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Bee Pollen & Diabetes

By Martin Hughes

Diabetes is a health problem in which your body is unable to effectively process sugar, or glucose, in your blood. There are two main types of diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2. The Better Medicine website states that Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all diabetes cases, and that lifestyle factors are among the most significant factors causing its onset. Meet with your doctor to better understand the relationship between bee pollen and diabetes before using this natural substance to treat your condition.


Certain risk factors may significantly increase your likelihood of developing diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if you have had gestational diabetes -- temporary diabetes that manifests while you are pregnant -- you have a 35 to 60 percent chance of developing permanent diabetes within the next 10 to 20 years. Other important risk factors for this health problem include a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, advanced age and a family history of diabetes.

About Bee Pollen

Bee pollen is an important constituent of a substance called propolis, along with waxes, essential oils and resins. Bee pollen itself is a powder-like substance that is generated by flowering plants and collected by bees. Bee pollen contains numerous nutrients, including sodium, potassium, manganese, iron, copper, calcium, carotene, enzymes, vitamin C, vitamin B-complex and essential fatty acids. This substance also contains significant amounts of plant sterols. Bee pollen is comprised of 10 to 15 percent protein, notes Phyllis A. Balch, a certified nutritional consultant and author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing."

Bee Pollen and Diabetes

Bee propolis, which contains bee pollen, may be helpful in preventing diabetes-related kidney problems, such as nephropathy. According to a 2009 study by O.M. Abo-Salem and colleagues published in the "Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences," bee propolis may be helpful in mitigating oxidative stress and delaying the onset of diabetic nephropathy in people who have diabetes. Oxidative stress, note the researchers, is a significant factor in the disease process of diabetic nepropathy, or kidney damage.


Diabetes is a life-long condition that requires constant management to help avoid life-threatening health complications. Natural substances have long been used in treating various aspects of diabetes, although not all natural healing agents may be appropriate for you or your condition. Before using bee products or other natural supplements, review the merits, risks and limitations of these substances with your primary care provider. A health care practitioner who specializes in clinical nutrition may provide the most relevant information about these products and their true health effects.

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