Med. Weter. 70 (12), 725-728, 2014

full text

Karpiński M., Zieliński D., Goleman M., Czyżowski P., Zielińska E.
Use of bee pollen in the nutrition of exotic and companion animals
Exotic and companion animals, increasingly often bred at home, must be provided with proper conditions in order to remain fit and healthy. An important aspect of the care of such animals is an adequate supplementation of their diet with vitamins and minerals, which is necessary for the normal development of the skeletal system. The aim of this review is to draw attention to the biological, nutritional and adaptogenic properties of bee pollen and to its use in animal feeding. Bee pollen has a very rich chemical composition. Pollen pellets contain many vitamins, and, what is particularly important, a large amount of beta-carotene. They also contain micro- and macronutrients, and are an invaluable source of biologically active substances, such as flavonoids. Their antioxidant action protects cells from adverse effects of free radicals, which are formed not only in humans, but also in animals. Bee pollen is a rich source of enzymes that regulate the synthesis and degradation processes of many metabolic substances in the body, such as cellulase, which is responsible for the digestion of cellulose. Phytoestrogens, which promote the maturation of oocytes, play an important role as well. The adaptogenic properties of this bee product make it a valuable dietary supplement for animals. Its effects consist in increasing the immune response against infections caused by microorganisms, especially bacteria and viruses. Bee pollen may be administered to animals both without processing and as an additive to powder made of food insects (crickets, cockroaches). It can also be added to fruit purees. The inclusion of pollen pellets in the diet of both herbivores and carnivores has a positive effect on the appearance and condition of their skin, hair, and feathers. It also results in improved performance, strength and endurance of working animals.
Key words: bee pollen, exotic animals, companion animals