The supplement flower pollen is an extract of pollen. Pollen consists of the male germ seeds of plants, flowers or blossoms on trees. As plants flower, pollen is transferred from the anther of a stamen to the stigma of a pistil; on reaching the ovary it brings about fertilization of seeds. Entomophilus pollen refers to pollen that is spread by insects such as bees; anemophilous pollen refers to pollen spread by wind.
In contrast to bee pollen, which is collected from bees (see Bee Pollen), flower pollen is harvested directly from plants. The major flower pollen supplement in the marketplace is harvested from a number of organically grown specially selected flowers. The harvested pollen then undergoes extraction and fermentation processes in order to produce a better-absorbable product. Substances found in this product include vitamins, carotenoids, minerals, amino acids, lipids, enzymes, flavonoids, long-chain alcohols and phytosterols, among others.
Actions & Pharmacology
Supplemental flower pollen may promote prostate health and may have anti-inflammatory activity.
Mechanism of Action
The mechanism of these possible activities is not known.
There is little information on the pharmacokinetics of flower pollen in humans. The various components present in flower pollen should be digested, absorbed and metabolized as are similar substances found in food.
Indications & Usage
Flower pollen may have some effectiveness in benign prostatic hyperplasia and in prostatitis. It has reported hepato and gastroprotective effects and may have some ability to inhibit some cancers, ameliorate symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and protect against cardiovascular disease.
No reports of overdosage.
Those who take flower pollen for prostate health typically use about 360 milligrams daily taken in divided doses.
LiteratureBuck AC, Cox R, Rees RW, et al. Treatment of outflow tract obstruction due to benign-prostatic hyperplasia with the pollen extract, cernilton. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Br J Urol. 1990; 66:398-404.Buck AC, Rees RW, Ebeling L. Treatment of chronic prostatitis and prostadynia with pollen extract. Br J Urol. 1989; 64:496-499.Czarnecki R, Librowski T, Polanski M. [Hepatoprotective effect of flower pollen lipid extract in paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity in mice.] [Article in Polish.] Folia Med Cracov. 1997; 38:53-61.Dutkiewicz S. Usefulness of Cernilton in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Int Urol Nephrol. 1996; 28:49-53.Habib FK, Ross M, Buck AC, et al. In vitro evaluation of the pollen extract, cernitin T-60, in the regulation of prostate cell growth. Br J Urol. 1990; 66:393-397.Habib FK, Ross M, Lewenstein A, et al. Identification of a prostate inhibitory substance in a pollen extract. Prostate. 1995; 26:133-139.Polanski M, Czarnecki R, Woron J. [The hepatoprotective and hypolipidemic effect of flower pollen lipid extract in androgenized rats.] [Article in Polish.] Folia Med Cracov. 1996; 37:89-95.Roberts KP, Iyer RA, Prasad G, et al. Cyclic hydroxamic inhibitors of prostate cell growth: selectivity and structure activity relationships. Prostate. 1998; 34; 92-99.Voloshym OI, Pishak OV, Seniuk BP, Cherniavs'ka NB. [The efficacy of flower pollen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and concomitant diseases of the gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary systems.] [Article in Ukrainian.] Lik Sprava. 1998; 4:151-154.Yasumoto R, Kawanishi H, Tsujino T, et al. Clinical evaluation of long-term treatment using cernitin pollen extract in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Clin Ther. 1995; 17:82-87.
Research & Summary
Several studies have demonstrated positive effects for flower pollen extracts in the management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study, a flower pollen extract taken for six months achieved significant subjective improvement in 69% of patients receiving it, compared with 30% improvement in placebo subjects. Treated subjects had significantly decreased residual urine and significantly decreased antero-posterior diameter of the prostate on ultrasound. In some other studies, average and maximum urine flow rates have also significantly improved with flower pollen supplementation.
In an open British study, 13 of 15 patients with chronic abacterial prostatitis and prostatodynia that had resisted other treatments enjoyed marked-to-complete relief of symptoms with flower pollen extract treatment. Experimental studies suggesting that flower pollen has anti-inflammatory and anti-androgenic properties may explain some of its apparent efficacy in these prostatic disorders.
There have also been numerous studies indicating that flower pollen and its extracts have hepatoprotective effects and have increased survival rates in animals exposed to such potential toxins as acetaminophen, organic solvents, ammonium fluoride, methionine, carbon tetrachloride, galactosamine and allyl alcohol. Protective effects in the lungs have been seen with exposure to ammonium fluoride. Gastroprotective effects of flower pollen have been seen in some with gastroduodenal disorders.
Some improvement in clinical manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis has been reported in one study using flower pollen. There are a few in vitro studies indicating that flower pollen extracts may inhibit prostate cancer cells. And in animals with experimental atherosclerosis, pollen extracts have been reported to significantly lower serum lipid levels and to decrease arterial lipid deposits.
Contraindications, Precautions & Adverse Reactions
Flower pollen is contraindicated in those allergic or hypersensitive to flower pollen.
Flower pollen supplements should be avoided by pregnant women and nursing mothers.
No adverse reactions have been reported. However, those who are allergic or hypersensitive to flower pollen may develop symptoms, including rhinitis, conjunctivitis, pruritis and bronchospasm and, in some cases, urticaria and anaphylaxis.