Bee pollen supplements can cause anaphylactic reactions

May 22, 2012, Canadian Medical Association Journal

Although many people take bee pollen as a health supplement, it can cause severe anaphylactic reactions. However, most people are unaware of the risks, states an article published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

A case study in the journal illuminates the possible hazards of ingesting bee pollen. A 30-year-old woman with but no history of allergies to food, drugs, insects or latex had an after taking bee pollen. She had swelling of the eyelids, lips and throat, difficulty swallowing, hives and other life-threatening symptoms. After emergency treatment and discontinuation of the bee pollen supplements, there were no further reactions.

"Anaphylaxis associated with the consumption of bee pollen has been reported in the literature, but many people remain unaware of this potential hazard," write Dr. Amanda Jagdis, University of British Columbia, and Dr. Gordon Sussman, St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto.

Anaphylactic reactions after ingesting bee pollen have been reported in people with no history of allergies or only seasonal allergies. In a Greek study in which atopic participants underwent skin tests for reactions to bee pollen, 73% (of 145 patients) had positive reactions to one or more types of bee pollen extracts.

" should be aware of the potential for reaction, and patients with pollen allergy should be advised of the potential risk when consuming these products — it is not known who will have an allergic reaction upon ingesting bee pollen," conclude the authors.

Explore further: Get ready for spring - hay fever worse in spring than summer

More information: Research paper: www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.112181

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Cave_Man
not rated yet May 22, 2012
Big medicine at it again with overwhelming stupidity and narrow mindedness.

The attitude of restriction is likely what got these patients in the mess they are in in the first place. Just like how if you don't develop antibodies early in life you will suffer a weakened adult immune system.

We would likely benefit greatly from an increase in exposure to specific things averaged over the long run. Bee pollen being a likely candidate. Sure taking a concentrated pill full of the same stuff that causes seasonal allergies when you haven't been exposed enough that it over your lifetime could be bad is in the case of anaphylaxis when the women ingested pollens she may have been allergic to.

It's not anyone's fault, only a reminder that we don't know the whole story. It seems like it's all sensational scare tactics to keep you away from something that has a lower chance of killing you than crossing a street.

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