Nutritional Properties of Bee PollenFirst off, wow, it is really hard to get any information on bee pollen that is not from someone trying to sell you bee pollen. Most of the nutritional databases completely ignore bee pollen, not considering it a food at all. In fact, I couldn’t find anything on the actual nutritional content of bee pollen. Here is what the bee pollen selling companies claim: bee pollen is 40% protein and contains 22 amino acids as well as an assortment of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants.
My favorite claim on the bee pollen sites is that just 35 grams of bee pollen a day can sustain human life. That claim, of course, is pure bunk. If you only took in 35 grams of bee pollen a day, not only would you be very, very hungry, but you would also be pretty thirsty too.
UPDATE: a reader e-mailed in with the following information: From Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, 2005: “The results obtained for bee pollen had an average of 7.4% moisture, 20% proteins, 6% lipids, 2.2% ash, absence of vitamin C and beta-carotene and presence of total carotenoids.” So much for complete nutrition, huh?) - Thanks so much for the additional info!!.
UPDATE 2: The same reader also found information that some people are allergic to bee pollen - so be careful out there!
All of this is not to say that bee pollen doesn't have good vitamins and minerals and may be a good supplement to your diet to cover any nutritional gaps you may have. Perhaps, bee pollen is a kind of “nature’s vitamin,” but until I see some real research and profiles of the nutritional components of bee pollen, it seems easier and safer (and cheaper) to just take a regular vitamin.