Bee Collected Pollen and Bee Bread: Bioactive Constituents and Health Benefits

Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Nov 20;8(12):568. doi: 10.3390/antiox8120568.


Bee products were historically used as a therapheutic approach and in food consumption, while more recent data include important details that could validate them as food supplements due to their bioproperties, which support their future use as medicines. In this review data, data collected from bee pollen (BP) and bee bread (BB) essays will be discussed and detailed for their nutritional and health protective properties as functional foods. Dietary antioxidants intake derived from BP and BB have been associated with the prevention and clinical treatment of multiple diseases. The beneficial effects of BP and BB on health result from the presence of multiple polyphenols which possess anti-inflammatory properties, phytosterols and fatty acids, which play anticancerogenic roles, as well as polysaccharides, which stimulate immunological activity. From the main bioactivity studies with BP and BB, in vitro studies and animal experiments, the stimulation of apoptosis and the inhibition of cell proliferation in multiple cell lines could be one of the major therapeutic adjuvant effects to be explored in reducing tumor growth. Tables summarizing the main data available in this field and information about other bio-effects of BP and BB, which support the conclusions, are provided. Additionally, a discussion about the research gaps will be presented to help further experiments that complete the tree main World Health Organization (WHO) Directives of Efficiency, Safety and Quality Control for these products.

Keywords: antioxidant activity; bee bread; bee pollen; cancer; diseases; health; natural product.

Publication types

  • Review