Effects Of A Bee Pollen Diet On The Growth Of The Laboratory Rat


Effects Of A Bee Pollen Diet On The Growth Of The Laboratory Rat


Liebelt R A; Calcaginetti D


American Bee Journal




Earlier studies in our laboratory demonstrated that only certain commercially available brands of bee pollen contained all the necessary nutritional elements to maintain three different inbred strains of mice in a healthy clinical state for periods of one year or longer when fed only bee pollen and drinking water (Liebelt. R. A., et. al., 1994). It was also noted that these mice fed only bee pollen and drinking water showed comparable body and organ growth between 30 and 90 days of age when compared to control mice fed standard laboratory chow during this same period. It was the purpose of this study to determine whether a bee pollen and drinking water diet had similar effects in laboratory rats over a period of twelve weeks during the rapid growth phase of the rat under controlled laboratory conditions. Male and female Sprague Dawley rats were used in this study. The control animals were fed Purina Lablox laboratory chow and the experimental animals a ere fed natural bee pollen granules. All animals survived the 12 week feeding period and remained in a healthy clinical state. Both the male and female control animals gained significantly greater body weights than the bee pollen fed males and females. The latter group of animals remained lean and the body hair coat appeared sleek and healthy. There were no significant differences in wet organ weights per 100 grams of body weight which included the lungs, liver, gut, gastrocnemius muscle, kidney and adrenal glands. The bee pollen fed females had heavier hearts than the control females, but this difference was not observed in the males. Of interest was the finding that the brains of both males and females fed bee pollen were heavier than the controls. The most striking difference between the males and females of both groups was the fat content of the inguinal and gonadal fat depots which are correlated with the total body fat content of the mouse and rat. The bee pollen fed males had significantly less fat content in both fat depots as compared to the control males. There was no significant difference in the fat content of the inguinal fat depots of the females, but the fat content of gonadal fat depot of the bee pollen fed females was significantly less than in the control females. The uterine and ovarian weights were not significantly different in the two groups of females, but the testes of the bee pollen fed males were significantly heavier that those of controls. The white blood cell count, hemoglobin concentration, hematocrit and mean corpuscular volume of the red blood cells were not significantly different in the males of both groups. Analysis of the blood chemistry of the males of both groups showed essentially the same level of sodium, potassium, chlorides, glucose, blood urea nitrogen, uric acid, phosphorus, calcium, total protein and albumin. However the serum cholesterol levels in the bee pollen fed males were almost 50% lower as compared to controls. The results of this study support the hypothesis that bee pollen of certain commercially available brands contain all the essential nutritional elements to provide normal growth and development of both the laboratory rat and mouse without the occurrence of any toxic or organ damaging effects when it is the sole source of nutrition.






Journal Article or Conference Abstract Publication

URL Address


Search for Full-text

Users with a NEOMED Library login can search for full-text journal articles at the following url: https://libraryguides.neomed.edu/home


Article information provided for research and reference use only. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).








Liebelt R A; Calcaginetti D, “Effects Of A Bee Pollen Diet On The Growth Of The Laboratory Rat,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed June 17, 2024, https://neomed.omeka.net/items/show/10752.