Bee Pollen & Weight Loss

Updated: 28th April 2021

I have to admit, I tend to be naturally sceptical of supplements that are said to help a person lose weight. I tend to think that we humans are so variable, and different people respond to different things. What works for one person, may not work for another.  (That said, I came across some very interesting research into the apple cider vinegar and honey diet!).

I also tend to think that, in matters regarding weight loss, there are often a combination of factors at work:

  • Diet (and eating habits)
  • Physical activity
  • Emotional well being
  • On occasion, there can be other health related, causal factors.

But what if, regardless, you’re interested in bee pollen for weight loss?

Well, as far as I am aware, there is no ‘Bee Pollen Diet’, instead, bee pollen is taken as a supplement to the diet, in various formats. See my page below How To Take Bee Pollen.

But before you do that, let's look at whether bee pollen aids weight loss.

Bee Pollen & Weight Loss: Any Evidence?

Can you lose weight with bee pollen?   In my research, I have not seen any evidence at all that eating bee pollen aids weight loss in humans. I know some people will be annoyed at me for stating this, but I'm sorry, I'm afraid I can find no evidence, and I do not think it fair to promote something I cannot believe in. 

So what have I learned?

1. Carbohydrate

Note that if you want a low carbohydrate diet, bee pollen contains 55% carbohydrate, 30% protein - so bee pollen is not low in carbohydate!

There may be some slight variations depending on the type of pollen – i.e. pollens vary depending on plant species from where the bees gathered it. Read more about nutrition and bee pollen. Also, do be aware of that some people may experience side effects from taking bee pollen.

2. Studies in Rats And Mice

Studies are sometimes referred to that took place in rats or mice - although I haven't seen one that conclusively proves that rodents which were fed with bee pollen lost weight, or were permanently slimmer because of it specifically - and certainly, none that compared it with the effect of other diets on rodents - such as a balanced or high fruit and vegetable diet.

Indeed, I have not found any convincing evidence that would therefore show, that taking bee pollen for weight loss would be effective in humans.  I notice that you tube videos and other websites promoting these studies, often have affiliate links, meaning they gain financially by promoting it.

Anyway, if it works, why not prove it, by executing a study in humans?

I’m sure there would be lots of willing volunteers, and bee pollen is a natural product, after all. I would have thought it would be possible to construct some kind of trial, and the dieting industry would want to get hold of it.

In addition to which, it has been proven that some trials replicated in rats and mice can sometimes produce very different results despite rats and mice both being rodents.

Likewise, what works in a trial on monkeys can have entirely different results in humans.  Therefore, unless a quality trial is conducted on humans, I'm afraid I'll reserve judgement.  See my point about 'Comparisons with animals' below for further information about some disasters!

One of the reasons I find the apple cider vinegar and honey diet intriguing, however, is because there is trial evidence - in humans!

3. Other Studies

Other animal studies are referred to in some information sources, in particular outlining what might be construed as benefits (not always conclusively though!) – and a reader may infer from these studies that a similar benefit could apply to humans.

For example, I saw information quoting that a study showed how rats and mice can live healthily only on bee pollen – in other words, they ate a bee pollen diet.

Well so what?  Some flies can live on excrement!  Worms can live on decaying leaves!

This may be true, but no doubt there are other single foods they could live healthily on! But what does it prove? Well, I wouldn’t advise you to convert to a bee pollen diet based on that evidence!

In my mind, it proves nothing for humans, with our longer life spans, different body chemistry and biology, and in fact, what dieticians and physicians have recommended for centuries, is a varied and balanced diet anyway, that can easily be obtained from every day foods, at good value prices.

4. Comparisons With Animals

Actually, as I stated before, in general, I am also reserved when it comes to making comparisons between humans and animals. Just because something works for animals, does not mean it works in the same way for humans.

Let me make my point clearer: when humans rely on animal tests as indicators of what will happen in the human body, results can be disastrous. Just two examples:

    • Arthritis drug Vioxx killed up to 140,000 people after being ‘proved safe’ in animals, including monkeys.

    • 92% of new drugs successful in animal studies go on to fail in clinical trials in humans, as at Northwick Park – sometimes injuring or killing volunteers and patients


  • Even tests on similar animal species can show startlingly different results, for example, one study tested 392 chemicals, and found that whilst some were toxic for rats, they were not necessarily toxic for mice, and vice versa. (source: "Ranking Possible Carcinogenic Hazards", Bruce N Ames, Renae Magaw and Lois Swirsky Gold, [i]Science[/i], Vol 236, 1987, p271 at 275).

Of course, I am not saying that bee pollen is toxic, merely that if bee pollen for weight loss works, let’s see some direct evidence on humans, so that we can be sure of the claims.

5. Just A Nutrient Supplement - Is That All?

Many of the claims about the use of bee pollen in weight loss, are about the replacement of nutrients in the diet, rather than a claim that you can lose weight with bee pollen.

But there are probably cheaper ways to do this, with every day foods, which may also be rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and so on (check out my link Bee Pollen Nutrition as it compares the nutritional content of bee pollen with ordinary foods which are cheaply and widely available).

Please note, if you are still contemplating taking bee pollen at all, consider whether you may be susceptible to bee pollen allergy.

Also, please be aware that the FDA has issued some warnings about adulterated bee pollen.

More Clarity Is Needed

This brings me to my next point: with regard to bee pollen & weight loss, which is: let’s also have some clarity in the message by answering these two questions:

  • Does bee pollen cause weight loss in humans (no convincing evidence to my knowledge, that it does, but if you have some, please contact me via my contact page)

  • How valuable is bee pollen to a weight loss programme, in comparison with less expensive, every-day foods, and how essential is it?

If you thought bee pollen was going to be a miracle cure to enable weight loss, I do apologise if I have 'burst your bubble', but I feel it is important to present information to enable people to make informed choices. I am happy to review my pages if anyone can inform me of a robust trial in humans - do get in touch if you have anything!

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