including carbs, proteins, lipids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes – making it an immune system booster – and when you live with PCOS (or any chronic disease), a healthy immune system is critical for keeping your symptoms in check.
The caveat is that bee pollen products’ nutritional content depends entirely on the source. You need to find a reliable company you can trust.
Read the following article to learn more about how to use high-nutrient foods like bee pollen to stimulate your immune system and ease your PCOS symptoms: The 9 Best Food for PCOS.
#2 High antioxidant activity
Bee pollen is composed of many natural substances sourced from plants, so it’s no surprise that it contains plenty of antioxidants.
Let’s do a quick lesson on antioxidants.
In your body, free radicals or unstable oxygen molecules do damage to your cells. These free radicals are created by processed foods, toxins, aging, and alcohol. Science shows that free radical damage is one of the main culprits in modern chronic diseases. The good news is, antioxidants neutralize free radicals and make them stable.
Here’s an article that covers PCOS, Reds, and the Power of Antioxidants.
Besides getting antioxidants from bee pollen and plant sources, you can also supplement with Reservatol, a type of polyphenol found in grapes and berries that is also high in antioxidants. I carry a powerful formula in the PCOS Diva store: Resveratrol Plus.
#3 Protects against heart disease and high cholesterol
Let’s take this antioxidant story one step further.
The antioxidants in bee pollen help lower blood cholesterol levels. Researchers say this is due to bee pollen’s antioxidant activity, which protects lipids from harmful oxidation. Oxidized lipids tend to clump together, which can restrict blood vessels and blood flow.
Since PCOS increases a woman’s chances of getting heart-related complications, adding more antioxidants to your diet makes good sense.
#4 Reduces Inflammation
Researchers suggest that bee pollen helps treat acute and chronic inflammatory conditions. Experts say its anti-inflammatory properties can be compared to non-steroidal drugs like naproxen. This opens up the possibility of using bee pollen as a treatment for inflammatory diseases like arthritis.
Since inflammation is at the core of PCOS, you may want to explore adding this ancient superfood to your diet.
#5 Healthy hormones
Scientists are continuously finding new ways to treat PCOS.
A recent study from the International Journal of Fertility & Sterility suggested a potential therapeutic effect of taking bee pollen together with Metformin to help the body manage high blood sugar levels, as insulin resistance is one of the symptoms associated with PCOS.
Researchers found that either bee pollen alone or in combination with Metformin significantly lowered testosterone levels while improving estradiol levels and total antioxidant capacity significantly. Estradiol is a female hormone responsible for reducing symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes or vaginal dryness. The study also noted that higher bee pollen doses had better results.
Women with PCOS have problems with androgen and estradiol balance. Bee pollen exerts estradiol-like activity because of its phytosterol content.
Phytosterols are “plant cholesterols” that can mitigate the body’s cholesterol uptake. This is important because the body needs cholesterol to synthesize androgens and testosterone. When you have excess androgens, you naturally want to lower them, and bee pollen can help.
My favorite bee pollen
I am super discriminating when it comes to treating my PCOS with all-natural products. Beekeepers Naturals checks all the boxes for me.
Their products are always free of artificial colors, preservatives, fillers, alcohol, GMOs, and refined sugars – no harmful chemicals here! And they use raw, sustainably sourced wildflowers.
If you would like to add bee pollen or Superfood honey to your PCOS medicine cabinet, I have a generous discount for you from Beekeepers.
15% OFF EVERYTHING IN THE BEEKEEPERS NATURALS STORE
USE CODE: pcosdiva
How to use
Enjoy the Superfood Honey in a cup of tea or drizzled over lattes or toast. You can add bee pollen granules to yogurt or smoothies. Start small with half a teaspoon and work your way up to 1-2 teaspoons/day.
While bee pollen is undoubtedly a worthy addition to your PCOS toolbag, keep in mind that the first step is to upgrade your diet and lifestyle. The PCOS Diva protocol is specifically designed to get your insulin resistance under control, your hormones balanced, and your health on track. The next step is to add superfoods like bee pollen into your regimen. Let me know if you try the Superfood honey or bee pollen and how you like it.
Next Steps: Private coaching
If PCOS has you overwhelmed and frustrated, I can help. I have coached thousands of women over the years to get their lives back on track. Together we will find your unique path to healing – without adding more stress to your life.
Your first step is to book a 1-hour Discovery call with me – designed to deliver expert advice and help you get on track.
Amy Medling, the best-selling author of Healing PCOS and certified health coach, specializes in working with women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), who are frustrated and have lost all hope when the only solution their doctors offer is to lose weight, take a pill, and live with their symptoms. In response, Amy founded PCOS Diva and developed a proven protocol of supplements, diet, and lifestyle programs that offer women tools to help them gain control of their PCOS and regain their fertility, femininity, health, and happiness.
Naseri L, Khazaei MR, Khazaei M. Potential Therapeutic Effect of Bee Pollen and Metformin Combination on Testosterone and Estradiol Levels, Apoptotic Markers and Total Antioxidant Capacity in A Rat Model of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Int J Fertil Steril. April 2021.
Kocot J, Kiełczykowska M, Luchowska-Kocot D, Kurzepa J, Musik I. Antioxidant Potential of Propolis, Bee Pollen, and Royal Jelly: Possible Medical Application. Oxid Med Cell Longev. May 2018.
Rzepecka-Stojko A, Stojko J, Jasik K, Buszman E. Anti-Atherogenic Activity of Polyphenol-Rich Extract from Bee Pollen. Nutrients. Dec 2017.
Eteraf-Oskouei T, Shafiee-Khamneh A, Heshmati-Afshar F, Delazar A. Anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenesis effect of bee pollen methanolic extract using air pouch model of inflammation. Res Pharm Sci. Feb 2020.
Van Alten, A. The Magic of Bee Pollen. Bee Pollen Buzz.