BEE BREAD: Nutrients

By Dan Corrigan   ∙   July 01, 2021   ∙   0 Comments

Is Rosita® Bee Bread a Paleo food?

Rosita® Bee Bread is a Paleo food.

And, the abundance of rock art depicting honeycombs, swarms of bees and honey collecting scenes at several sites throughout the world suggests that Paleolithic man consumed wild bee products, including honey, bee bread and brood (larvae). Such art dates to as many as 40,000 years ago and has been found in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia.* Further, it's likely that early hominins were enjoying the bounty of beehives long before the practice was represented artistically.*

Bee derived products are indeed an ancient human food. Combined, honey, bee bread and bee larvae are excellent sources of energy, fat, protein and micronutrients and represent high-quality food sources that have been targeted for much of human history and may have competed with fire in terms of their evolutionary importance.*

The enlarging hominin brain would have greatly benefited from the energy provided by even a modest amount of these foods. Honey, bee bread and larvae may have supplemented scarce resources during the dry season.* The ability to find and exploit beehives with stone tools may have been an innovation that allowed early hominins to nutritionally outcompete other species and may have been a crucial energy source to help fuel the enlarging hominin brain.*

There's now a growing consensus in the medical world that our gut microbiomes (a vast community of trillions of bacteria and fungi that have a major influence on our metabolism, immune system and mood) play a major role in the operation of our immune systems, and that the richer and more diverse the community of microbes in your gut, the lower your risk of health issues.* And it so happens that the Hadza people, who live in a remote part of Northern Tanzania and are one of the last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes in the world, have the most diverse human gut microbiomes on the planet.* Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King's College London, showed that after three days on a forager (Hadza) diet, his gut microbial diversity increased by an amazing 20%, and he was able to detect rare forms of bacteria often associated with good health. His diet included a variety of animal species (most of which are birds), tubers, wild berries and honeycomb full of honey, bee bread and bee larvae.*

What are the nutrients in bee bread?

Bee bread has extensive nutritional and therapeutic properties and has been known and used for thousands of years.* It is often recognized as a "perfect" food.* The chemical composition of bee bread varies according to plant sources, season, geographic and soil type.

Bee bread is abundant in proteins, free amino acids and all the essential amino acids (including phenylalanine, leucine, valine, isoleucine, arginine, histidine, lysine, methionine, threonine and tryptophan), carbohydrates and fatty acids (including ω-3 and ω-6 fatty acids).*

Bee bread also contains a wide variety of other health-promoting compounds including fat-soluble vitamins (provitamin A beta-carotene, D, E, K) and water-soluble vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, biotin, folate and vitamin C); minerals and trace elements (including potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, sodium, chromium, selenium, iodine, cobalt, molybdenum, nickel and silicon); essential oils; enzymes (including saccharase, amylase, phosphatases, catalase, diastase, ribonuclease); prebiotics and probiotics; phytohormones (including auxins and gibberellins); phytosterols; lignans; triterpenes; natural antibiotics; carotenoids and organic acids (including lactic acid which improves the stability of bee bread).* Other minor constituents of bee bread include decanoic acid, gamma globulin, nucleic acids, lecithin and acetylcholine.*

Some of the natural antioxidants present in wild bee bread include polyphenols (flavonoids: quercetin, apigenin, isorhamnetin, kaempferol, chrysin, naringin, naringenin, rutin; phenolic acids: p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid and caffeic acids) and lipophilic antioxidants such as α-tocopherol, carotenoids (including lutein, B-cryptoxanthin and B-carotene) and coenzyme Q10.*

Xi Chen and colleagues at Nanjing University in China found that bee bread contains lots of small RNA molecules called microRNAs, which play a pivotal role in gene regulation.* Emerging evidence in recent years suggests that dietary microRNAs can be absorbed into the circulatory system and organs of humans and other animals. They may serve as a novel functional component of food by supporting gene expression and biological processes.*

Is bee bread more nutritious than bee pollen?

Bee bread is characterized by a higher nutritional value than fresh pollen, and is more biologically active and easily digestible due to the high content of easily digestible sugars, fats, minerals and free amino acids.* And, due to the fermentation process, bee bread has an exceptional shelf life compared with dried or frozen pollen in which nutritional values are rapidly lost.

Is Rosita® Bee Bread naturally fermented?

"Historically, people of all cultures have consumed the world's greatest natural blend of healthy bacteria in the form of honey", says Alejandra Vasquez, a Lund University medical microbiologist.* A large battery of beneficial probiotic bacteria that can fight mild bacterial infections resides within honeybees.* These bacteria include 13 different types: 9 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria. This is in comparison with the one to three different types found in commercial probiotics. The honey bees have used these bacteria for 80 million years to produce honey and their bee bread, which they produce to feed the entire bee colony.

The microbial communities of bee bread produce many active antimicrobial compounds – such as proteins, enzymes, peptides, organic acids and bacteriocin – thus further contributing to its bioactivity. And it has been established through scientific research that bee bread may exert antimicrobial activity against diverse pathogens.* In a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal, researchers explain that the bees have these healthy bacteria in their honey stomachs, which they acquire as newborns from the adult bees that feed them.

Another group of substances present in bee bread are prebiotics. These are nondigestible food ingredients, including oligosaccharides, that promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms (probiotics).