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anses

French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

Pollen allergies and food supplements: ANSES reminds consumers of the precautions to be taken

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News of 25/07/2018

Cases of allergies associated with the consumption of food supplements are regularly reported to ANSES under its nutrivigilance scheme. Recently, severe allergies following the consumption of food supplements containing hive products (royal jelly, propolis) and pollen have been reported. ANSES reminds consumers that people who are allergic to pollen can potentially be at risk from allergies when consuming foods and food supplements containing products of the beehive.

In fact, pollen can be found in beehive products such as royal jelly, propolis or honey, even when this is not explicitly indicated. People who are allergic to pollen, as well as anyone predisposed to allergies or asthma, are therefore advised to avoid consuming food supplements containing these products.

In general, the Agency stresses that food supplements, just like normal foods, can contain all types of allergens. People with an allergy to a particular ingredient need to be vigilant regarding the composition of any food supplements that may contain it.

The Agency therefore advises consumers to:

  • report to a healthcare professional any adverse effect occurring after consumption of a food supplement;
  • comply with the conditions of use determined by the manufacturer;
  • avoid taking food supplements on a multiple, prolonged or repeated basis throughout the year without having sought the advice of a healthcare professional;
  • be vigilant with regard to products presenting unfounded claims, or products marketed outside regulated channels, particularly on the Internet.

ANSES also reminds healthcare professionalsof the need to report to its nutrivigilance scheme any cases of adverse effects suspected of being associated with the consumption of food supplements.

ANSES has been in charge of the nutrivigilance scheme since 2009. It monitors adverse effects associated with the consumption of various food products. To find out more about nutrivigilance, read the presentation of the scheme here.