Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Can a Bee Pollen Supplement Cure PMS?

New York Magazine, 8/2/2016

Serenol contains a combination of both Swedish flower pollen and royal jelly, a substance produced by worker bees to feed the queen bee, which is rich in minerals and vitamins. The pollen is treated to remove all allergens, but if you’re allergic to honey or bee stings, you should stay away from Serenol. It also contains the mineral chromium picolinate, which has been studied in both humans and, yes, even farm animals. It may have some effect on insulin and metabolism, and can potentially decrease cravings and weight gain related to PMS.

It’s not clear how or why Serenol works; the website states it is “theorized to have a mild serotonergic effect on the hypothalamus.” (Serotonin is the feel-good neurotransmitter.) Because this is not a drug, the manufacturer can’t make specific treatment claims and the supplement hasn’t gone through a rigorous FDA approval process. James Komorowski, the vice-president of scientific and regulatory affairs at JDS Therapeutics, the company that manufactures Serenol, explains that they “liked” the data and wanted to license the extract. According to him, supplements are meant to “support the normal conditions of life,” such as PMS, rather than treat illnesses.

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