Experts are warning that bee pollen supplements – which have become popular in recent years – come with the risk of a serious allergic reaction, particularly for those who have a known allergy to bees or pollen.

According toFox News,bee pollen supplements are said to improve energy, memory, and performance. It contains proteins and is rich in phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. This ‘super food’ comes from pollen collected on bees from flowers, dandelions, grass, and other plants. It also contains bee saliva, in addition to a large concentration of the types of airborne pollen responsible for seasonal allergies.

A report recently published in theCanadian Medical Association Journaldetailed the case of one 30-year-old woman who was rushed to the emergency room after taking bee pollen for two days. She suffered a severe allergic reaction, causing swelling of her eyelids, lips, and throat, as well as shortness of breath and other symptoms. Alarmingly, she had no known allergy to bees – just mild seasonal allergies.

One Italian study found that between 2002 and 2007, the country received 18 reports of adverse reactions to bee pollen products. There are additional anecdotal stories of allergic reactions caused by bee pollen. People with allergies to bee stings or pollen may be at an increased risk of reacting to bee pollen products, but there have been cases reported in people with no history of allergies.

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