Friday, January 19, 2007

Royal Jelly, Bee-Collected Pollen Used to Enhance Athletic Performance

Performance-Enhancing Bugs
By Jonathan Lungren Research entomologist USDA-ARS, Brookings
Aberdeen American News (USA), 1/19/2007

Sports fans these days are regularly inundated with the latest doping scandal; "so-and-so is under investigation for taking such-and-such a product." Given the lengths to which professional athletes will go, it's not surprising that some have turned to insects in order to improve their game.

Energy boosting from consuming insects and insect products is claimed by a number of commercial food supplements, notably royal jelly (honeybees feed larvae that are destined to be queens this substance, which consists of secretions from a couple of bee glands), bee-pollen, insect hormone (insects have many hormones, and it isn't clear from the product description which are being included in this supplement), and an insect disease called Cordyceps sinensis…

Jonathan Lundgren is a research entomologist at the USDA-ARS research facility in Brookings. Although interested in all aspects of insect biology, he specializes on reducing crop pests through the use of beneficial insects.

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