Mouse study: Pollen collected by honeybees from schisandra flowers may have liver health benefits

By Adi Menayang contact

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / unoL
Getty Images / unoL
Researchers in China put an ancient Chinese remedy for liver ailments, schisandra bee pollen, to the test in an animal clinical trial. They found some correlations between supplementation and decreased liver fat accumulation.

They linked the suppression of body and liver weight gain, decrease of fasting blood glucose, and attenuation of lipid accumulation in serum and liver among rats supplemented with schisandra bee pollen to the ingredient’s “abundant polyphenols and higher antioxidant activities.”

In their report, published this week​ in Nutrients, ​the researchers explained that Schisandra chinensis​ bee pollen collected by honeybees from the flowers of the botanical is a widely cultivated ingredient in China and “has been used as medicine to treat liver disease for several centuries.”

The team had previously studied the nutritional profile of S. chinensis bee pollen and suggested that that it “possessed strong antioxidant activities and prevented liver damage​” induced by toxic carbon tetrachloride in rats. The main phenolic constituents identified were naringenin, rutin and chrysin.

“However, there has been no research on the relationship of S. chinensis pollen and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,”​ also known as NAFLD, they added.

The study was funded by several Chinese government grants, and conducted by researchers from Northwest University in Xi’an and the Bee Product Research Center of Shaanxi Province.

Study details

The researchers purchased bee pollen of S. chinensis ​from Hubei province, identified using a standardized method of pollen morphology before it was extracted using ethanol.

They then divided 48 male mice into four groups, one fed a low-fat diet, while the other three were fed a high-fat diet to induce NAFLD. Two of the high-fat fed mice groups were given either a low dose or high dose of the bee pollen extract for eight weeks.

The researchers found that mice supplemented with the blood pollen exhibited lower fat accumulation compared to the NAFLD mice not receiving supplementation. They also linked supplementation to decreased fasting blood glucose, and less oxidative injury and inflammation in the obese mice.

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Source: Nutrients
Published online ahead of print, doi:10.3390/nu11020346
​Impact of SchisandraChinensis Bee Pollen on Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Gut Microbiota in HighFat Diet Induced Obese Mice​​
Authors: Ni Cheng

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